nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2023‒06‒12
five papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Geographical indications as global knowledge commons: Ostrom's law on common intellectual property and collective action By Armelle Maze
  2. Antitrust and (Foreign) Innovation: Evidence from the Xerox Case By Robin Mamrak
  3. Sounds too Feminine? Brand Gender and The Impact on Professional Critics By Daniel Kaimann; Clarissa Laura Maria Spiess Bru
  4. Batman Forever? The Role of Trademarks for Reuse in the US Comics Industry By Franziska Kaiser; Alexander Cuntz; Christian Peukert
  5. Does Green Transition promote Green Innovation and Technological Acquisitions? By Martinez Cillero, Maria; Gregori, Wildmer Daniel; Bose, Udichibarna

  1. By: Armelle Maze (SADAPT - Sciences pour l'Action et le Développement : Activités, Produits, Territoires - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Abstract In this article, we reconceptualize, using an extended discrete and dynamic Ostrom's classification, the specific intellectual property (IP) regimes that support geographical indications (GIs) as ‘knowledge commons', e.g. a set of shared collective knowledge resources constituting a complex ecosystem created and shared by a group of people that has remained subject to social dilemma. Geographical names are usually considered part of the public domain. However, under certain circumstances, geographical names have also been appropriated through trademark registration. Our analysis suggests that IP laws that support GIs first emerged in Europe and spread worldwide as a response to the threat of undue usurpation or private confiscation through trademark registration. We thus emphasize the nature of the tradeoffs faced when shifting GIs from the public domain to shared common property regimes, as defined by the EU legislation pertaining to GIs. In the context of trade globalization, we also compare the pros and cons of regulating GIs ex-ante rather than engaging in ex-post trademark litigation in the courts.
    Keywords: Place names, Collective reputation, GKC framework, IAD/SES framework, international trade agreement, self-governance, trademark, traditional knowledge JEL Classification: D02, D23, K11, L51, O34, Q13
    Date: 2023–03–20
  2. By: Robin Mamrak (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: How does antitrust enforcement against patent-based monopolies affect innovation? I address this question by empirically studying the US antitrust case against Xerox, the monopolist in the market for plain-paper copiers. In 1975, Xerox was ordered to license all its copier-technology patents in the US and abroad. I show that this promoted innovation by other firms in the copier industry, measured by a disproportionate increase in patenting in technologies where Xerox patents became available for licensing. This positive effect is driven by increased innovation by Japanese competitors. They started developing smaller desktop copiers and their innovation became more diverse.
    Keywords: antitrust; innovation; patents; compulsory licensing; Japan; Xerox;
    JEL: O30 O34 L41 K21
    Date: 2023–05–12
  3. By: Daniel Kaimann (Paderborn University); Clarissa Laura Maria Spiess Bru (Paderborn University)
    Abstract: Prior studies have shown that brand names representing high femininity will receive higher ratings and more positive reviews than those associated with high masculinity. The research is based on the idea that consumers may perceive feminine brand names as more desirable, with a positive bias toward them, leading to higher ratings and additional positive reviews. Nevertheless, the effect of gendered language on critics of experience goods has received relatively little research. This study examines how specifically masculine or feminine brand names classify experience goods and impacts tastings and professional evaluations. We obtained data on 18, 609 wines and their ratings from the Wine Enthusiast Magazine between 1997 and 2016, yielding a sample of 31, 058 observations to objectively evaluate the impact of brand gender on quality ratings measured by experts' critics. Moreover, we suppose that the gender of the taster needs to be considered to understand what affects tastings and ratings, as women and men might be attracted differently to masculine or feminine names. This study shows that masculine brand names receive higher evaluations than feminine ones. In addition, we discover that women tend to rank products with higher gender name scores more highly than men. Finally, this study provides evidence that people's unconscious perceptions and quality assessments of products can be significantly impacted by (brand) gender bias.
    Keywords: Brand Names, Brand Gender, Quality Ratings, Gendered Language, Quasi-Experiment
    JEL: M31 C33 J16 L66 Q13
    Date: 2023–05
  4. By: Franziska Kaiser; Alexander Cuntz; Christian Peukert
    Abstract: We study how trademarks affect reuse of creative works in the comics industry. As a creative industry, the comics industry systematically relies on copyrights. But trademark protection can also be exploited to generate income from the reuse of comic characters or to strategically exclude others from reuse. Our unique data set combines US trademark records of comic characters with information on reuse in print media and franchise products from 1990 to 2017. We find that, on average, additional trademark protection is associated with a reduction in reuse in printed comic books of about 19%. We highlight three mechanisms: first, the negative relationship between trademarking and reuse has been especially pronounced since the early 2000s, when the arrival of digital technologies lowered the costs of entry, promotion, and distribution. Second, our results are driven by less reuse by third parties, not trademark holders. Third, reuse is higher when trademark owners license comic characters to third parties. The negative association between trademarking and reuse carries over to franchise products, but it is weaker and tied to the era of digitization, with a 2% decline in reuse in franchise movies and 9% lower reuse in video games.
    Keywords: comics, trademarks, intellectual property rights, digitization
    JEL: O31 O34 L82 Z11
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Martinez Cillero, Maria (European Commission); Gregori, Wildmer Daniel (Banco de Portugal); Bose, Udichibarna (University of Essex)
    Abstract: This analysis explores the implications of technological shifts towards greener and sustainable innovations on acquisition propensity between firms with different technological capacities. Using a dataset of completed control acquisition deals over the period of 2009-2020 from 23 OECD countries, we find that innovative firms are more likely to acquire innovative target companies. We also find that green acquirors (i.e., firms with green patents) are more inclined to enter into acquisition deals with green firms, possibly due to their technological proximity and informational advantages which further enhances their post-acquisition green innovation performances. Our results also show an increase in green acquisitions after the Paris Agreement by non-green acquiror firms, and these are more pronounced for acquirors in climate policy-relevant sectors and countries with low environmental standards than their counterparts. However, green acquisitions after the Paris Agreement do not show any significant impact on their post-acquisition innovation performances, raising concerns related to greenwashing behaviour by investing firms.
    Keywords: Acquisitions, green patents, firm innovation, Paris agreement, green transition
    JEL: G34 O30 Q54 Q55
    Date: 2023–04

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