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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

 

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

 

Today, the opinion is occasionally held that the general public no longer accepts intellectual property protection in its current form, and that IP protection should therefore be subject to further restrictions. From this presumed lack of acceptance, the conclusion is often implicitly drawn that there exists a corresponding legitimacy deficit with respect to IP rights.

Such assumptions, however, require careful examination. First, it must be determined to what extent the acceptance of IP law is missing or is significantly lacking in the general public. A recent study (2010 BSA Global Software Piracy Study) based on the questioning of 15,000 users from 32 countries appears to refute this. Only 18% of users in Germany believe that P2P software is legal. Insofar as a declining acceptance of IP protection is determined in particular areas, specifically in all internet-related areas in which the end user undertakes direct actions relevant to IP law (e.g. downloading music and films as well as the sale of branded articles via eBay), the question must be more precisely analysed as to what are the concrete effects of IP protection that are confronted with a lack of acceptance, and respectively how such a lack of acceptance manifests itself in the behaviour of those affected. Of particular interest in this regard is determining where the cause of an eventual lack of acceptance may lie. This might, for example, be found in an information deficit concerning the effectiveness of and reasoning behind IP law. In such cases, an information campaign might have some effect, which certain industries are attempting by pointing out the damaging effects of illegal behaviour. On the other hand, this lack of understanding with respect to protection systems may also be based on the fact that much material in the internet appears to be freely available; whereby, legal - but for charge - offerings are in a difficult situation from the start, as certain users, solely due to the availability of free content, will choose the illegal offering. Studies show that certain user groups are certainly capable of making a distinction; however, this sense of wrongdoing is directed toward the injured person. The fact that the user may at most theoretically be held accountable abets illegal behaviour. In fact, in the light of practical enforcement problems, such actions are de facto seldom subject to concrete sanctions. A lack of acceptance of copyright law cannot off hand be concluded from such behaviour.

However, even if one assumes a lack of acceptance, it would be too short sighted to conclude a general legitimacy crisis of protection systems in themselves. Even if individual citizens have a certain sensitivity for recent problematic developments - specifically with respect to patent law, such perceptions often not only lack substantiation, but they are intentionally fuelled by certain circles. Accordingly, in the context of this research area, the intention is not to support the status quo; it is of critical significance to the objectives of the research of the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law to critically examine the validity of arguments occasionally put forward in popular science.

Projects

Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Contemporary challenges of the legal protection of scientific works – at the crossroads between the copyright monopoly and self-regulation in science

Katarina Krapež

 
Funded publication
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Designing an Appropriate System for the Protection of Plant Varieties in Developing Countries with Special Reference to Myanmar

Dr. Ma Thida

 
Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Improving the Access to Medicines in Central Amercia: An Analysis of the Legislative Flexibilities

David Godoy

 
Further research project
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Patent Declaration

Prof. Dr. Reto M. Hilty, Dr. Matthias Lamping, Prof. Dr. Annette Kur, Prof. Dr. Hanns Ullrich, Dr. Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan