Dr. Begoña Gonzalez Otero

Senior Research Fellow
Gender Equality Officer

Intellectual Property and Competition Law

+49 89 24246-429

Areas of Interest:

Intellectual Property Law with focus on European Patent Law and Copyright Law, Software Protection, Law of the Digital Economy; Information and Technology Law, emerging technologies (IoT, AI), intersection IP/Competition Law, digital markets, interoperability and standardization

Academic and Professional Résumé

Since 2019
Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Visiting Researcher at IViR, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

2015 — 2018
Academic Dean at EU Business School Munich, Germany.
Undergraduate program coordinator, EU Business School Munich (Germany) and the University of Derby (UK).
Manager of the academic partnership, undergraduate and graduate programs, EU.
Business School (Germany) and the University of Roehampton (UK).
Accredited Lecturer by the University of Derby (UK).

2013 — 2015
Adjunct Lecturer at EU Business School Munich, Germany

Legal Associate at IP Law Firm, Brandstock Services AG, Munich, Germany

2010 – 2014
Doctorate in Law with International Mention at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Thesis “The Software Interoperability Debate on European Copyright Law” studies the role of copyright in relation to the advancement of interoperability in the software industry

2010 – 2011
Research Assistant – Instituto de Derecho Industrial, Law School, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

2010 – 2011
Master’s in Private Law at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Master’s thesis: “The dichotomy between copyright and patent law in protecting computer programs”

2008 — 2009
Lawyer at IP Law Firm, Herrero & Asociados, Madrid, Spain

Master’s in Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Instituto de Derecho Industrial, University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Master’s Thesis: “The role of claims as defining criterion of the scope of patent protection”
Awarded the prize of “2008 Best Master’s Thesis” by Clarke, Modet & Co

Lawyer – Trainee at Tax law firm, Ramon Varela, S.L., A Coruña, Spain

Postgraduate in Tax Strategy, School of Finance of A Coruña (Spain)

2000 – 2006
Master’s in Law at Universidad de A Coruña (Spain)

Academic Prizes and Honours

Extraordinary Doctorate Award by the School of Law for 2014, Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

Nominated as "Champion in Institutional Management" by the Central and East European Management Association (CEEMAN)

ATRIP Essay Competition Winner

2011 — 2013
Visiting Researcher – Scholarship holder at Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Munich

Award by Clarke, Modet & Co. to the best Master’s Thesis of the specialization in IP and Competition Law at IDIUS-USC


Spanish Bar Association (abogada) – Santiago de Compostela icasantiago.org

Alumni, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competion, Munich

Member of ALADDA, Spanish Group of the International Literary and Artistic Association (ALAI) aladda.com

Member of the International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP) atrip.org

Member of “Asociación Española de Derecho del Entretenimiento” (DENAE) denae.es

Academic Member of the Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UITP) uitp.org

Member of the editorial board of Cuaderno Electrónico de Estudios Jurídicos (CEEJ) 

External Reviewer of Actas de Derecho Industrial (ADI)


Books and Monographs

Interoperabilidad, internet de las cosas y derecho de autor (Propiedad intelectual), Reus, Madrid 2019, 280 pp.

    Contributions to Collected Editions, Commentaries, Handbooks and Encyclopaedias

    Las excepciones de minería de textos y datos más allá de los derechos de autor, in: C. Saiz, R. Evangelio (eds.), Propiedad Intelectual y Mercado Único Digital Europeo, Tirant lo Blanch, Valencia 2019, 73 - 99.

      Mandating Portability as a Strategy to Achieve Interoperability between On-line Platforms: Pros & Cons, in: Internet Law & Politics Conference Book: Building a European Digital Space, Barcelona 2016.

      • Event: 12th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics: Building a European Digital Space, Barcelona, 2016-07-07

      Compelling Disclosure of Software Interoperable Information, in: Graeme B. Dinwoodie (ed.), Intellectual Property and General Legal Principles: Is IP a Lex Specialis?, Elgar, Cheltenham 2015, 69 - 90.

        La computación en la nube ("cloud computing")¿Nuevos retos para el derecho de autor?, in: Ana María Tobío Rivas, Angel Fernández Albor Baltar (eds.), Estudios de derecho mercantil: Libro homenaje al Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. José Antonio Gómez Segade, Marcial Pons, Madrid 2013, 673 - 684.

          Journal Articles

          Thinking Slow About IP in Times of Pandemic, IIC 51, 5 (2020), 555 - 558. DOI

            Brazil joins the Madrid Protocol: A happily ever after tale?, Your LATAM Flagship Blog 2019.

