Motives for a mark

By Meindert Flikkema and Suzanne Rijsman

In a groundbreaking piece of research, academics in the Netherlands have studied exactly why applicants file for trademarks. The results reveal a clear difference between the motives of so-called ‘innovators’ and ‘non-innovators’

Although the motivation for trademark application seems obvious – to avoid the imitation or blurring of marks used for trade purposes and to enable strong standing in case of infringement – little empirical research has been conducted in this area and, in particular, whether there might be alternative or complementary motivations. As the number of trademark applications around the world continues to grow year on year, we carried out a cross-sectional study in which we tried to reveal and validate the motives for trademark application by Benelux firms in different jurisdictions. On top of this, we hope that the results of our research project may foster applicants’ understanding of missed opportunities concerning trademark applications.

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Issue 72