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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

 

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

 

Behind the system of intellectual property law, including fair competition law, lie goals, functions and values. Traditional explanations for the existence of intellectual property law come from theories of natural law, ethics or utilitarian concepts. However, none of these approaches are, in and of themselves, sufficient to precisely substantiate why, and importantly to what exact extent, protection in a particular arena is to be granted. If the natural law approach is followed, well-known problems arise, such as a strong tendency towards overprotection and difficulty justifying limitations to protection. If, on the other hand, the utilitarian approach is followed, protection is to be granted only to the extent that it serves legitimate economic and/or social functions. While the utilitarian approach thus forms a good benchmark for the appropriate design of protection, it fails to address the full range of goals potentially associated with intellectual property protection.

Essentially, all of the aforementioned functions may be served by provisions located either within or outside of intellectual property law. Within intellectual property regimes, protection rights promote innovation (e.g. in patent law), creation (e.g. in copyright law) or protect the overall structure of a market (e.g. in trade mark law) characterised by fair competition (e.g. via unfair competition laws). Each intellectual property protection regime must be designed in such a way that these intrinsic functions are respected and promoted. This starts with the design of the conditions for protection and ends with the design of enforcement remedies and procedures. If, by contrast, the design of an intellectual property system entails dysfunctional effects it must be corrected. A different issue is the extent to which values detached from the protection of intellectual-property-intrinsic functions impact intellectual property regimes. Such values may enter intellectual property via, for example, broad societal or ethical consensus. These values must then be reconciled with the intrinsic logics of intellectual property law. This is particularly so with respect of the relationship of intellectual property as well as fair trade law to specific questions of environmental protection, public health and sustainable development. 

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