Open Access Article

Title: Do patents, trademarks and designs foster happiness in developed countries? An empirical analysis

Authors: Estelle Derclaye

Addresses: School of Law, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK

Abstract: Intellectual property rights are exclusive rights the law gives to authors and inventors to stimulate creativity and innovation. Intellectual property laws' justification assumes that the more creations and inventions there are, the better off the population is. Therefore, the law promotes innovation and creativity without limits. This paper challenges this assumption by analysing empirically data on patents, trademarks and designs and on life satisfaction. It finds that there is no correlation between trademarks and designs and life satisfaction but a strong correlation between patents and life satisfaction. However, passed a certain point, it is unclear whether more patents make people happier.

Keywords: intellectual property rights; IPR; happiness; life satisfaction; well-being; patents; trademarks; designs; copyright; utilitarianism; developed countries; innovation; creativity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHD.2014.066121

International Journal of Happiness and Development, 2014 Vol.1 No.4, pp.357 - 368

Received: 12 Jul 2013
Accepted: 07 Oct 2013

Published online: 13 Dec 2014 *