The use of trademarks in empirical research: Towards an integrated framework

Research output: Working paper


This paper represents an early attempt to develop an integrated framework linking empirical studies that make use of trademark statistics. Despite its youth, this field of scholarly activity has already accumulated a critical mass of papers that allow us to draw first general conclusions about the trademark lifecycle and its impact on organisational functioning. Based on a systematic review of 64 articles with some elements of empirical trademark analysis, five broad research areas have been identified, namely: the determinants of trademark deposits; the relationship between trademarks and innovation processes; the role of trademarks in differentiating product offerings; the strategic use of trademarks; and the impact of trademarks on firm performance. Within each category, a more detailed aggregation of articles has also been proposed. Overall, the analysis has shown that the performance-based perspective currently dominates the research landscape, with studies on trademark deposits and the trademark-innovation link to follow. At the same time, there is still little known about micro-foundations of a company's trademarking behaviour; the use of trademarks and other intellectual property rights in a complementary way and its effect on value transference; as well as the performance implications of differentiation strategy. This paper considers these and other findings to outline directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2018


  • intellectual property rights
  • trademark
  • empirical study
  • literature review

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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