An extensive global market in patents and innovations developed after the middle of the nineteenth century. I employ data from the United States, Britain, Germany, Canada, New South Wales, Spain, and Japan during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to assess the evolution of transfers in patent-property rights across these countries. The empirical analysis examines the factors that affected patterns in patent assignments and foreign patenting for these countries. It sheds further light on cross-sectional variation in foreign patenting and transfers to corporations, based on a panel data set of patent grants and assignments at issue in the United States during the Second Industrial Revolution. The results indicate that, just as inventive activity responded to incentives, the patterns of market exchange in patent rights varied in accordance with legal, economic, and institutional parameters. The analysis is consistent with the position that developing countries today might benefit from tailoring their patent institutions to individual circumstances rather than adhering to harmonized standards.