The rise of trade marking in Australia in the 1990s

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 08/03

Date: March 2003


Joanne Loundes
Mark Rogers


This paper provides some preliminary analysis regarding the pattern of trade marking by Australian firms using financial information on large Australian businesses from IBISWorld, and matching this with intellectual property information from IP Australia. Existing businesses that have not historically trade marked in every year are now starting to make greater use of trade marks, at least over the period 1995 to 2000. The increase in trade marking appears partly related to other innovative activity in that there is a positive and significant relationship between trade mark counts and patent counts. There is also some evidence that uncertainty surrounding returns on investment has an influence on whether, and how much, firms trade mark. Overall, however, these factors are insufficient to explain the rapid rise in trade mark activity. Instead, the rise has been driven by changing managerial strategy with respect to intellectual property (IP). One possibility for this change is an increasingly competitive environment between firms with IP being increasingly relied upon.

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