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Institute News

On this page you will find news from the Institute about people, awards (prizes, honors), events and other topics beginning with the year 2013. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

62 news found.

Award  |  03/24/2017

Michael Moedl receives Best Doctoral Paper Award of the Leuphana Conference on Entrepreneurship

Michael Moedl has received the Best Doctoral Paper Award for his paper “Effects of Crowdfunding on Subsequent Venture Capital Selection” during the 7th Leuphana Conference on Entrepreneurship in Lueneburg.

Leuphana Conference on Entrepreneurship

The prize, endowed with 500 Euro, is granted by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology together with the Leuphana Research Center for Entrepreneurship.

The paper examines the impact and signaling effects of crowdfinancing on subsequent venture capital funding rounds. Drawing on a choice experimental research design the author finds causal evidence that crowdfunding – relative to other prefunding sources – is often interpreted as a negative signal by professional venture investors, but that the “crowd” can nonetheless and under certain circumstances send positive signals increasing the likelihood of subsequent financing rounds.

Event report  |  02/22/2017

International Workshop on “New Innovation Policy”

On 21 January 2017 an international workshop on the topic of “Open and User Innovation Policy” was held at the Munich Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition.

The purpose of the event, which was organized jointly with the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova and whose participants included 20 political and research experts from Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands and Great Britain, was to exchange views on current experience with the growing numbers of new initiatives in different countries on open and user innovation policy. One focal point of the workshop was new approaches in innovation policy, including how to involve individual users and households, as important sources of innovation, in innovation policy. A further meeting is planned for July 2017 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Professor Dietmar Harhoff, Director at the Max Planck Institute that hosted the event, summed up the results: „We discovered that we can learn a lot from each country’s experiences. The processes of innovation are changing rapidly. The group of those who are actively shaping innovation processes is becoming larger and more diverse. A central question, both for innovation research and for policymaking, is what drives this increasing complexity in innovation processes and how can we put its potential to good use. We will continue to pursue this topic avidly.“

Further information:

Miscellaneous  |  02/15/2017

Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI) presents annual report 2017 on research, innovation and technological performance in Germany to German Chancellor Merkel

On February 15, 2017, the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation chaired by Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation, has presented the tenth report on research, innovation and technological performance in Germany to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

f.l.t.r.: Prof. Dr. Christoph Böhringer, Prof. Dr. Uschi Backes-Gellner, Bundesbildungsministerin Johanna Wanka, Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, Prof. Harhoff, Ph.D., Prof. Dr. Monika Schnitzer, Prof. Dr. Ingrid Ott, Prof. Dr. Uwe Cantner. Photo: Svea Pietschmann

The Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation - EFI) provides scientific advice to the German Federal Government and periodically delivers reports on research, innovation and technological productivity in Germany. A key task is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the German innovation system in an international comparison. Furthermore, Germany's perspectives as a location for research and innovation are evaluated on the basis of the latest research findings. EFI presents proposals for national research and innovation policy.

Miscellaneous  |  01/31/2017

Munich Summer Institute 2017

From May 29 to 31, 2017, the Center for Law & Economics at ETH Zurich, the Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition will jointly organize the second Munich Summer Institute.

The Summer Institute 2017 will focus on three areas:

  • Digitization, Strategy and Organization (chairs: Jörg Claussen and Tobias Kretschmer),
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship (chair: Dietmar Harhoff), and
  • Law & Economics of Intellectual Property and Innovation (chair: Stefan Bechtold).

The goal of the Munich Summer Institute is to stimulate a rigorous in-depth discussion of a select number of research papers and to strengthen the interdisciplinary international research community in these areas.

Researchers in economics, law, management and related fields at all stages of their career (from Ph.D. students to full professors) may attend the Munich Summer Institute as presenters in a plenary or a poster session, as discussants or as attendants.

The Munich Summer Institute will feature three keynote lecturers, 18 plenary presentations and a daily poster session (including a poster slam). Paper presentations will be grouped by topics, not discipline or method.

The Munich Summer Institute will be held at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in the heart of Munich. Partizipation is by invitation only. The organizers will fund travel and hotel expenses for all plenary speakers and hotel expenses for all poster presenters and invited discussants.

Key speakers are:

  • Michael Frakes (Duke University),
  • Ajia Leiponen (Cornell University), and
  • Mirjam van Praag (Copenhagen Business School).

