Trademarks’ relatedness to product and service innovation: A branding strategy approach

Meindert Flikkema*, Carolina Castaldi, Ard Pieter de Man, Marcel Seip

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The use of trademark data in innovation studies is still limited because as yet no guidelines exist to ascertain which trademarks relate to innovation. This paper proposes that a branding strategy approach may help to identify innovation related trademarks. Companies use distinctive branding strategies for innovation and these branding strategies have important consequences for the design of new trademarks and their application scope. Based on a sample of Benelux and Community trademarks, we find that trademarks for brand creation relate more often to product innovation. In addition, we find negative effects of a trademark's industry scope on its relatedness to product innovation, and of a trademark's geographic scope on its relatedness to service innovation. Our findings bear several key implications for further research towards identifying innovation-related trademarks from a branding strategy perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1340-1353
Number of pages14
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number6
Early online date27 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


We thank the two anonymous reviewers of our paper for their insightful comments and editor Maryann Feldman for guiding us through the review process. We also thank Nathan Wajsman (EUIPO), Marc Richter (formerly employed by EUIPO), Gerard van Hulst (Novagraaf), Christel Heremans, Marleen Kuiper and Jean-Marie Putz (BOIP) for their contributions to the data collection process.

FundersFunder number
Christel Heremans


    • Brand creation
    • Brand scope
    • Innovation
    • Patents
    • Trademarks


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