The Effect of Intellectual Protection Policies on Online Retail Platforms

41 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2023 Last revised: 11 Oct 2023

See all articles by Shuo Zhang

Shuo Zhang

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Antai College of Economics and Management

Xiang Hui

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School

Meng Liu

Washington University in St. Louis

Tat Chan

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School

Tianjun Feng

Fudan University - School of Management

Fuqiang Zhang

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School

Date Written: September 27, 2023

Abstract

Intellectual property (IP) protection is an important tool for promoting innovation and quality improvement on online retail platforms, yet stringent protection policies may not always benefit IP owners. By collaborating with an e-commerce platform, we study the effects of IP protection policies that fight against image plagiarism on the platform. We find that strict punishments on infringing sellers, such as deleting product links or removing product images, lead to decreases in sales and user visits for the infringed sellers. Further investigation shows that this may be due to reduced advertising effect as similar product images on the same search result pages can increase the demand for copyrighted products. Our findings suggest that protecting IP is a complex issue, and strict punishments on infringing sellers may undermine the original purpose of such policies.

Keywords: Intellectual property protection, advertising effect, e-commerce, digital platform

JEL Classification: M30,M38

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Shuo and Hui, Xiang and Liu, Meng and Chan, Tat and Feng, Tianjun and Zhang, Fuqiang, The Effect of Intellectual Protection Policies on Online Retail Platforms (September 27, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4584908

Shuo Zhang (Contact Author)

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Antai College of Economics and Management ( email )

1954 Huashan Road
Shanghai, Shanghai 200030
China

Xiang Hui

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

Meng Liu

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

Tat Chan

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

Tianjun Feng

Fudan University - School of Management ( email )

No. 670, Guoshun Road
No.670 Guoshun Road
Shanghai, 200433
China

Fuqiang Zhang

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.olin.wustl.edu/faculty/zhang/

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
104
Abstract Views
279
Rank
457,461
PlumX Metrics