Silke von Lewinski, Senior Research Fellow am max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb und außerordentliche Professorin an der Universität Zagreb
People  |  07/27/2020

Associate Professorship at the University of Zagreb for Silke von Lewinski

The expert for European, international and comparative copyright law, Silke von Lewinski, has become Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb.

Silke von Lewinski, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb
Silke von Lewinski has become Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb

Silke von Lewinski, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute, has been appointed as Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb. Her research and teaching focuses on European, international and comparative copyright law, including challenges of new technologies. She will continue working at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich as well.


Silke von Lewinski is the author and co-author of several reference works, including the monograph “International Copyright Law and Policy” (Oxford/OUP 2008, Chinese edn. 2017) and the commentaries “European Copyright Law: A Commentary” (with Walter, Oxford/OUP 2010) and “The WIPO Treaties on Copyright” (with Reinbothe, Oxford/OUP, 2nd ed. 2015). Her numerous publications have appeared in more than 15 languages. She is also President of ALAI (Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale) Germany and Vice President of ALAI.


In addition to teaching at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC), she has frequently held visiting professorships and other teaching positions, inter alia at the universities of Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne, Sud), Toulouse, Madrid, Québec, Montreal, Melbourne, Wuhan and Beijing. She was the First Walter Minton Visiting Scholar at Columbia University School of Law in New York, the First Distinguished Visitor to the IP Research Institute of Australia and The Hosier Distinguished Visiting IP Scholar at DePaul University in Chicago.


As a legal expert to the European Commission, she drafted the Rental Right Directive’s proposal and was a member of the EC delegation at the WIPO Diplomatic Conference 1996 (outcome: WCT, WPPT). At the WIPO Diplomatic Conferences 2012 (outcome: Beijing Treaty) and 2013 (outcome: Marrakesh Treaty), she was Deputy Head of Delegation for Germany. Starting in 1995, she was chief legal expert to governments of Eastern and Central European and former Soviet countries on their copyright legislation. In particular, in 2003, she advised the Croatian government on copyright to pave the way for accession to the EU.

An der Online-Konferenz “Fostering Innovation in Europe - Intellectual Property Policies and Law“ von der EIPIN Innovation Society und EUIPO nahmen Josef Drexl,Niccolò Galli, Vicente Zafrilla Diaz-Marta und Letizia Tomada teil
Event Report  |  07/22/2020

“Fostering Innovation in Europe”: Virtual Scientific Exchange for Early Stage Researchers

At the online conference “Fostering Innovation in Europe - Intellectual Property Policies and Law“ 14 Early Stage Researchers of the European Joint Doctorate project of the EIPIN Innovation Society had the opportunity to share their research results.

Josef Drexl, Niccolò Galli, Vicente Zafrilla Diaz-Marta and Letizia Tomada participated in the online conference "Fostering Innovation in Europe - Intellectual Property Policies and Law“ of EIPIN Innovation Society and EUIPO
The online conference "Fostering Innovation in Europe" gave 14 Early Stage Researchers the opportunity to share their research results. Photo: EIPIN/EUIPO

Notwithstanding the difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Joint Doctorate project of the EIPIN (European Intellectual Property Institutes Network) Innovation Society remains committed to pursuing its main objective: supporting high-quality doctoral research on the role of intellectual property (IP) as a complex adaptive system in innovation. At the online conference “Fostering Innovation in Europe - Intellectual Property Policies and Law” on 25 June all 14 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) who are currently finalising their doctoral theses had the opportunity to present their research outcomes. In organising the event, EIPIN built on the active support of the Partner Organisation European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante. The Office also acted as the official host of the conference.


As the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition is a supporting institution of the EIPIN Innovation Society project, four representatives of the Institute actively took part in the event. Professor Josef Drexl, Managing Director at the Institute, moderated the Panel “Intellectual Property as a Complex Adaptive System” (Panel 1). Together with the ESRs, he discussed the relationship between IP rights and innovation stressing the tension between IP reward and access as the true innovation driver even in the foremost technological fields such as Artificial Intelligence. Furthermore, the three ESRs Niccolò Galli, Vicente Zafrilla Diaz-Marta and Letizia Tomada, whose doctoral theses are primarily supervised within the Institute, presented their research results during the conference.


