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The global distribution of trademarks - some stylized facts

  • Baroncelli, Eugenia
  • Kink, Carsten
  • Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata

Trademarks are words, signs, symbols, or combinations thereof that identify goods as manufactured by a particular person or a company, therefore allowing consumers to distinguish between goods originating in different sources. Trademarks belong to the wider family of intellectual property rights (IPRs), and once registered benefit from legal protection against unauthorized use by entities other than the legal owner. While some suggest that cross-border registrations of IPRs may be associated with welfare transfers from developing to industrial countries, surprisingly little is known about an important component of the global IPR system, namely, the worldwide distribution of trademark registrations. This study provides the first step in filling this gap in the literature. Its purpose is to present some new stylized facts which emerge from the analysis of a dataset compiled by the authors based on the statistical information published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Questions of interest include the distribution of trademarks between countries of different income levels, the share of trademark registrations accounted for by foreign residents and its variation across different income groups, the extent to which poor countries participate in the international trademark system, and the distribution of registrations across different sectors of the economy.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3270.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3270
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  1. repec:rus:hseeco:123679 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Carsten Fink & Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Income-Related Biases in International Trade: What Do Trademark Registration Data Tell Us?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 79-103, April.
  3. Braga, C.A.P. & Fink, C. & Sepulveda, C.P., 2000. "Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development," World Bank - Discussion Papers 412, World Bank.
  4. 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.
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