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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

 

Intellectual property laws and the laws against unfair competition take different approaches but also overlap.

Whereas IP laws grant an absolute right providing protection against all, unfair competition protection does not require the existence of absolute rights nor does it lead to their creation. The focus of unfair competition law lies far more in the fairness of individual competitive actions.

In individual cases, the protection against unfair competition activities can, however, come close to protection through IP rights. For example, unfair competition law provides for protection against parasitic misappropriation or obstruction and (in the interest of consumers) protection against deception through confusable trade marks.

Ultimately, unfair competition law is capable of not only supplementing IP protection but also, to a certain extent, of significantly strengthening it. This is not always without complications. In particular in cases where unfair competition protection leads to an expansion of protection or a shifting forward of protection, it must be considered that this may go against the legally desired arrangement of the IP right, for example, requirements for protection, length of protection, protection ceilings and the enforcements of rights (the capacity to sue). In addition, under the aspect of freedom of competition, limits are also set to fair trade protection.

It is therefore of particular importance to examine how the problems resulting from such overlapping can be most effectively resolved. In any case, for EU Member States this may only occur under consideration of European primary and secondary legislation. In this regard it is not unproblematic that harmonised Community law itself, e.g. European trade mark law and Directive 2005/29 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices, have till now placed little importance on a coherent definition of the individual fields of law. This has increasingly led to incoherent solutions regarding individual cases, e.g. in the evaluation of comparative advertising.

Projects

Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Der Nachahmungsschutz von Mode in Deutschland und England

Thomas Farkas

 
Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Die Benutzung der Marke durch Dritte in vergleichender Werbung

Philipp Venohr

 
Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Europäische Harmonisierung des Lauterkeitsrechts im Bereich irreführender vergleichender Werbung im deutschen und englischen Recht

Philipp Eckel

 
Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Markenfunktionen und referierende Benutzung. Zugleich ein Vorschlag zur Freistellung der lauteren referierenden Benutzung für einen interessengerechteren europäischen Markenschutz bei Doppelidentität

Maria Elena Paulus

 
Further research project
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Schnittstellen zwischen gewerblichen Schutzrechten und Lauterkeitsrecht unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Problems “Unberechtigte Geltendmachung von gewerblichen Schutzrechten”

Dr. Feyzan Hayal Sehirali Celik

 
Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

The Use of Trade Marks in Keyword Advertising - Evaluating the Adequacy of the Trade Mark Directive’s Infringement Criteria

Nicole van der Laan

 
Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Unfair Competition Relating to Misappropriation

Wenmin Wang

 
Dissertation
Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Verwechslungsgefahr und Herkunftstäuschung im Konkurrenzverhältnis von Marken- und Lauterkeitsrecht

Tino Schneider

 

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