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The Strategic Effects of Trademark Protection

The effects of entry on incumbent innovation and productivity

Davidson Heath () and Christopher Mace

Review of Financial Studies, 2020, vol. 33, issue 4, 1848-1877

Abstract: We study the effects of trademark protection on firms’ profits and strategy using the 1996 Federal Trademark Dilution Act, which granted additional legal protection to selected trademarks. We find that the FTDA raised treated firms’ operating profits and was followed by a spike in trademark lawsuits and lower entry and exit in affected product markets. Treated firms reduced R&D spending, produced fewer patents and new products, and recalled a higher number of unsafe products. Our results suggest that stronger trademark protection negatively affected innovation and product quality.Received October 20, 2017; editorial decision May 16, 2019 by Editor Francesca Cornelli. Authors have furnished code/data and an Internet Appendix, which are available on the Oxford University Press Web site next to the link to the final published paper online.

Date: 2020
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