Friend of the Conglomerate Larry Cunningham points to Popular Science's September roundup of 100 inventions that changed the world, only one of which is a legal innovation: the corporation (link not available - ask your librarian!). It's a strong contender; indeed, I can't really think of another legal fiction with such significance, though patents probably come close, and I guess I wonder if an agency is a legal fiction. But you can have your constructive trusts, trade secrets, and asset-backed securities! Readers are invited to provide their own suggestions for similarly consequential legal inventions in the comments.
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