Social impact of Intellectual Property… A series.

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One. Pink Tax

We all know that the main function of a trademark is to identify and distinguish products or services from others of the same nature.  It might seem that at its origin this concept developed from a marketing and commercial perspective and in order to avoid consumer confusion and the possibility of reduction in profit for a specific company.

Nevertheless, it is clearer and clearer that the impact of trademarks and a whole company´s branding now a days is going much mor further than that and it can even have impact on social, humanistic, race and gender matters. There are a lot of examples of Intellectual Property impact on communities such as indigenous people, colored people, and women.

Traditionally gender and race inequality has not been an object of study of the IP field in any sense, but the good news is that these matters are being approached form a different perspective by different groups, from scholars to activists and from entrepreneurs to brand owners that are invested in making a difference.

In this brief article, we will be approaching the issue of PINK TAX. This pink tax is mainly a price discrepancy that calls out products and services marketed to women that cost more than identical or nearly identical versions marketed to men1.

2015 study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that women pay an average of 7% more than men across a number of categories. But personal care products carried the biggest price discrepancies, with an average 13% premium on products marketed to women2.

It is important to highlight that the so-called PINK TAX is not actually a regulated tax and as such the profit of same does not become an income for the government as happens with so called luxury items like hygiene products, but that is another story.

In some cases, there is a difference in importation fees which in the overall turn more expensive for women’s products and clothing that for men’s. Nevertheless, as said by Rachel Winard3, the pink tax is an over price that women pay for being woman.

By Ana L. Vargas Ramírez

Partner at Iberbrand

1  Fontinelle, A. 2021, Pink Tax, Investopedia 2  Kavilanz, P. 2108, Womens razor startup Billie is Taking on the Pink Tax, Fresh Money 3  Founder of the gender-neutral skincare brand Soapwalla

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