Miscellaneous  |  04/15/2021

In memoriam Gerhard Schricker (1935-2021)

On 6 April 2021 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker, Director of the Institute from 1971 to 2003, passed away at the age of 85.

[Translate to english:]
Gerhard Schricker was Director of the Institute from 1971 to 2003, Photo & Copyright by Jean Guyaux

The growth of the Institute’s scientific reputation during his tenure is due in great measure to his scientific achievements in the fields of unfair competition and copyright law. With large-scale comparative law studies he laid the foundations for the European harmonisation in unfair competition law, where his primary concern was a consumer-protection orientation of the field. Subsequent generations of scholars associate his name above all with the leading commentary on German copyright law that he founded. Not only was he a pervasive and system-building force in the field of copyright. He also fought for legislative improvements to the contractual protection of authors, while sending clear messages to adversaries. He received many honours for his scientific achievements, chief among them honorary doctorates from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the University of Stockholm and Yonsei University in Seoul.

In Germany and many other parts of the world one encounters an impressive number of his former PhD candidates and students who today hold leading positions in legal scholarship and practice. Furthermore, as a full professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich one of his highest priorities was always the training of undergraduate students. Thus he did not hesitate to take on the double burden of directing the Institute on his own after the retirement of his colleague and close friend Friedrich-Karl Beier, while at the same time carrying out his main duties at the University until his scheduled retirement date.

Nor were these later years an easy time for the Institute, whose very existence was at stake. Gerhard Schricker succeeded in turning the tide and securing its continuation. This was due primarily to his proposal to establish a globally leading course of studies in intellectual property law in collaboration with partner universities, at the time an attractive science policy move for the Max Planck Society. The appointment of not one but several new directors just after the turn of the millennium and the creation of the degree programme at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center offered together with the University of Augsburg, TU Munich and George Washington University show that Gerhard Schricker deserves particular gratitude for having paved the way for the Institute’s future.

Most of the Institute’s current employees were not able to get to know Gerhard Schricker personally, as shortly after his retirement ill health forced him to give up his research activities and retire completely into private family life. It is there that he has died after many years of serious illness. He will be remembered by many for his refined mind, his constant and caring support and at the same time for his modest nature.

Personal Webpage of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Schricker