David Harvey in “The Art of Rent” outlines the importance of the selling of place in order to generate monopoly rents. No city has mastered this technique better than Barcelona. Since the 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona has successfully marketed itself as a modern, innovative, and cosmopolitan global city that offers tourists and investors design, culture, high-end products, and cutting-edge technology. Companies like Natura Bissé (cosmetics), Custo (clothing) and Damm (beer) have attached the name Barcelona to their products to help sell them. To protect the Barcelona Brand, the Barcelona City Council has decided to patent its good name. If the Spanish Office of Patents and Brands (la Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas) rules in favor of the request on April 16, 2012, Barcelona will become the first metropolitan area in Spain to be granted a patent.
To find out more, read Jaume Aroca’s article in La Vanguardia (in Spanish).