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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eugenia Baroncelli & Ekaterina Krivonos & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2007. "Trademark Protection or Protectionism?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 126-145, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:15:y:2007:i:1:p:126-145
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eugenia Baroncelli & Carsten Fink & Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2005. "The Global Distribution of Trademarks: Some Stylised Facts," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(6), pages 765-782, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(1), pages 79-103, April.
    4. 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.
    5. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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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.
    2. Nikolas Zolas & Travis J. Lybbert & Prantik Bhattacharyya, 2013. "An ‘Algorithmic Links With Probabilities’ Concordance For Trademarks: For Disaggregated Analysis Of Trademark & Economic Data," Working Papers 13-49, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Travis J. Lybbert & Nikolas J. Zolas & Prantik Bhattacharyya, 2014. "An "Algorithmic Links with Probabilities" Concordance for Trademarks For Disaggregated Analysis of Trademark and Economic Data," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 14, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
    4. Godinho, Manuel Mira & Ferreira, Vítor, 2012. "Analyzing the evidence of an IPR take-off in China and India," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 499-511.

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