Trademark or Patent? The Effects of Market Concentration, Customer Type, and Venture Capital Financing on Start-ups’ Initial IP Applications
Industry and Innovation, Forthcoming
34 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2016
Date Written: August 29, 2016
We analyze the initial IP applications of 4,703 start-ups in the US, distinguishing between trademark and patent applications. Our empirical results show that start-ups are more likely to file for trademarks instead of patents when entering markets with a higher market concentration. Furthermore, we find that start-ups that are primarily active in business-to-consumer markets instead of business-to-business markets are more likely to file trademarks. Finally, the involvement of a venture capitalist (VC) affects the initial IP application. VC-backed start-ups are more likely than other start-ups to file initial IP in the form of trademarks rather than patents. This paper contributes to research on the use of IP rights in start-ups and to the literature on new venture strategy.
Keywords: Intellectual property; market concentration; venture capital; trademarks; patents
JEL Classification: O34, L10, G24
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