Journal Article

On the fee elasticity of the demand for trademarks in Europe

Benedikt Herz and Malwina Mejer

in Oxford Economic Papers

Volume 68, issue 4, pages 1039-1061
Published in print October 2016 | ISSN: 0030-7653
Published online July 2016 | e-ISSN: 1464-3812 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oep/gpw035
On the fee elasticity of the demand for trademarks in Europe

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  • Technological Change; Research and Development
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Over the last 20 years there has been a surge in national trademark applications in Europe. This increase in filings has been interpreted as a sign of increased innovative performance. In this paper, we argue that the explanation is much simpler. First, using a novel dataset, we document that trademark filing fees have been steadily decreasing and converging across countries in Europe. Second, using dynamic panel data econometrics, we find that national trademark filings are price-sensitive: a fee decrease by 10% increases filings at an office by about 10.5%. These estimates suggest that a substantial proportion of the rise in filing numbers can be explained by lower fees. We also document that trademark filings at national offices in Europe became more elastic after the mid-1990s. Arguably, this is because the European Community Trademark became available as an attractive alternative to national filings in 1996 and increased the price-sensitivity of applicants.

Keywords: O34; O38; O52; O57

Journal Article.  9777 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Technological Change; Research and Development ; Economywide Country Studies

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