Why Do SMEs File Trademarks? Insights from Firms in Innovative Industries
45 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2013 Last revised: 2 Sep 2015
Date Written: June 10, 2015
Trademark filings have increased markedly over time. Although prior research has investigated the outcomes of trademark registration, including its effects on firm market valuation and productivity, little is known about why firms file trademarks. However, to interpret the increase in trademark filings and its economic effects, it is important to know and understand why firms file trademarks. Because trademarks are particularly important to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this study analyzes trademarking motives using a survey of 600 SMEs in innovative industries. An exploratory factor analysis yields three distinct motives: protection, marketing, and exchange. A cluster analysis reveals four distinct clusters of firms with respect to the three trademarking motives. A comparison of these clusters reveals significant differences in several industry- and firm-level characteristics, including participation in service industries and relationships with external parties. Implications for research on SMEs, trademarks, and intellectual property management are discussed.
Keywords: Trademarks; SMEs; intellectual property; motives to file IPRs; cluster analysis
JEL Classification: C38, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation