The Cromwell Dissertation Prize was awarded to Christopher Beauchamp, Cambridge University, at the American Society for Legal History meeting last weekend. According to the Prize Committee:
The Cromwell Dissertation Prize Committee...considered dissertations of remarkable quality on a wide range of topics and periods and adopting a variety of different methodological perspectives. Amid these dissertations, the one that stood out was Christopher Beauchamp's "The Telephone Patents: Intellectual Property, Business and the Law in the United States and Britain, 1876-1900"--a dissertation submitted for a Ph.D. at Cambridge University in 2006.
The dissertation uses complex corporate and legal records to examine the role of patents and patent litigation in the early struggles for control over the telephone businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, and it thereby explores the role of law in modern industrial development. Written with both an expansive understanding of the inquiry and a keen eye for detail, the dissertation opens up important questions in law, economics, and the relation between them. It will be an important book, admirable for its breadth of vision and its rich use evidence, and the Committee is pleased that the first dissertation [recommended] to be awarded the Cromwell Prize is of such remarkable quality.
A link to a recent paper by Beauchamp is here.