The relationship between corporations, patents and private Bills is a long and varied one. It can be divided into three phases. In the early period, monopolies were granted to regulated companies, including guilds, to regulate entire industries. Such rights when granted to individuals, such as Sir Giles Mompesson, were outlawed by the Statute of Monopolies but in relation to corporations 1 these rights were specifically excluded from the Act. 2 It is clear that despite later criticism of these exclusive rights, Parliament welcomed them – including by enacting private legislation. The second phase began with the passage of the “Bubble Act” in 1720 when joint stock companies became pariahs and almost contemporaneously a restriction was introduced to restrict joint ownership of patents to five individuals. In this phase a handful of individuals tried, some successfully, to obtain private legislation to enable them to transfer to more than five persons. The final phase begins with the repeal of the Bubble Act in 1825 when joint stock companies became an accepted part of business – but the restriction on patent ownership remained. And so individuals were compelled to petition Parliament when they wanted to work a patent through a joint stock company until the long-antiquated eighteenth-century rule was finally abrogated in 1852.