Paper selections will be announced at the beginning of March. The program of the Munich Summer Institute will be available on April 1, 2017. Final papers are due for circulation among conference participants on May 1, 2017. Accepted papers will be made available to conference participants on a protected website. Researchers who would like to attend the Munich Summer Institute without giving a presentation should contact one of the organizers by May 1, 2017.

More information is available at Any questions concerning the Munich Summer Institute should be directed to Stefan Bechtold, Jörg Claussen, Dietmar Harhoff or Tobias Kretschmer.

People  |  12/15/2016

Change of Management of the Institute as of January 1, 2017

As of January 1, 2017, Reto M. Hilty, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, will take over as Managing Director of the Institute in rotational duty for a three-year term.

Prof. Dr. Reto M. Hilty

He succeeds Dietmar Harhoff, who held this position since 2015.

Award  |  12/05/2016

Filipe Fischmann receives Deutscher Studienpreis 2016

Filipe Fischmann, until October 2016 a Senior Research Fellow at the Munich Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, has received the Deutscher Studienpreis 2016, the coveted prize awarded each year by the Körber Foundation, for his dissertation “Reverse Payments als Mittel zur Beilegung von Patentstreitigkeiten – Ein Verstoß gegen das Kartellrecht?”(Reverse Payments as a Means to Settle Patent Disputes – A Breach of Competition Law?).

Filipe Fischmann (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition), Edelgard Bulmahn (Bundestag Vice-President). Photo: Körber Foundation / David Ausserhofer

The prize is awarded annually under the auspices of the President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert for the most important dissertation of the year in each of three areas: Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences and Technology. The prize recognizes excellent dissertations that are also of great current relevance to society.

In the absence of Norbert Lammert, legal scholar Dr. Fischmann was awarded the prize by Vice-President of the Bundestag Edelgard Bulmahn on 8 November 2016 at the Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building in Berlin.

Event report  |  11/04/2016

4th Crowdinvesting Symposium „Financial Decision Making and the Internet

The fourth Crowdinvesting Symposium took place on 4 November 2016 at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich. The topic of this year’s event was “Financial Decision Making and the Internet”, and it brought together around 70 participants to discuss current research in the areas of FinTech, crowdfunding, crowdinvesting, crowdlending and social trading. In 16 papers and eight slam presentations, economics and law scholars presented the results of their research.

f.l.t.r.: Ethan Mollick (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), Florian Prucker (Scalable Capital), Andrea Rexer (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Leiterin Finanzressort), Daniel Halmer (raisin), Lars Hornuf (Universität Trier, Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb). Foto: Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

This year’s keynote speaker, Prof. Ethan Mollick of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, presented his current research, pointing out that crowdfunding today, far from being a niche phenomenon, is as integral a part of start-up financing as venture capital or bank loans. Following the talk was a podium discussion with the keynote speaker and a panel made up of Daniel Halmer from the Berlin-based FinTech raisin, Lars Hornuf of the Universität Trier and the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, and Florian Prucker from the Munich-based FinTech Scalable Capital. Andrea Rexer, Head of the Financial Section of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, moderated the discussion on current developments in FinTech. One central insight from the discussion is that FinTechs have a positive attitude towards market regulation, particularly when it works to reduce legal insecurities. Another key issue concerned the role that humans and algorithms will play in the future in the various financial markets.

The Crowdinvesting Symposium is an annual event that was initiated in 2013 by Jun.-Prof. Lars Hornuf, University of Trier, and Prof. Lars Klöhn, Humboldt University Berlin. The symposium offers academics and practitioners a platform to exchange ideas about the latest developments in the field of crowdinvesting as well as for networking. Moreover, it is a forum meant to inform legislators on the European and national level on a scientific basis with regard to new legislative proposals or legal reform projects. This conference is part of the research project “Crowdinvesting in Germany, England and the USA: Regulatory Perspectives and Welfare Implications of a New Financing Scheme“, supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation).

Award  |  10/26/2016

Best Paper Awards - "Crowdfinancing" and "Inventor Mobility"

On October 6, 2016, Michael Moedl received the KSG Best Entrepreneurship Research Award 2016 for his paper "Is Wisdom of the Crowd a Positive Signal? Effects of Crowdfinancing on Subsequent Venture Capital Selection" during the 20th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and SMEs (G-Forum) in Leipzig.

f.l.t.r.: Marleen Schreiber (Karl Schlecht Foundation), Prof. Dr. Joern Hendrich Block (Trier University and Committee of the FGF e.V.), Michael Moedl (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition). Photo: Dominik Wolf

The prize, endowed with EUR 2,000, is awarded by the Karl Schlecht Foundation. The non-profit foundation aims at improving leadership in business, society and politics by humanistic values and encourages and supports impact oriented projects and institutions in the funding areas leadership, ethics, education, culture and technology.


