Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2430962
 


 



Monetizing Marks: Insights from the USPTO Trademark Assignment Dataset


Stuart J. H. Graham


Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business; United States Patent and Trademark Office

Alan C. Marco


United States Patent and Trademark Office

Amanda F. Myers


United States Patent and Trademark Office - Office of Chief Economist

April 1, 2014

USPTO Working Paper No. 2014-2

Abstract:     
Attention to the asset value of intellectual property (IP) has traditionally concentrated on high-value patent sales and licenses. This narrow focus neglects non-patent assets held by a broader set of economic agents, such as trademarks, and overlooks the evolving ways owners are employing and monetizing their IP assets. To help remedy this deficiency, the Office of Chief Economist of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is releasing a series of datasets in formats convenient for researchers. This paper describes the USPTO Trademark Assignment Dataset, a database of 786,931 assignments and other transactions recorded during the 1952-2013 period and affecting 4,197,645 trademark registrations or applications. Since these data have not been commonly used, we provide a comprehensive description, present key trends, and examine the rate of transaction for issued registrations. Trend analysis suggests intensifying trademark collateralization as the number of trademarks recorded as collateral to secure debt has increased in absolute terms and relative to the stock of live registrations. The number of trademarks for which an assignment was recorded has also grown, though this trend appears to be reversing in the last decade. Among the 3.4 million registrations issued during the 1978-2013 period, 31 percent were affected by some transaction over their life; 21 percent changed ownership; and 12 percent were affected by a security interest agreement. While further empirical work is needed, transaction rates by registration cohort suggest that registered trademarks may be more likely to be traded than patents. Further, we do not find a positive relationship between the incidence of trade and maintenance, suggesting that trademark assignment and maintenance outcomes may not follow the pattern observed for patents. Despite some limitations, these data open new avenues for research, particularly with respect to trademark collateralization and the market for brands.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 82

Keywords: Intellectual Property, Trademarks, Branding, Markets for Technology, Security Interests

JEL Classification: O3, L2, G1, G2, G3

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Date posted: May 4, 2014 ; Last revised: August 30, 2014

Suggested Citation

Graham, Stuart J. H. and Marco, Alan C. and Myers, Amanda F., Monetizing Marks: Insights from the USPTO Trademark Assignment Dataset (April 1, 2014). USPTO Working Paper No. 2014-2. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2430962 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2430962

Contact Information

Stuart J.H. Graham
Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )
800 W. Peachtree Str. NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States
404-385-5107 (Phone)
404-894-6030 (Fax)
United States Patent and Trademark Office ( email )
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.uspto.gov
Alan C. Marco
United States Patent and Trademark Office ( email )
Alexandria
VA 22313-1451
United States
Amanda Fila Myers (Contact Author)
United States Patent and Trademark Office - Office of Chief Economist ( email )
Alexandria
VA 22313-1451
United States
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