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Submit your article to Regional Studies

Forthcoming special issue: Regions and Trademarks

Deadline: 1 February 2019

The modern economy is a symbol-rich phenomenon. Trademarks are unfolding as a source of data to capture innovation, industrial dynamics and entrepreneurial change: they complement the widely used publication and patent output indicators by better capturing commercialized inventions, non-technological innovations, innovation by SMEs, service sectors, and not-for-profit entities. Globalization and digitization have only increased the strategic importance of these assets, which underscores the need to creatively using them as indicators and research tools.

Two elements of trademarks make them relevant for regional studies. First, the validity of trademarks is territorially defined, thereby they capture market entry and new product introductions in specific national and regional settings. Second, trademark applicants can be linked to territorial units to analyze their trademark intensity and the qualities of trademark portfolios.

So far, trademark data have remained an underexploited opportunity at the intersection of economic geography and innovation studies. The increasing availability of user-friendly datasets on trademarks and the growing importance of persuasion in processes characterized by dynamic competition should boost more research.

The aim of this thematic issue is to stimulate and synchronize efforts towards the employment of trademark evidence in empirical work on the geography of innovation. This agenda is likely to be of interest to scholars and policy-makers alike. In particular, the special issue contributes to at least two current debates: (i) Specialization and regional competitiveness: by assessing place-based economic strategies through trademark evidence; (ii) diversification and international dynamics of territories: by comparing regional systems through non-technological indicators.

Topics might include but are not limited to the following:

1. Regional change and competitiveness

  • Approaches capturing alternative strategies of local renewal, resilience and catching up with recourse to reputation leverage mechanisms;
  • Sophisticated marketing strategies by low-tech and traditional sectors in laggard regions;
  • Including trademarks in policy evaluation exercises on initiatives such as “smart growth”, “bioeconomy”, “industry 4.0”, “post-industrial renewal”
  • Heritage strategies and collective marking approaches to catch-up through authenticity and identity resistance;

2. Regional strategies of differentiation and soft innovation

  • Studies investigating regional specialization and diversification patterns using trademarks;
  • Work combining innovation data to better capture the territorial properties of innovation;
  • Research using trademarks to map and monitor innovation clusters;
  • Studies assessing the creative and entrepreneurial differentiation of cities, for instance place-based branding;

3. Reputation and notoriety of regions

  • Studies on regional brand strategies and related intangible assets;
  • Intellectual property and local appropriation of value through trademarks and/or geographical indications
  • Local entrepreneurship and the rise of brands that travel across borders.

Regional Studies

Language: en-US

Publisher: Routledge

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Regional Studies Association

Submission guidelines

Please send your extended abstract (min 500 / max 1,000 words) to the guest editors by February 1st, 2019. Notification about further consideration of contributions (subject to the journal’s usual peer review process) will be given by April 1st, 2019. Full papers will be expected by July 1st, 2019. Please submit your proposal to: c.castaldi@tue.nl.

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Carolina Castaldi, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands (c.castaldi@tue.nl).
  • Guest Editor: Sandro Mendonça, ISCTE Business School, Lisbon, Portugal, and SPRU, University of Sussex, UK (sfm@iscte-iul.pt).