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

Author

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  • 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 - Centre for Innovation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2019_002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    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. Castaldi, Carolina, 2018. "To trademark or not to trademark: The case of the creative and cultural industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 606-616.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Mödlhamer, 2020. "Innovativeness and the design of intellectual property rights in preferential trade agreements: A refinement of the North–South explanation," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 3(4), pages 329-348, December.
    2. Carolina Castaldi, 2021. "Sustainable innovation and intellectual property rights: friends, foes or perfect strangers?," LEM Papers Series 2021/11, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Ghisetti, Claudia & Montresor, Sandro & Vezzani, Antonio, 2021. "Design and environmental technologies: Does ‘green-matching’ actually help?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(5).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    rademarks; innovation; intellectual property; open innovation;
    All these keywords.

    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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