The research results at a glance


During Panel 1 Niccolò Galli highlighted his research findings on the interplay between patent aggregation, innovation and EU competition law. Abandoning pejorative monikers such as patent trolling, he advocated for a conduct-based redefinition of patent aggregation as the building of ICT patent portfolios for subsequent non-manufacturing use. Based on such a redefinition he advanced an analytical framework to assess the possible innovation effects of patent aggregation activities within competition law analysis.


During the Panel “Governance of Production and Technologies” (Panel 2), Vicente Zafrilla Diaz-Marta focused his presentation on a very specific – and workable – proposal to prevent over- and underdisclosure of standard essential patents (SEPs) in the framework of standard developing organisations. His proposal builds on the aims of the disclosure system – primarily to ensure access of new market participants and secondarily to inform implementers for licencing purposes. It balances the incentives and dynamics that might encourage SEP holders to an under- or overdeclare SEPs or dissuade them from engaging in such behaviour.


During the Panel “Adjudication, Justice and Enforcement” (Panel 3), Letizia Tomada presented a part of her research findings concerning the implications of the establishment of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) for innovation of start-ups. She analysed certain UPC features that tend to favour strong established businesses over more financially constrained start-ups. The discussion focused on the lack of proximity to the litigation venue and the territorial scope of jurisdiction. Lastly, her presentation envisaged changes to the UPC Agreement to mitigate the existing imbalances.


Further information on the doctoral programme is available at the EIPIN-Innovation Society website.


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no 721 733.

Miscellaneous  |  07/16/2020

Call for Papers – RISE3 Workshop

Researchers who would like to present a paper at the “3rd Research on Innovation, Science and Entrepreneurship Workshop” are invited to submit it until 30 August 2020.

For the third time now, the two-day event is organized by Ph.D. students and Postdocs of the Department for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research headed by Dietmar Harhoff to give young scholars the opportunity to present their work.


The RISE3 Workshop on 17 /18 December 2020 aims at stimulating a rigorous in-depth discussion of a selected number of research papers by Ph.D. students and Junior Postdocs, providing feedback and connecting with peers from other research institutions.


Keynote speaker of the RISE3 Workshops is Rosemarie Ziedonis (Boston University & NBER).


Please send your submissions as a PDF to rise_workshop(at)ip.mpg.de.


Get the Call for Papers

See RISE3 Workshop Website

14th Workshop on the Organisation, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research
Event Report  |  07/13/2020

14th Workshop on the Organisation, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research – Two Days of Lively Scientific Exchange in the Virtual Space

On 9 and 10 July 2020, the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition hosted the annual workshop “The Organisation, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research” jointly organized with the Technical University of Munich and the BRICK/Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin.

The workshop was originally launched in Turin, but is now also held at other major research locations such as the Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Bath (2018) and the GREThA at the Université de Bordeaux-CNRS (2019).


Due to the current pandemic situation, the event, which was initially planned for the end of April, now took place very successfully in online format for the first time. The participants were welcomed by Michael E. Rose, Senior Research Fellow in the department Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research, and co-organizer Hanna Hottenrott, Professor of Economics of Innovation at the Technical University of Munich.


The 12 presentations in six sessions over two days were very well received by up to 70 participants. The afternoon sessions were particularly well attended, since, due to the time difference, researchers from the US were also able to zoom in. In addition to the presentations, virtual breakout rooms were hosted which allowed the researchers to make new contacts with other scientists for the first time in a long while.


The topics at a glance


The first session started by focusing on the question "How Scientists Search". The presenter showed how the search for antibodies can be biased by the ranking of search results. The second presentation discussed how novelty and impact of scientific articles in physics are related to team size.


The second session dealt with topics in the field of academic training. In Session 3, the first day of the workshop concluded with investigations on how scientists react to the sudden loss of research resources.


