IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Trademarks as Fictitious Commodities: An Erosion of the Public Interest? An Assessment of the use of trademarks over urban space at the example of London’s Regent Street and Paris’ Champs-Elysées

Listed author(s):
  • Ghafele, Roya
  • Vanderslott, Samantha

With reference to Karl Polyani’s notion of fictitious commodities we evaluate whether the protection of two worldwide known streets, namely ‘Regent Street’ in London and the ‘Champs- Elysées’ in Paris may be perceived as an erosion of the public interest and thus call for potential policy reformulation or reforms to substantive trademark law. The reasons for this choice are twofold: Firstly, the existing body of literature offers an in-depth discussion on the complex dynamics between the public interest and patents and copyrights, yet relatively little has been said so far on the correlation of the public interest and trademarks. Secondly, trademark protection over urban space is a recent phenomenon that has in and by itself not yet been properly grasped, neither from a policy, commercial or legal perspective. We conclude that the ownership structure of each of these two trademarks suggests that, contrary to intuition, it is the use of trademark protection rather than the renouncement from trademark protection that guarantees, at least in these two instances, the public interest. We contend however that the increased use of trademark protection over urban space does bear the potential for the erosion of the public interest and call upon policy makers to formulate guidelines in that respect.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36321.

in new window

Date of creation: 26 Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36321
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Giovanni B. Ramello, 2006. "What'S In A Sign ? Trademark Law And Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 547-565, September.
  2. Ghafele, Roya, 2009. "Creating the missing link: applying collective marks to create clusters," MPRA Paper 37039, University Library of Munich, Germany.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36321. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.