When studying the relationship that exists between entrepreneurship and intellectual property, patents receive the most scholarly attention. The attention makes sense when we consider that patents are closely associated with technical progress, grant temporary monopolies that incentivize investment in research & development (R&D), and function as vectors of technological dissemination in and of themselves. In a number of industries however, conventional forms of innovation often associated with patenting are minimal or missing altogether, and require us to look elsewhere to discern innovative behavior. This Essay highlights novel applications for trademark law to entrepreneurial activity in low-technology industries and low-financing locations around the world. This Essay illustrates both functions through the examination of trademark application activity in China as opposed to European industrialized nations at various points over the past thirty years. This Essay then discusses the many ways by which trademarks can impact the life-cycle of firms engaged in everything from social networking to men’s fragrances. In doing so, this Essay explores the varied relationship trademarks have with entrepreneurial activity in developed and developing nations, as well as in high and low technology industries. The result is a novel look at novel behavior, taking us beyond the Silicon Valley hacker house and into the farmhouses of China, the public houses of Ireland, and the fashion houses of Germany.
Brian J. Focarino,
The Trademark as a Novel Innovation Index,
9 J. Bus. Entrepreneurship & L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/jbel/vol9/iss1/4