The second day opened with two presentations on questions of informal cooperation in economics. Session 5 focused on science funding: Both theoretical and empirical research findings on the optimal design of science funding programs were presented.


In the final workshop session, the presenters stressed, on the one hand, the importance of coherence and alignment with one’s previous research in order to obtain funding, as well as, on the other hand, that humor and curiosity are more important as drivers of path-breaking science than research awards.


See the complete program with all topics here.


More information on the workshop website and further impressions on Twitter under #woepsr2020.


We thank all organizing parties involved as well as all participants, speakers and discussants for a truly exceptional and inspiring workshop and look forward to WOEPSR 2021. The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition will host the workshop again within the next two years and hopes to welcome the participants on site then.

Andrea Zappalaglio, Suelen Carls and Flavia Guerrieri haben beim ECTA Award den ersten Preis gewonnen, Geographische Herkunftsangaben für nicht-landwirtschaftliche Produkte, Marken- und Geschmacksmusterrecht, Urheberrecht
Award  |  07/13/2020

ECTA Award for Andrea Zappalaglio, Suelen Carls and Flavia Guerrieri

Andrea Zappalaglio, Suelen Carls and Flavia Guerrieri have been awarded the 1st prize in the prestigious ECTA Award. They received the prize for their contribution in the field of non-agricultural Geographical Indications (GIs) and their possible role in the future development of the EU sui generis GI regime.

Andrea Zappalaglio, Suelen Carls and Flavia Guerrieri have been awarded the 1st prize in the ECTA Award, Geographical Indications for non-agricultural products, European trademark and design law, copyright law
Suelen Carls, Andrea Zappalaglio and Flavia Guerrieri (v.l.n.r.) have been awarded the 1st prize in the ECTA Award

The three Institute researchers received the award for their publication “Sui Generis Geographical Indications for the Protection of Non-Agricultural Products in the EU: Can the Quality Schemes Fulfil the Task?”, which was published in the International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC) at the beginning of the year. The paper analyses the suitability of the extension of the EU quality schemes – Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) – to the protection of non-agricultural products.


For their research the authors built upon a previously unpublished dataset and applied a mixed comparative and empirical methodology. From their research findings they derive recommendations for action that the EU legislature should take into consideration in case of an extension of the EU sui generis GI regime to non-agricultural products.


The European Communities Trade Mark Association (ECTA), founded in 1980, is the oldest European association whose more than 1,500 members are experts, academics and professionals in the fields of trademarks, geographical indications, and other areas of IP Law. The ECTA Award is given as a recognition of top-level research which is deemed of considerable importance for the advancement of European trademark and design law, copyright law or geographical indications law.


The complete publication can be found here

Smart IP for Latin America (SIPLA) hat eine eigene Website
Institute News  |  07/08/2020

“Smart IP for Latin America” With Its Own Website

Smart IP for Latin America has its own website that provides information about the Initiative's projects and events. Subscribers receive news on intellectual property and competition law in Latin America via a newsletter.

Smart IP for Latin America (SIPLA) has its own website
The website gives an overview of research activities and events of the Initiative

Smart IP for Latin America is a research Initiative of the Institute and provides a neutral forum for academic and political debate on intellectual property and competition law in the region. It aims to provide information and advice to science, politics, the industry and the public by offering evidence-based and impartial fundamental research. It is the intention of the participating scholars to support Latin America in realizing its full social, cultural and economic potential.


The Initiative is based on the idea that intellectual property protection can only promote the sustainable development of an economy when it is tailored to local market and competitive conditions and takes into account the countries’ specific characteristics.


Support of academics from all over Latin America


Smart IP for Latin America was initiated in 2018 in the course of a first conference in Santiago de Chile that brought together more than 50 participants including academics, lawyers and representatives of politics and industry. A second conference took place in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) in spring 2019. In addition, several workshops were organized to advance the Initiative's ongoing research projects.