The paper examines the impact and signaling effects of crowdfinancing on subsequent venture capital funding rounds. Drawing on a choice experimental research design the author finds causal evidence that crowdfunding – relative to other prefunding sources – is often a negative signal for professional venture investors, but that the “crowd” can nonetheless and under certain circumstances send positive signals increasing the likelihood of subsequent financing rounds.


As early as August, the team of authors consisting of Matthias Dorner, Dietmar Harhoff, Tina Hinz, Karin Hoisl and Stefan Bender was awarded the AoM TIM Best Paper Award for the paper “Social Ties and Quality Signals – Lessons from the Migration of East German Inventors” at the Academy of Management Meeting 2016 in Anaheim, California.


The paper dealt with the impact of social ties and publicly observable performance signals on the migration of knowledge workers. The fall of the Iron Curtain and German reunification were used as a natural experiment for the migration decision of East German inventors.


Results showed that regions with more pronounced social ties across the border prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain attracted more inventors as of 1990. Furthermore, mobility decisions made by inventors with visible performance signals were substantially less impacted by social ties than those of inventors who lacked these signals. The project was conducted with researchers from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg.

Award  |  09/29/2016

Annette Kur receives Pattishall Medal for Teaching Excellence 2016

Affiliated Research Fellow at the Munich-based Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Annette Kur, was awarded the “Pattishall Medal for Teaching Excellence 2016“ by the International Trademark Association (INTA).

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Annette Kur

In honor of Beverly W. Pattishall, this award recognizes teaching professionals in the business and legal fields for outstanding instruction in the trademark and trade identity field. Beverly W. Pattishall was a long-time partner in the firm of Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP. This award is presented every four years to a university or graduate school academic nominated by peers and students, and who best exemplifies the qualities of excellence and innovation in teaching subjects related to trademarks and trade identity.

Dr. Kur received an outstanding 18 nominations for this award. In one of the nominations, a former student described Dr. Kur as, “not only instrumental in triggering [her] interest in intellectual property law and its international context, she has also profoundly influenced [her] outlook on trademark and design law by favoring a critical approach, rooted in legal principles, and promoting awareness and consistency of the international context in an area as internationalized as trademark law.”

“It is evident in the numerous nominations that Dr. Kur embodies the qualities of a world-class teaching professional and Pattishall Medal Award recipient. Dr. Kur’s dedication and commitment to education is exemplary and our Association is pleased to have this opportunity to recognize her achievements in the classroom,” said 2016 INTA President Ronald van Tuijl. “We are honored to present Dr. Kur with this award.”

Dr. Kur will receive US $2,500 along with an invitation to attend INTA’s Leadership Meeting in Florida in November, where she will be formally presented with the award.

The International Trademark Association (INTA) is the global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Members include more than 6,700 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Brussels, Shanghai and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.

Event report  |  07/21/2016

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

With a two-day event on 12 and 13 May 2016 in the impressive rooms of the Munich Residence the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition celebrated its founding 50 years ago.

f.l.t.r.: Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., Prof. Peter Drahos, Ph.D., Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, Dr. Georg Schütte, Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl, Ilse Aigner, Prof. Dr. Reto M. Hilty, Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann, Prof. Dr. Hans-W. Micklitz. Photo: Andreas Pollok

With welcoming speeches by guests from the political, economic and academic spheres, the official ceremony, which took place in the Imperial Hall, acknowledged the significance of the Institute and the topics of its research for wide areas of society. The academic symposium, held in the Max Joseph Hall, focused on the internal perspective, looking at past research contributions of the Institute and potential avenues for future research, and included contributions by alumni, academic guests and members of the Board of Advisors.

The Institute first took up its work on 1 March 1966 as the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Patent, Copyright and Competition Law under the direction of Eugen Ulmer. Since then it has carried out basic research on various aspects of intellectual property and competition law, advised decision-makers in politics and economics and provided guidance for legislative proposals. Following the addition of an economic sciences department in 2013, the central focus of the Institute’s research is now on the framework conditions for innovation and competition and how to shape the processes involved by legal and economic means.

