Trademark patterns of top R&D-driven innovators revealed

In the latest edition of World Trademark Review, now available online to subscribers, we present exclusive research into the trademark patterns of R&D-driven innovators.

Historically, studies seeking to map innovation levels at the corporate level have focused on the prevalence of patent rights and other indicators. In recent years, though, a growing number of studies in the field of economics of innovation have paid more attention to trademark-based indicators as a proxy for companies’ innovative activities. As Mafini Dosso, a researcher/scientific officer at the European Commission Joint Research Centre, notes in the latest edition, there are many reasons for this, including trademarks’ importance in the commercialisation phase of innovations, their wide use across different sizes of firms and types of industry, their direct links with products and the fact that they can be used to protect innovations that are not always patentable.

In her research, Dosso considers trademark activity at industry and company levels, compare the trademarks and R&D activity of the top 20 R&D investors. Further research is needed but the findings confirm the role of trademarks as a key intangible asset in the corporate strategies of innovative firms.

This issue we also present our annual focus on the Brand Finance Global 500, which identifies the world’s top brands. While Apple retains its ‘most valuable’ crown, Walt Disney heads the list of the most powerful brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, brand equity and their impact on business performance. Elsewhere, we review a year of experimentation in China’s new IP courts and present strategies for pursuing international counterfeiters through the US legal system.

In addition, we have all the usual news and columns; the latest advice from our Country Correspondents on the top trademark challenges facing counsel in their jurisdictions (and how these can be tackled); a consideration of the evolution of IP practice; and an exploration of the issues that can arise when sub-licensing.

Hard copies of the magazine are being mailed out to subscribers, and the online version is available here.

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