In autumn 2019 an office – the so-called “Observatorio“ – was established at the University of Buenos Aires to coordinate the Initiative’s research activities and events in close cooperation with the Max Planck Institute in Munich. In addition to its eight permanent members the Observatorio counts on the support of a large network of outstanding academics from all over Latin America who form part of the Initiative's research projects. The Initiative is also advised by an Advisory Committee whose members are internationally renowned experts from Latin America.


In 2020, the establishment of a scientific Association was set in motion to provide a networking platform for academic exchange and social interaction. In return for an annual fee, the members of the Association will become part of an expert network, receive regular updates on the Initiative's research findings and can attend the annual conference of Smart IP for Latin America. By participating in tendering processes for national, regional and international funding programs, the Association will collect subsidies to finance the research activities.


Five projects investigate protection standards


In five projects from different fields of law, the Initiative is currently addressing the broader issue of whether intellectual property systems in Latin America are suitable for a sustainable socio-economic development of the region. The methodological starting point is a comparative analysis of the legislation and jurisprudence in the countries that are most relevant for the respective project.


The objective of the project “Patent Flexibilities” is to analyse the extent to which the examined legal systems differ with regard to the subject matter of patent protection, its conditions and limitations. The participants of the project “International Technology Transfer” examine contractual and antitrust clauses and regulations that can promote or hinder technology transfer.


In the field of copyright, the goal of the project “Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights“ is to find out how different systems of collective rights management function, what deficiencies exist and to what extent artists are able to generate income from them. Quality differentiation systems of local products are the focus of the project “Collective Distinctive Signs”. These include geographical indications, designations of origin, collective marks and quality seals. Through a comparative study of the differentiation systems in place in different countries the project will identify the needs of local producers.


Another focal point of the Initiative are bi- and multilateral treaties. With particular focus on the free trade agreement negotiated between the Mercosur countries and the EU last year, the project “Free Trade Agreements” will explore whether the Latin American countries concerned are in a position to derive the expected benefit from the agreement.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker
People  |  06/25/2020

In Honour of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker on the Occasion of His 85th Birthday

On 25 June, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker celebrated his 85th birthday. For more than 30 years as a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Patent, Copyright and Competition Law, as it was called in the past, he enormously contributed to the development of intellectual property law.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker (right) accepts the commemorative publication, dedicated to him as emeritus, by Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Joseph Straus.
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker (right) accepts the commemorative publication, dedicated to him as emeritus, by Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Joseph Straus.

His research in the field of unfair competition law was groundbreaking and prepared European harmonisation. As its first editor, he initiated the leading “Schricker Commentary”, which has ever since been the indispensable reference book for both researchers and practitioners in German copyright law. As regards legal policy, Gerhard Schricker, who is also celebrating his golden jubilee as a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society this year, has consistently been aiming to promote the protection of the weaker party in the law. Accordingly, he has always been advocating the consumer-orientation of unfair competition law and, as a co-author of the so-called “Professorenentwurf”, prepared the way for the adoption of the German copyright contract law.


Gerhard Schricker inspired many Ph.D. students, who nowadays occupy leading positions at universities and in practice. Moreover, his leadership in navigating the Institute through difficult times and in preparing it for the future is among his major achievements. Especially for the latter, the current Directors of the Institute are deeply indebted to Gerhard Schricker.


A more detailed laudation authored by Ansgar Ohly can be found in the June issue of GRUR International or online here.

Francis Fay (Europäische Kommission DG Agri) spricht beim GI-Workshop im Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb
Event Report  |  04/03/2020

GI-Workshop - Two Days in the Sign of Geographical Indications

Since many effects of the protection of Geographical Indications have not been sufficiently researched, the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition last year founded a research group to analyze the GI system within the EU and beyond. The researchers organized a workshop to present their preliminary research findings and to exchange views with international experts.

Francis Fay (European Commission DG Agri) speaks during the GI-Workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
Francis Fay from the European Commission explains the EU policy on GIs during the Workshop

Geographical Indications (GIs) are designations for products from a geographical area that owe their quality or reputation to their geographical origin. In the European Union, they are protected as Intellectual Property rights by an independent legal system. Since they are also an instrument of agricultural policy to promote production and living conditions in rural areas, there are many differences with other fields of IP rights. Specificities also arise from the fact that the first and often most important phase of the granting of rights takes place before national authorities, whereby national traditions and idiosyncrasies could impair the desired uniformity of protection.


