Trademarks as an indicator of regional innovation: evidence from Japanese prefectures

Jörn Block*, Christian Fisch, Kenta Ikeuchi, Masatoshi Kato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Regional science has long been concerned with measuring the spatial distribution of innovation activity. We introduce trademarks as a new indicator for regional innovation and argue that they are particularly useful to measure the ‘soft’ side of innovation that is difficult to capture with conventional indicators. We explore the spatial distribution of trademarks using a detailed and comprehensive dataset of 47 Japanese prefectures from 1999 to 2012. In addition to mapping differences in trademarking across regions, we identify correlates at the regional level that provide insights into determinants of regional innovation measured via trademarks. For example, regional trademark activity positively correlates with population density, income per capita, entrepreneurship rate, the number of universities, and strong private service and finance sectors. Overall, the results reveal associations unique to trademarks that other measures of innovation cannot uncover. Our findings contribute to research in regional science and the evolving literature on trademarks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-209
Number of pages20
JournalRegional Studies
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

JEL Classification: L80, O34, O53, R12
Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the JSPS KAKENHI [grant numbers JP18K01639 and JP18K12787]. We thank the participants at the 1st BETA (Bureau d’économie théorique et appliquée) workshop in Strasbourg (October 2018), as well as the special issue editors and reviewers for many constructive comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. We also thank Sadao Nagaoka and Toshiko Takenaka for important comments and clarifications on the Japanese IP system.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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