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Why do innovators not apply for trademarks? The role of information asymmetries and collaborative innovation

Author

Listed:
  • Athreye, Suma

    () (Essex Business School)

  • Fassio, Claudio

    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

Abstract

This paper analyses the underlying reasons why innovators do not apply for trademarks for all of their valuable inventions. Using a unique database of UK innovations linked to innovative firms, the empirical analysis highlights the many ways that firms can alleviate information asymmetries and the constraints imposed by collaborative innovation without taking recourse to trademarks. When information asymmetries are not at stake, i.e. when firms use an already existing trademark for their innovations or when they use intermediaries for its distribution, trademarks no longer serve their purpose, leading firms to avoid using it for their innovations. Open innovation also decreases the incentive to trademark, especially when the innovative process involves users, mainly because of property rights issues or because the innovator prefers to use the clients’ own distribution channels.

Suggested Citation

  • Athreye, Suma & Fassio, Claudio, 2019. "Why do innovators not apply for trademarks? The role of information asymmetries and collaborative innovation," Papers in Innovation Studies 2019/2, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2019_002
    as

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    File URL: http://wp.circle.lu.se/upload/CIRCLE/workingpapers/201902_athreye.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mendonca, Sandro & Pereira, Tiago Santos & Godinho, Manuel Mira, 2004. "Trademarks as an indicator of innovation and industrial change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1385-1404, November.
    2. Ulrich Schmoch, 2003. "Service marks as novel innovation indicator," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 149-156, August.
    3. Giovanni B. Ramello & Francesco Silva, 2006. "Appropriating signs and meaning: the elusive economics of trademark," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(6), pages 937-963, December.
    4. Meindert Flikkema & Ard-Pieter De Man & Carolina Castaldi, 2014. "Are Trademark Counts a Valid Indicator of Innovation? Results of an In-Depth Study of New Benelux Trademarks Filed by SMEs," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 310-331, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Helmers, Christian & Rogers, Mark, 2011. "Does patenting help high-tech start-ups?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1016-1027, September.
    7. Miozzo, Marcela & Desyllas, Panos & Lee, Hsing-fen & Miles, Ian, 2016. "Innovation collaboration and appropriability by knowledge-intensive business services firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1337-1351.
    8. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:3:p:606-616 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Amara, Nabil & Landry, Réjean & Traoré, Namatié, 2008. "Managing the protection of innovations in knowledge-intensive business services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1530-1547, October.
    10. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    rademarks; innovation; intellectual property; open innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • 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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