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Trademark or patent? The effects of market structure, customer type and venture capital financing on start-ups' IP decisions

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  • de Vries, A.G.B.
  • Pennings, H.P.G.
  • Block, J.H.

Abstract

We analyze the initial intellectual property (IP) right of 4,703 start-up entrants in the US, distinguishing between trademark and patent applications. The results show that start-ups are more likely to file for a trademark instead of a patent when entering into more competitive market structures. Further, we find that start-ups with a focus on distribution that serves end-consumers are more likely to file for a trademark and that start-ups that operate upstream and sell to other businesses are more likely to file for a patent. Lastly, the external influences on a start-up‟s management, such as the involvement of a venture capitalist (VC), affect IP applications. The increased incentive of VC-backed start-ups to become operational on the market makes them more likely to file initial IP in the form of a trademark rather than a patent. Among other factors, we control for R&D and advertising intensity in the industry and distinguish between more technical and more service-driven industries.

Suggested Citation

  • de Vries, A.G.B. & Pennings, H.P.G. & Block, J.H., 2013. "Trademark or patent? The effects of market structure, customer type and venture capital financing on start-ups' IP decisions," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2013-002-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:39515
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    Cited by:

    1. Block, Joern H. & De Vries, Geertjan & Schumann, Jan H. & Sandner, Philipp, 2014. "Trademarks and venture capital valuation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 525-542.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    competition; intellectual property; patents; trademarks; venture capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M00 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - General - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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