Trust me, I share your values

Author:Alexiomar D. Rodríguez López
Position:Alumni of the UPR Law School, is the Founder of Seed Law,LLC
Pages:44-66
 
DESARROLLO ECONÓMICO
TRUST ME, I SHARE YOUR VALUES
ALEXIOMAR D. RODRÍGUEZ-LÓPEZ
*
“Trust is the foundation of society for without trust, we cannot cooperate.”
1
Introduction ......................................................................................................................................................... 44
I. Background .................................................................................................................................................. 47
A. Law & Economics In A Nutshell ...................................................................................................... 47
i. The Main Goal: Efficiency ..................................................................................................... 47
ii. Cooperation In Itself Can Be Efficient ............................................................................... 48
B. The Sharing Economy .......................................................................................................................... 49
i. A Pool Of Core Values And Principles ............................................................................... 49
ii. Sharing Economy Business Models ..................................................................................... 50
C. How Do The Methodology And The Values Come Together? ................................................... 51
D. Trademark Law ..................................................................................................................................... 52
i. Theory ........................................................................................................................................ 52
ii. Rule Of Law .............................................................................................................................. 53
iii. Collective And Certification Marks .............................................................................. 53
II. Analysis ......................................................................................................................................................... 55
A. Certification Marks Deliver Information ........................................................................................ 55
i. The Non-Gmo Label And Its Impact On The Market .................................................... 55
ii. The Green Market Case ......................................................................................................... 57
B. Information Generates Trust; The Currency Of The Sharing Economy ................................. 59
i. From Institutional To Distributed Trust ........................................................................... 59
ii. How Does Trust Work? ......................................................................................................... 60
C. Certification Marks Create The Necessary Trust To Foster The Sharing Economy ........... 62
i. The Symbiotic Relationship Between Trust And Sharing ............................................ 62
ii. Looking For A Model.............................................................................................................. 63
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................................ 65
INTRODUCTION
During the Spring of 2018, my wife and I traveled to Washington D.C. to
visit to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. While were planning our trip, I was
finishing up my first sharing economy article, “For a New Economy, Puerto Rico
needs a Sharing Mindset.” As a result of the writing process, I knew I wanted to
experience in real life what a sharing economy would look like on a day-to-day
scenario. Therefore, we booked an Airbnb; moved through the greater
Washington D.C. area using Uber, and Capital Bikeshare; and ate in local
restaurants, mainly counter-culture places. It was an amazing experience because
*
Alexiomar D. Rodríguez-López, Esq., alumni of the UPR Law School, is the Founder of Seed Law,
LLC, and a Legal Fellow for the Sustainable Economies Law Center. Alexiomar wants to thanks his
wife, Andrea P. Collazo-Borralí, Esq., for her unwavering support, and Prof. Hiram Melendez-
Juarbe, for his mentoring in the process of writing this article.
1
Beth Simone Noveck, Trademark Law and the Social Construction of Trust: Creating the Legal Framework for
Online Identity, 83 WASH. U. L.Q. 1733 (2005).
University of Puerto Rico Business Law Journal
45
we had the opportunity to see the U.S. capital, its many faces, and the stories of its
people.
However, we were aware that not everything is ‘peaches and cream’. Some
columns have pointed out that Airbnb’s reality dictates far from the sharing
economy.
2
There is even a website called “Airbnb Hell” that is dedicated to helping
hosts and guests share their stories about the risks and dangers of using Airbnb.
3
Other articles have pointed out that, among other problems Airbnb has, is the fact
that “[h]omes bought for the sole purpose of generating income have restricted
local inventory and inflated real estate markets in major cities such as New York
and San Francisco.”
4
Similarly, “[l]ocals claim they are being squeezed out of their
own neighborhoods by commercial landlords.”
5
Although it is difficult to
determine whether these are isolated occurrences sensationalized by the media,
confirmed reports point out that “Airbnb’s exponential growth has prompted cries
of foul around issues of safety, trust, discrimination, and regulation.”
6
This Airbnb pandemonium reached Puerto Rico, particularly in Old San
Juan. The capital city mayor, Carmen Yulín-Cruz, recently argued that these short-
term rentals are affecting the residential integrity of the community.
7
As a result,
she presented a project to stop Airbnb-like platforms from operating for a whole
year in the Old San Juan area.
8
Said project is based on the argument that these
types of economic models foster displacement and gentrification of urban areas.
Nonetheless, while this regulatory battle is being dealt with at the municipal level,
at the state level, Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced an agreement with Airbnb
2
See generally, D avid Dodwell, Uber and Airbnb are not the real sharing economy t hink MTR, recycling and
generosity instead, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (May 11, 2018),
http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2145653/uber-and-airbnb-are-not-real-
sharing-economy-think-mtr; Niall Fraser, A real ‘sharing economy’ – not Airbnb and Uber is the remedy
for a city that has lost its way, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (Sept 19, 2017),
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/2111841/real-sharing-economy-not-airbnb-and-
uber-remedy-city-has-lost-its-way; Giorgos Kallis, Airbnb is a rental economy, not a sharing economy, THE
PRESS PROJECT (Oct 18, 2014), https://www.thepressproject.gr/article/68073/AirBnb -is-a-rental-
economy-not-a-sharing-economy.
3
See generally, AIRBNB HELL, https://www.airbnbhell.com/ (last visited Feb. 27, 2019).
4
Jim Pickell, Airbnb: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, HUFFINGTON POST (Jan 25, 2016),
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-pickell/airbnb-the-good-the-bad-t_b_9052176.ht ml.
5
Id.
6
Id.
7
See generally, José Orlando Delgado Rivera, Buscan limitar servicios como Airbnb en el Viejo San Juan, EL
NUEVO DÍA (May 22, 2018),
https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/buscanlimitarservicioscomoairbnbenelviejosa
njuan-2423814/; José Orlando Delgado Rivera, Los residentes del Viejo San Juan defenderán su comunidad
frente a Airbnb, EL NUEVO DÍA (May 23, 2018),
https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/losresidentesdelviejosanjuandefenderansucom
unidadfrenteaairbnb-2423974/.
8
Adriana De Jesús Salamán, San Juan quiere reglamentar arrendamientos tipo Airbnb, NOTICEL (May 22,
2018), http://www.noticel.com/economia/san-juan-quiere-prohibir-arrendamien tos-tipo-
airbnb/744935850.

To continue reading

Request your trial