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Shifting Patterns in Marks and Registration: France, the United States and United Kingdom, 1870-1970


  • Paul Duguid
  • Teresa da Silva Lopes
  • John Mercer


This paper looks at trademarks and brands, beyond the conventional interests of marketing and law, as a way to explaining the evolution of international business and economies in general. It shows that the perspective defended by many scholars such as Chandler (1990), Wilkins (1991, 1994) and Koehn’ (2001), about the Anglo-Saxon countries, and in particular the United States, leading the transition to modern trade-marks is narrow in its focus. Instead of the United States standing out as historically on the leading edge of innovation in the law and practice of trade marking, it appears from several directions to have been on the trailing edge. France and Britain have a more enduring interest in trademarking. The paper also looks at one particular subset of trade mark registration data – non durable consumer goods. These, and in particular food, are the dominant sectors in the three countries in terms of trademarking, reflecting the character of the sectors where imagery associated with the products is so central in competition. The paper relies on original data from three countries, France, the United Kingdom and the United States, in particular trade mark registrations, and the analysis spans for a period of one hundred years period 1870-1970.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Duguid & Teresa da Silva Lopes & John Mercer, 2008. "Shifting Patterns in Marks and Registration: France, the United States and United Kingdom, 1870-1970," Working Papers 21, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:21

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Petra Moser, 2005. "How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World's Fairs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1214-1236, September.
    2. TAB Corley, 2005. "UK Government Regulation of Medicinal Drugs, 1890-2000," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 337-351.
    3. da Silva Lopes, Teresa & Casson, Mark, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the Development of Global Brands," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(04), pages 651-680, December.
    4. B. Zorina Khan & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2001. "The Early Development of Intellectual Property Institutions in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 233-246, Summer.
    5. Teresa da Silva Lopes & Mark Casson, 2007. "Entrepreneurship, Brands and the Development of Global Business," Working Papers 2, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
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    More about this item


    trade marks; brands; international business history; intellectual property rights; trademark law;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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