Rational Roundup #1

Under this headline, we will regularly provide you with updates concerning rational thinking and behavioural economics.

Tim Harford, author of “The Logic of Life” (2009) and a columnist for the Financial Times, argues in an intriguing article that the roll of a die or the toss of a coin can actually help us make better decisions. You cannot possibly imagine how? To read about the two reasons provided by Tim Hartford click here.

Mark Schweizer, an experienced Intellectual Property lawyer and published author on the role of rationality and intuition in the assessment of evidence in legal proceedings (2015), takes a closer look at the methodology of market surveys that often play an important role in trade mark litigation. More specifically, he comments on a recent decision of the German Federal Court of Justice in the Sparkassen Group/Banco Santander dispute that relied on market surveys to assess whether the colour red can serve as a trade mark (i.e., help consumers to distinguish different competitors). You can find the post on the IPKat, which is a popular blog that most practitioners in intellectual property law will already be familiar with.

Recent publications 

On 15 September 2016, the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) published its annual Update Report. BIT considers itself to be the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences. In its report, the team summarises the projects undertaken with the UK government as well as the work conducted by its offices in Sydney, New York and Singapore. To get the report, follow this link.

Upcoming events

For those of our readers who are fortunate enough to live in Belfast, the Rational Think Tank proposes attending the 9th annual one day conference on Economics and Psychology will be held in Queen’s University Belfast on 25 November 2015. The website states that anyone interested in this area is welcome to show up. Further information can be found here.

Job opportunities 

Have you ever considered moving to Down Under? This may be the opportunity you were waiting for: The Suncorp Innovation Labs, a newly created team of the Suncorp Group, is looking for a Behavioural Innovation Advisor to join the Innovation Engagement team in Brisbane. For more information about the position, follow this link.


Christian Tenkhoff works as an Associate in the Trade Marks & Designs Department of international law firm Taylor Wessing in Munich. You can follow him on twitter here.

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  1. Pingback: Rational Roundup #4 – Anchoring News | The Rational Think Tank

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