In search of value: trade marks and search costs in the age of the internet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trade marks lower the search costs of consumers by providing a convenient mental shortcut for whether a product is likely to have desirable or undesirable qualities. A well-known trade mark is thus valuable in part because it provides a substantial reduction in consumer search costs. This article argues that technological progress – in particular, the rise of the internet – has led to a widespread reduction in consumer search costs, and that this has consequently diminished (and will continue to diminish) the value of some well-known trade marks because the reduction in search costs they provide is now comparatively lower. The article discusses a range of empirical studies which suggest that this trend has already had an observable impact on trade mark value in some areas, and considers how the impact of this trend is likely to vary between different trade marks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLaw, Innovation and Technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Jan 2023


  • Intellectual property
  • trade marks
  • search costs
  • law and economics
  • online reviews


Dive into the research topics of 'In search of value: trade marks and search costs in the age of the internet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this