Trademark Protection or Protectionism?

20 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2007

See all articles by Eugenia Baroncelli

Eugenia Baroncelli

World Bank

Ekaterina Krivonos

United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Marcelo Olarreaga

University of Geneva; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Abstract

This paper explores the extent to which discrimination against foreign applicants in the trademark registration process can be used as a "behind-the-border" barrier to imports. Prima-facie evidence shows that in some developing countries the ratio of trademark registrations to applications is much higher for national than for foreign applicants, which is consistent with the notion of discrimination against foreign firms. A simple model is developed that suggests that incentives to discriminate are stronger when foreign firms manufacture products that are close in quality to the goods produced by domestic firms. This hypothesis is then tested and empirically confirmed in three of the four countries in our sample, suggesting that discretion and discrimination in the trademark registration process can sometimes be used as a protectionist tool.

Suggested Citation

Baroncelli, Eugenia and Krivonos, Ekaterina and Olarreaga, Marcelo, Trademark Protection or Protectionism?. Review of International Economics, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 126-145, February 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=960602 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9396.2006.00639.x

Eugenia Baroncelli (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Ekaterina Krivonos

United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ( email )

Marcelo Olarreaga

University of Geneva ( email )

40 Boulevard du Pont-d'Arve
Genève, GA CH - 1205
Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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