SOTA Review

Trade marks and registered designs: Evidence on the links to innovation and business performance.


Associated Themes
  • Innovation

Applications for trade marks and registered designs have risen sharply in recent years with the application numbers for trade marks in 2017 being more than double what they were in 1995, and the application numbers for registered designs in 2016 reaching their highest point since 1995. In light of this, what does the evidence suggest about the relationship between trade marks/registered designs and innovation output?

Compared to that of patents, the literature examining trade marks and registered designs and the links to innovation is more limited with much of the empirical evidence largely confined to the examination of firms’ private returns. The empirical evidence, in general, suggests a positive relationship between trade marking activity/registered design activity and innovation/firm performance.