The Geography of Trademarks

Session organizers:

Carolina Castaldi (C.Castaldi@tue.nl), Sandro Mendonça (S.M.Mendonca@sussex.ac.uk)


The modern economy is a symbol-rich phenomenon. Trademark data are unfolding as a multifaceted source of data to capture innovation and entrepreneurial change: they complement the widely used publication and patent output indicators by better capturing commercialized inventions, non-technological innovations, innovation by SMEs and not-for-profit entities.  Two elements of trademarks make them relevant for research on the geography of innovation. First, the validity of trademarks is territorially defined, thereby they can capture market entry and new product introductions in specific national markets. Second, trademark applicants can be linked to regional units to analyse their trademark intensity and the qualities of trademark portfolios.  So far, trademark data remain underexploited source for both studies within economic geography and innovation studies.

The increasing availability of user-friendly datasets on trademarks and the growing importance of persuasion in processes characterised by dynamic competition should boost more research. The aim of this session is to stimulate and synchronise efforts towards more use of trademarks in empirical research on the geography of innovation. This agenda is likely to be of interest to scholars and policy-makers alike.

Envisioned topics

• Studies investigating regional specialisation patterns using trademarks

• Studies on internationalisation strategies of companies using trademarks

• Studies combining innovation data to better capture the territorial properties of innovation

• Studies assessing the creative and entrepreneurial differentiation of cities with trademarks

• Studies capturing alternative strategies of local renewal and catching up with trademarks

• Studies including trademarks in policy evaluation exercises on initiatives such as “smart growth”



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