In his welcoming speech, Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, described the Institute’s four name changes in recent years as an expression of the “dynamic nature of its fields of research and the increasing interconnectedness” of the Institute. He cited among its current topics digitalization and connectedness. “Seen in this light, business models and data protection issues, but also the design of copyright and competition legislation, have a much stronger international dimension than ever before in the history of the Institute“, emphasized Harhoff. The scientific guidance of standardization measures is an important task. Not least through its “increased focus on the empirical analysis of the workings of legal norms and the activities of economic agents on markets”, the Institute has opened itself up to new research methods. Even with the Institute’s dynamic history, however, it has always had an “element of great reliability”, Harhoff stressed: “The Institute has succeeded time and again in finding excellent, talented employees in all areas”.

The President of the Max Planck Society, Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann, praised the Institute “an excellent example of a successful founding and a constant process of adjustment to the scientific questions of the day”. The topics of innovation and competition are “today more important than ever”, Stratmann stated. “They dominate the headlines and are omnipresent in the innovation dialogue with the German Chancellor”, said the President. “And our MPI for Innovation and Competition is right at the heart of it, and with its legal-economic orientation it is best prepared to get at the very essence of innovation and competition as such – independently and from a scientific perspective”. The inclusion of the field of innovation economics in an Institute with an orientation toward intellectual property and competition law was a logical but in and of itself nevertheless a “very innovative step”, said Stratmann, citing the worldwide recognition of the Institute’s expertise: It was not without reason that Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas last year referred to the MPI as “the most important European think tank for intellectual property and copyright law”. As examples of the Institute’s activities Stratmann named the Conflict of Laws in Intellectual Property, or “CLIP”, Principles on issues of international procedural law and applicable law in the area of intellectual property, which were formulated under the direction of the MPI for Innovation and Competition and the MPI for Foreign and International Private Law, as well as the Institute’s consultation activity during the adoption of the Directive on Collective Rights Management and the subsequent German implementation in a new Act on Collecting Societies.

Just how studious the researchers at the Institute are, the Max Planck Society President was able to report at first hand: When he leaves his office in administrative headquarters at the end of the day, in the opposite wing of the glass science complex, he can always see researchers working in the Institute’s library, “some with law books, some without, from all parts of the world and always bent in intense concentration”. This, he confirmed, stands for many things that comprise the core ideals of the Max Planck Society: “Internationality, interdisciplinarity and up-and-coming scientists who are eager to work“. A Max Planck President, he concluded, could not have a more satisfactory end to his working day.

State Secretary Dr. Georg Schütte from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research likewise held the bundling of competences in economics and law within one Max Planck Institute to be “a good solution”. With its new orientation, the Institute plays “an outstanding role in the field of innovation research in Germany” today. The pervasiveness of digitalization in all areas of work and life means that immaterial goods are more and more becoming an integral part of new business models in our net-based economy. Because this trend will shape not only our way of working, but also our way of life in crucial ways, it also increasingly raises “ethical questions”, explained Schütte, listing the most urgent ones: “Who has the primary right to personal data, and especially the knowledge generated from these data: the provider of data, the collector of data, or the user of data? Who under the legal regime is originally vested with the right to dispose of non-personal and yet activity-based data, even if such data might again be transferred? And how can a common basic consensus be achieved in this area by international cooperation?” These questions cannot be answered without legal-ethical value judgments. “In your Institute we have an institution”, State Secretary Schütte declared, “that, both with its analysis concerning the protection of immaterial goods and with the corresponding topics in innovation and entrepreneurship, has filled in a crucial gap in German research”.

Bavarian Minister for the Economy Ilse Aigner congratulated the Max Planck Institute as an “internationally renowned think tank”. She described Bavaria’s strategy for dealing with the digital challenge through its economic and scientific policy, for instance by creating 20 new digital professorships or support for digital start-ups. Aigner defined her goal as putting Bavaria at the head of the digital economy in Germany. “Big data”, she said, is one major emerging topic in which the strictures of data protection and thus of the law will undeniably have to be observed. “You won’t run out of topics for your work anytime soon”, the politician predicted.