Since there has been little legal research on GIs - despite increased attention to the subject from politics and the economy - the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition launched a research project at the beginning of last year to analyze the GI system within the EU and beyond. On 13 and 14 February, the Institute hosted a workshop on GIs in which international experts from academia and practice, as well as representatives of authorities from the EU and some member states, took part. During the workshop, the Institute's researchers were able to present their preliminary research results and discuss with the participants.


Geographical Indications in the EU


To start the workshop, project coordinator Andrea Zappalaglio explained the aims and structure of the project; he presented the results of the evaluation and empirical analysis of the protection parameters summarized in the specifications for GIs registered in the EU database DOOR (Database of Origin & Registration). In this database, managed by the EU Commission, all registered agricultural products and foodstuffs are published.


Afterwards, representatives of the EU Commission provided insights into the work and plans of the new Commission. Francis Fay, head of the unit responsible for GIs in the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG Agri), and Valerie Dufour from DG Agri explained the Commission's current audit practice and the EU policy on GIs and discussed with the participants the challenges and options for optimizing the system. Marie D'Avigneau and Malwina Mejer from the Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow) reported on the status of work on creating protection of GIs for non-agricultural products.


On the second day of the workshop, the Max Planck research team first presented the preliminary results of a comparative analysis of the national procedures under which GI applications are examined in the member states. Alexander von Mühlendahl, lawyer at the Munich law firm Bardehle Pagenberg and Visiting Professor at Queen Mary University in London, and Elisa Zaera Cuadrado from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) then explained the relationship between trademarks and GIs in EU law and the examination practice of the EUIPO. Pilar Montero from the University of Alicante spoke about the scope of protection of GIs, which has developed from EU law and the case law of the European Court of Justice.
 

GIs from an international perspective


In the morning’s second session, the workshop focused on the international perspective. Roxana Blasetti from the University of Buenos Aires, who is a Visiting Scientist at the Institute, presented the negotiated solution for the mutual protection of GIs of the contracting parties in the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Mercosur countries.


Subsequently, Max Planck researchers Suelen Carls and Pedro Batista gave an overview of the Institute's project "Smart IP for Latin America" and explained the research activities related to the component of the project devoted to examining the protection of GIs in selected Latin American countries. In the final talk, Alexandra Grazioli, Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), spoke about opportunities and challenges for the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications administered by WIPO following the entry into force of the Geneva Act on 26 February 2020.


The workshop ended with an intensive discussion in the afternoon of the second day, moderated by Max Planck researcher Annette Kur. The valuable feedback from the participants gave the Institute's research group important impulses for their further work. After the empirical analysis of the GIs registered in the EU, the project will focus on the functioning of the national authorities involved in the protection system and on the cooperation between them, the applicants and the EU Commission. Based on these empirical findings, an analysis of selected legal questions will follow.

People  |  03/03/2020

Professorship for Digital Transformation at the University of the Bundeswehr Munich for Frank Mueller-Langer

Frank Mueller-Langer, Affiliated Research Fellow at the Institute, is now Professor at the Department of Business Administration at the University of the Bundeswehr Munich. His teaching and research focuses on the effects of digital transformation on firms, markets and the society.

Frank Mueller-Langer. Photo: UniBw

Frank Mueller-Langer’s main research areas are Digital Economy, Economics of Innovation and Data Economics.


Prior to his appointment to the University of the Bundeswehr Munich, Frank Mueller-Langer worked as an economist at the Joint Research Centre of the EU Commission (Digital Economy Unit) in Seville and Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Department Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research headed by Dietmar Harhoff. Frank Mueller-Langer was a Visiting Researcher at the renowned US universities UC Berkeley and Columbia as well as at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Today, Frank Mueller-Langer continues to be closely associated with the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition as an Affiliated Research Fellow.


