Off the mark? What we (should) know about the bright and dark sides of corporate trademark practices

A new paper by our external collaborator Carolina Castaldi published in Industrial and Corporate Change.


Corporate trademark practices play a key role in the intangible reputation-based economy and are increasingly being scrutinized by societal stakeholders. Yet, research on the effects of trademarks has mostly focused on private returns, while insights on their societal returns are scattered and resting on limited empirical evidence. This study integrates existing research in a framework connecting suggested mechanisms to the available evidence. The integrative framework lays bare clear gaps in our theoretical understanding and the empirical support, with the dark sides of corporate trademark practices being critically under-investigated. Based on this analysis, I propose a research agenda stemming from two broad questions: (i) how do corporate trademark practices deal with societal pressures? and (ii) how do corporate trademark practices enable or hinder competition and innovation? The envisioned research lines bear relevance for organizations, society, and research alike.