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Trademark Protection or Protectionism?

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  • Eugenia Baroncelli
  • Ekaterina Krivonos
  • Marcelo Olarreaga

Abstract

This paper explores the extent to which discrimination against foreign applicants in the trademark registration process can be used as a "behind-the-border" barrier to imports. Prima-facie evidence shows that in some developing countries the ratio of trademark registrations to applications is much higher for national than for foreign applicants, which is consistent with the notion of discrimination against foreign firms. A simple model is developed that suggests that incentives to discriminate are stronger when foreign firms manufacture products that are close in quality to the goods produced by domestic firms. This hypothesis is then tested and empirically confirmed in three of the four countries in our sample, suggesting that discretion and discrimination in the trademark registration process can sometimes be used as a protectionist tool. Copyright � 2006 The Authors; Journal compilation � 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 126-145

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:15:y:2007:i:1:p:126-145

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References

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  1. Baroncelli, Eugenia & Kink, Carsten & Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 2004. "The global distribution of trademarks - some stylized facts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3270, The World Bank.
  2. Carsten Fink & Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Income-Related Biases in International Trade: What Do Trademark Registration Data Tell Us?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 79-103, April.
  3. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1987. "Trademark Law: An Economic Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 265-309, October.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  5. Juan Carlos Hallak, 2003. "The Effect of Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality on the Direction of International Trade 2002," Working Papers 493, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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Cited by:
  1. Azomahou, Théophile T. & Diene, Mbaye, 2012. "Polarization patterns in economic development and innovation," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 421-436.

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