Trademarks, Product Variety, and Economic Activity in Italy and Europe


This paper studies the relationship between trademarks and economic activity. We compare the distribution of product classes across national, EU, and international trademarks deposited by Italian firms. In relation to EU trademarks, we analyze some characteristics of the deposits of major European countries. In particular, we compare "trademark specialization" to export specialization. A trademark is interpreted as a means to differentiate products, thus a greater number of trademarks deposited is associated with a higher degree of product differentiation. Our findings highlight that trademark protection "follows" quite closely the structure of the real economy, with some exceptions. Thus, those economic sectors where countries exhibit economic specialization also present a higher degree of product differentiation.Trademarks, Intellectual property rights, Specialization, Product variety

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