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Research News

On this page you can access research news, amongst others on opinions, declarations and studies, beginning with the year 2013. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

44 news found.

Miscellaneous  |  11/30/2017

Video: Josef Drexl on “How Can the Data Economy Be Regulated to Promote New Emerging Markets?”

A video with Josef Drexl on “How Can the Data Economy Be Regulated to Promote New Emerging Markets?” has been published on Latest Thinking.

Josef Drexl on Latest Thinking. Photo: Latest Thinking

In the new digital economy regulation of data is not only heatedly debated in the political arena, it has also become the subject of academic research. New business models are emerging based on the current digital transformation of manufacturing and the digital transformation of many products. These smart products, such as autonomous cars, collect a huge number of data. The question arises: Who owns the data and how should access to these data be regulated? Josef Drexl is interested in the future regulation of the data economy and explores the question of how we can generate or enable markets to emerge that build on the use of data. As he explains in this video, a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition led by him and his colleague Reto Hilty has concluded that – based on an analysis of the workings of the market – there is no need to recognize ownership in data and that sector-specific adopted of targeted rights of access to data should be preferred to a property approach.

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Miscellaneous  |  09/29/2017

"Daten zu verkaufen" (Guest article by Reto M. Hilty, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 09/11/2017)

Die Politik will Eigentumsrechte schaffen und Informationen zum handelbaren Gut machen – ein riskanter Vorstoß

Die „Digital Economy“ – auch unter Schlagworten wie Industrie 4.0, Internet der Dinge oder Big Data bekannt – beschäftigt die Politik. Im Kern geht es um die Weiterentwicklung der vernetzten Computertechnologien, an die wir uns seit dem Siegeszug des Internets vor gut 20 Jahren gewöhnt aben. „Intelligente Maschinen“ revolutionieren heute fast alle Lebensbereiche und machen sie „smart“ – „homes“, „cities“, „traffic“, „factories“, „medicine“ und „products“ aller Art. Zu einem Symbol für die Digitalwirtschaft sind selbstfahrende Automobile geworden. Dass sie die Gemüter einer führenden Automobilbau-Nation besonders bewegen, erstaunt nicht. Eine wichtige Rolle dürfte dabei spielen, dass inzwischen neue Wettbewerber auftreten – wie IT- oder Telekom-Unternehmen. Hier steht die deutsche Industrie nicht an der Spitze. Nichts liegt daher näher, als dass die Politik darüber nachdenkt, wie sie „ihrer“ Industrie den Rücken stärken kann. Diese Nähe wischen Staat und gewissen Wirtschaftszweigen hat durchaus Tradition, geht sie zuweilen auch über ein gesundes Maß hinaus. Zentrales Element der datengetriebenen Wirtschaft sind die Daten selbst. Diese spielen im Automobilbau schon heute eine immense und nach wie vorwachsende Rolle. Daten werden generiert, abgegriffen, transportiert, kombiniert und ausgewertet. In diese Vorgänge sind unterschiedlichste Akteure involviert – der Fahrer, der Fahrzeughalter, der Fahrzeughersteller, Zulieferer von Bauteilen und Dritte wie etwa Software- oder App-Hersteller. Eine Frage scheint damit auf der Hand zu liegen: Wem „gehören“ diese Daten? Doch müssen Daten überhaupt jemandem rechtlich „gehören“?

Guest article by Reto M. Hilty, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 09/11/2017 (in German)

Miscellaneous  |  08/01/2017

Arguments Against "Data Ownership"

A right of ownership in data is unnecessary and has been rejected by large segments of the industry – 10 question and answers

The question of who “owns” data has reached the political arena. It has been discussed on the European level for some time now, and has in the meantime also been addressed in Germany. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, for example, is currently considering a data ownership right in connection with automated and autonomous driving. This issue stands in relation to the question of which potentially new regulations ought to be applied in the data-driven economy – the so-called “Industry 4.0”. That these questions have become an area of concern in politics is appropriate and important; however, short-term specifications are not called for and may even encourage unwanted developments.

The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition addresses these questions from a scientific perspective. Thus far, in two position papers the Institute has determined which aspects should be considered and which challenges may result from legislative intervention. A brief summary of these analyses in the form of questions and answers is found below. The outcome is that the Institute wants to warn against simplistic considerations and hasty regulatory proposals. Current law permits broad, interest-appropriate decisions already. In particular, an additional “ownership right” in data is not only unnecessary, it is also rightly rejected by broad segments of German industry. Experience and research to date have effectively shown that participants do well when governed by contracts. If at anything all, questions may arise regarding access to data – but even then only in specific sectors. In no way are unilateral national actions advisable. The data-driven economy takes places globally and as far as possible uniform regulations should prevail, at least in the European internal market. Regulations that apply only in Germany may ultimately hinder rather than promote today’s industry and economy. This is the case, especially, if room to maneuverer and develop is restricted in comparison with international competitors.

10 Questions and Answers (pdf)

Opinion  |  07/13/2017

Position Statement on the Proposed Modernisation of European Copyright Rules

Position Statement in response to the proposals aimed at the modernisation of EU-copyright within the Digital Single Market published by the European Commission on September 14, 2016.

Opinion  |  04/26/2017

Position Statement "Public consultation on Building the European Data Economy"

Position Statement of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition of 26 April 2017 on the European Commission’s “Public consultation on Building the European Data Economy”

Miscellaneous  |  02/16/2017

Video: Dietmar Harhoff on "Conflict Resolution, Public Goods, and Patent Thickets"

Does the Instrument of Opposition During the Patent Filing Process Need to Be Improved?

Dietmar Harhoff on Latest Thinking. Photo: Latest Thinking

A video with Dietmar Harhoff on “Conflict Resolution, Public Goods, and Patent Thickets” has been published on Latest Thinking. is a platform unlocking frontier research to the public. Everyone interested in science should be able to access the world’s cutting-edge research - yet, most scientific publications address an expert audience only. The researchers personally explain their latest insights into the realities of life.

Dietmar Harhoff gives answers to the question whether the instrument of opposition during the patent filing process needs to be improved. Patents are a very useful tool for supporting innovations by setting incentives for companies to invest in research and developments. However, only those innovations should be protected by a patent that are truly inventive. Otherwise, patents might actually end up stifling innovations rather than supporting them. This happens in the case of patent thickets where there are overlapping patents that block each other. Dietmar Harhoff explains that this situation should be avoided by the mechanism of opposition: After the patent is granted by the patent examiner, third parties have the opportunity to oppose the examiner’s decision. As described in this video, the researchers used graph theory to analyze patent thickets involving three companies to uncover in which situations this instrument fails. Their findings indicate that, if a patent holder is embedded in such a thicket, they are less likely to challenge a patent application to avoid an escalation between the parties that might end up in court. Furthermore, if there is a large number of companies that could oppose a certain patent, the incentive for any of these companies to oppose is reduced as only one of them has to shoulder the costs of the process while all of them benefit.

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Opinion  |  02/01/2017

Stellungnahme zum Referentenentwurf eines Gesetzes zur Angleichung des Urheberrechts an die aktuellen Erfordernisse der Wissensgesellschaft

Stellungnahme zum Referentenentwurf eines Gesetzes zur Angleichung des Urheberrechts an die aktuellen Erfordernisse der Wissensgesellschaft (UrheberrechtsWissensgesellschafts-Gesetz–UrhWissG) vom 01. Februar 2017 und dem Verleih von E-Books durch Bibliotheken (sog. „E-Lending“)

Position Statement