Assistant Professor of Economics Christian Helmers presents recent research.
TITLE: "Trademark Squatters: Evidence from Chile"
ABSTRACT: We empirically measure the extent of "trademark squatting" in Chile and assess its effect on brand owners. To this end, we develop a methodology based on the economic motives for squatting to identify squatters in the trademark register. We apply this algorithm to the Chilean trademark register to show that squatting is a systematic phenomenon which accounts on average for around 300 annual trademark filings between 1991 and 2010. Our analysis shows that aggregate trademark filings respond positively to increased filings by squatters. We show that this can be explained by the reaction of brand owners to squatting. Using data on trademark oppositions, we show that squatting leads brand owners that have been exposed to squatting to "over-protect" their brands by registering disproportionately many trademarks covering also classes other than those directly related to their products and services. Trademark squatting, therefore, creates a strategic, albeit excessive, response by brand owners which inflates aggregate trademark filings.
Christian's research focuses on intellectual property, R&D, development, and international trade. You can find more information here:http://www.scu.edu/business/economics/faculty/helmers.cfm.
Lunch will be provided.