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Department

Intellectual Property and Competition Law

The aims of the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law lie in fundamental research of current, future-oriented questions surrounding the protection of intellectual property, such as inventions or creations as well as the regulation of competition mechanisms and behavior. The point of departure in defining the Institute's research topics are primarily phenomenological questions from which specific, long-term examined fields of researchare formed. Within these fields of research, the Institute determines mid-term variable main areas of researchwithin which various types of partially interdisciplinary research projects are located.

 

Field of Research
Intellectual property law and competition law between the marketplace and regulation

 

Main Area of Research
Legal and economic framework of the pharmaceutical industry

 

Main Area of Research
The Music Market

 

Main Area of Research
Legal and economic framework of markets for information goods and for information technology

 

Main Area of Research
Sport

 

Field of Research
The coherence of intellectual property law with competition policy

 

Main Area of Research
Exploring differences and commonalities in the intellectual property system

 

Main Area of Research
Overlaps

 

Main Area of Research
Coherency of IP Rights and Unfair Competition Law

 

Main Area of Research
Coherency of Antitrust Law and Unfair Competition Law

 

Field of Research
Promotion of innovation through intellectual property law and competition law

 

Both intellectual property law and competition law aim to promote innovation. In general terms, granting of IPRs should raise incentives to develop innovative goods. At the same time, IPRs unfold this innovative effect within a context of competition, since it is competition which creates such innovative pressure. Thus, the function of competition law is, inter alia, to keep markets open for substitutes to IP-protected goods.

On the basis of this premise the question arises as to how to shape these two fields of law in order to ensure the best conditions for innovation. Too extensive IP protection - just as an insufficient one - can hinder innovation. The introduction of new and/or the expansion of existing IP rights can also have a dysfunctional effect. The same is true for a reduction of the requirements to qualify for IP protection or a practice of granting IP protection with a too broad scope. Both may amount to a protection which can hinder innovative effort.

The complementarity of goals of both fields of law is settled in competition law analysis by considering the dynamic aspects of IP-shaped cases. In some cases the challenge lies in creating a balance between price competition and competition on innovation. In other cases, even the hindrance of research efforts of other firms may be considered as hindering competition. Concerns in the area of intersection of IP and competition law may therefore be raised not only with regard to e.g. licensing of IPRs or a refusal to license; they may also arise by granting of IPRs, for example, in the context of research and development agreements or during the application process.

A particular problem exists in that the impact of a competitive behaviour on innovation processes can often only be determined ex post. In this respect, the focus of competition law analysis risks to be narrowed to the restriction of price competition. Particularly with regard to research and development activities - whether in the context of a cooperation or a merger - it becomes clear how difficult it is on the basis of existing competition law instruments not only to identify the restrictions on innovation in a timely manner, but also to adequately analyse and to resolve them. Such difficulties, however, may not lead to abstaining from the protection of competition on innovation on the basis of competition law.

Main Area of Research
Incentive mechanisms

 

Main Area of Research
'Green' Antitrust Law

 

Main Area of Research
Competition in Innovation

 

Field of Research
Intellectual property law and competition law in the European Union

 

Main Area of Research
Union-Wide Intellectual Property Rights and Systems

 

Main Area of Research
Objectives of the European Union in Intellectual Property and Competition Law

 

Main Area of Research
Procedural Law

 

Field of Research
Intellectual property law and competition law in a global legal order

 

Main Area of Research
The Fragmentation of International Intellectual Property Law

 

Main Area of Research
The Concept of Territoriality and Its Impact on International Intellectual Property Protection

 

Main Area of Research
Global Competition Order

 

Field of Research
Enforcement of rights

 

Main Area of Research
Balance of interest

 

Main Area of Research
The structures of law enforcement

 

Main Area of Research
Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

Field of Research
The methodological basis of antitrust law

 

Main Area of Research
The Economic Approach to Competition Law

 

Main Area of Research
Methodological Challenges of Protecting Competition in Innovation

 

Field of Research
The social contribution and legitimacy of intellectual property law

 

Main Area of Research
Functions, objectives, values and evaluation criteria

 

Main Area of Research
Ceilings of Intellectual Property Protection

 

Main Area of Research
Acceptance of Intellectual Property Rights