Speaking for the Academic Advisory Board, Prof. Dr. Hans-W. Micklitz (European University Institute) focused on the new culture of interdisciplinary research. “The Advisory Board congratulates the Max Planck Society for its courageous and groundbreaking decision to bring together law and economics under one roof”, Micklitz said. With its new orientation, he noted, the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition is not only following the suggestion of the German Council of Science and Humanities, which has in clear terms stressed the necessity of a stronger interdisciplinarity between the social and the economic sciences, but will also allow the German law and economics disciplines to forge a “link to developments in Europe and the USA”. From the perspective of the legal sciences, the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition is taking on a centurial task – “what the Americans call ‘law and …’: law and social science, law and art, law and music, and now likewise law and economics”, as Micklitz described the challenge. “Collaboration can only succeed by means of a theory-based common methodology”.

Further words of welcome were spoken by Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, Chair of the Board of Trustees and President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, and Prof. Dr. Bernd Huber, President of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. The key-note speech was held by Professor Peter Drahos, Ph.D., of the Australian National University.

The musical setting for the official ceremony was provided by a very special program: Richard Strauss’ Lieder cycle “Der Krämerspiegel”. This rarely performed work, a series of songs from the year 1918 with lyrics by Alfred Kerr, originated in a dispute between the composer and the music publisher Bote & Bock. Strauss, who fought tirelessly for improvements to copyright law in Germany – and who is also known as the “godfather” of the collecting agency GEMA, in the “Krämerspiegel” (or “Shopkeeper’s Mirror”), satirizes the tense relationship between creators and publishers in mordant aphorisms: “The artists are the creators, Their misfortune is the bloodsuckers” (“Die Künstler sind die Schöpfer, ihr Unglück sind die Schröpfer”). Presenting this “work of revenge in words and music” were soprano Ute Ziemer and Julian Riem on the piano.

Academic Symposium

At the academic symposium in the Max Joseph Hall of the Munich Residence, Director Dietmar Harhoff outlined the challenges arising from the growing significance of the Internet. “Our understanding of innovation up until now has been technology-heavy – but now we are observing that innovation increasingly tends to be rooted in new, Internet-based business models”. Director Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl referred to “competition as an important infrastructure for innovations” in which the principles of use have to be updated constantly, such as in the current topic of big data. Director Prof. Dr. Reto M. Hilty pointed out the discrepancy between the highly dynamic markets with ever new innovative products and the seemingly static instruments for regulating them using proprietary rights. A more competition-oriented conception of IP rights, he argued, would not contradict patent law, but it might take more adequate consideration of the dynamics of the markets, an area that the Institute is to study in more detail in the future.

The Institute’s two departments presented the current state of their research during the full-day event and discussed research strategies and future areas of emphasis with international experts and alumni of the Institute.

An introductory lecture by Dietmar Harhoff on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” was followed by a podium discussion. The participating panelists were Dr. Heinrich Arnold, Senior Vice President, Telekom Innovation Laboratories, Deutsche Telekom AG; Prof. Petra Moser, Ph.D., New York University School of Business, NYU Stern; and Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Arnold Picot, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Dr. Karin Hoisl, Universität Mannheim.

The session entitled “Property” was opened with a key-note lecture by Reto Hilty, which was followed by a podium discussion. The invited panelists were Alison Brimelow, CBE, President emerita, European Patent Office (EPO); Prof. Dan L. Burk, University of California, Irvine School of Law; and Prof. Michel Vivant, Sciences Po Law School, Paris. Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, led the discussion.

The session on “Innovation in Competition Law” was introduced by Josef Drexl. The participants in the podium discussion following his key-note address were Prof. Michal Gal, University of Haifa School of Law; Prof. Warren S. Grimes, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles; and Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Kühn, Centre for Competition Policy (CCP), University of East Anglia. The session’s moderator was Prof. Dr. Rupprecht Podszun, Universität Bayreuth.

The three main themes were brought together in a final podium discussion. Participants in this debate were, besides the Institute’s three Directors Harhoff, Hilty and Drexl, Heinrich Arnold of Telekom Innovation Laboratories; Petra Moser of the New York University School of Business; Dan Burk from Irvine School of Law; Michel Vivant from Sciences Po Law School; Michal Gal of the University of Haifa School of Law; and Warren S. Grimes of Southwestern Law School. The moderator of the session was Dr. Gert Würtenberger, President of the Deutsche Vereinigung für Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht (GRUR).

The academic day ended with summarizing remarks by Peter Drahos of the Australian National University.