Frank Mueller-Langer is the author of numerous articles in renowned international journals. His works cover a broad range of topics and have received several international awards and funding, e.g., from the Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues (Best Paper Award) as well as the Sloan Foundation, the Tilburg Law and Economics Center, and the German Research Foundation. He is currently working on a study on gender wage gaps in online labour markets.


More information:

Information of the University of the Bundeswehr Munich

Personal webpage of Frank Mueller-Langer

Most recent publication of Frank Mueller-Langer

10. GWB-Novelle: Vortrag von Dr. Thorsten Käseberg zum GWB-Digitalisierungsgesetz
Event Report  |  02/20/2020

10th Amendment to the GWB: New Instruments for a Competition Policy in the Digital Age

The 10th amendment to the GWB (German Competition Act), which is called “GWB Digitization Act”, seeks to adapt the German competition law to the requirements of the modern platform economy. In a presentation at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition co-organized by the Münchner Kartellrechtsforum, Thorsten Käseberg, Head of the Department for Competition and Consumer Policy at the Federal Ministry of Economics, outlined and discussed the first draft bill.

10th Amendment to the GWB: Thorsten Käseberg speaks at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
Thorsten Käseberg speaks at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition about the 10th Amendment to the German Competition Act. Photo: Ulrike Garlet

The power of digital platforms does not only pose new challenges for consumers and small businesses, but also for competition authorities. The extent to which competition policy needs new instruments to counteract tendencies of power concentration in the platform economy has for long been at the center of an ongoing debate. The planned 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB), now intends to provide the Bundeskartellamt with additional instruments enabling the authority to act more effectively with regard to digital companies who possess market power. The aim of the law is to create a “digital regulatory framework”.
 

On the occasion of the official publication of the draft bill, Thorsten Käseberg, Head of the Department of Competition and Consumer Policy at the Federal Ministry of Economics, presented an overview of the planned new provisions of the "GWB Digitization Act" at an event at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition co-organized by the Münchner Kartellrechtsforum e.V.
 

The centerpiece of the draft bill is the modernization of the rules on abusive conduct by companies who possess outstanding market power. "You can say that the wind has turned significantly with regard to this concern”, said Käseberg at the beginning of his lecture, summarizing the general sentiment both in society and in many competition authorities worldwide. An increasing number of observers have indicated that with the traditional rules the authorities would hardly be able to effectively control certain unilateral strategies of dominant companies in the digital sector.
 

The amendment addresses the increasing importance of data by introducing "access to competition-relevant data" as an additional factor for assessing the market position of a company (Section 18 (3) GWB, new version). In addition, in the new Section 18 (3b), the concept of "intermediary power" as a factor for determining a dominant market position has been introduced to the law. This provision intends to better capture the role of platforms as intermediaries in multilateral markets.
 

By expanding the "Essential Facilities Doctrine" the GWB amendment takes the importance of data for digital business models into account. "We have tried to open up and internationalize the provision which previously only referred to physical infrastructures”, said Käseberg. If a dominant company refuses to grant another company access to data, this behavior can be classified as abusive under certain conditions according to the new Section 19 (2) No. 4. "Even if we cannot finally solve the issue of data governance, we want to create an instrument for cases of clear abuse.”
 

According to Käseberg's assessment, the new Section 19a is expected to be highly controversial. This provision addresses platforms who dispose of an outstanding market power across several markets. With regard to such companies the Bundeskartellamt would be able to establish that they belong to this category and to subsequently interdict certain strategies of such platforms. This includes self-preferencing, leveraging of market power and impeding data portability.
 

The German rules on abusive conduct apply already below the market power threshold in the case of relative market power or dependency. According to the planned revision of Section 20 (1) the application of these rules will in the future not any more be limited to cases where small and medium enterprises are possible plaintiffs.
 

In addition to the reform of abuse control, the 10th amendment to the GWB will adapt the thresholds for merger control and create more legal security for cooperation between companies. The amendment also implements the ECN+ Directive, which aims to strengthen the competition authorities in the EU Member States.