            Latin American Trademark Regulations getting closer to International Standards: A Review of the Latest Changes, Your LATAM Flagship Blog 2019.

            Evaluating the EC Private Data Sharing Principles: Setting a Mantra for Artificial Intelligence Nirvana?, Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law 10, 1 (2019), 66 - 84.

            • On April 25, 2018, the European Commission (EC) published a series of communications related to data trading and artificial intelligence. One of them called “Towards a Common European Data Space”, came with a working document: “Guidance on Sharing Private Sector Data in the European Data Economy”. Both the Communication and the guidance introduce two different sets of general principles addressing data sharing, contractual best practices for business-to-business (B2B), and business-to-government (B2G) environments. On the same day, the EC also published a legislative proposal to review the Public Sector (PSI) Directive. These two simultaneous actions are part of a major package of measures, which aim to facilitate the creation of a common data space in the EU and foster European artificial intelligence development. This article focuses on the first action, the “Guidance on Sharing Private Sector Data in the European Economy”. First, because it is one of its kind. Second, although these principles do not qualify as soft law (lacking binding force but having legal effects) the Commission’s communications set action plans for future legislation. Third, because the ultimate goal of these principles is to boost European artificial intelligence (AI) development. However, do these principles set a viable legal framework for data sharing, or is this public policy tool merely a naïve expectation? Moreover, would these principles set a successful path toward a thriving European AI advancement? In this contribution, I try to sketch some answers to these and related questions.

            IP and Standardization: Key Aspects for an innovative India, International Journal of Science, Technology and Society 2019, forthcoming (together with Sheetal Chopra).

              Before the Singularity: Copyright and the Challenges of Artificial Intelligence, Kluwer Copyright Blog 2018 (together with Joao Quintais).

              On the fence of Article 27(k) of the UPC: The software interoperability "limitation", Kluwer Patent Blog 2014.

              New legislative means to foster software interoperability within the European Union? A survey of the measures envisaged by the European Commission in the Digital Agenda, Actas de derecho industrial y derecho de autor 34 (2014), 379 - 392.

                Compelling to Disclose Software Interoperable Information: A Risk for Innovation or a Balanced Solution?, The Journal of World Intellectual Property 16, 1-2 (2013), 2 - 14.

                  Protección de las interfaces gráficas de usuario de programas de ordenador en el ámbito de los derechos de autor, Actas de derecho industrial y derecho de autor 31 (2011), 205 - 230.

                    Organización Europea de Patents: cambios en el Reglamento del CPE, Actas de derecho industrial y derecho de autor 30 (2010).


                      Review of: Thomas Bopp/ Holger Kircher (eds.): Handbuch Europäischer Patentprozess, Beck, Munich 2019, XVIII + 824 pp., ISBN 978-3-406-66807-4, GRUR Int 69, 10 (2020), 1094. DOI

                        Review of: El Derecho Mercantil en el umbral del siglo XXI: Libro Homenaje al Prof. Dr. Carlos Fernández Nóvoa en su octogésimo cumpleaños, Marcial Pons, Madrid, 2010, Actas de derecho Industrial y derecho de Autor 31 (2010), 1010 - 1011.

                          Research Papers

                          Machine Learning Models under the copyright microscope: is EU Copyright fit for purpose? (Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper, No. 21-02), 2020, 30 pp.

                          • This paper is based on a presentation given in December 2019 at the Lund’s University conference "Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Protection and Intellectual Property in a European context". The purpose of this article is to analyse the suitability of the copyright system over the so-called "core components" of Machine Learning (ML) systems, the ML models. Computer programs protection has always caused certain difficulties for intellectual property law. Internationally is was agreed in the 1970s to protect computer programs as literary works of copyright. ML models have been called "learning algorithms", "AI computer programs", "super-software". Yet, unanimity lacks as to technically agree on what they are. This is relevant from a copyright perspective, because depending on whether the ML model qualifies as a computer program, as a mathematical method or as another type of work, the regime of protection granted by copyright will be different. Additionally, all proprietary and open-source software licensing relies on the copyright protection. In most open licenses, if the license is applied to something that is not protected by copyright (or related rights) the license is not triggered. Thus, it seems relevant to question whether EU copyright law provides adequate protection for the core components of machine learning systems, the ML models. This paper begins with an overview of justifications for copyright protection of computer programs. Understanding how this came about is important to consider protection insufficiencies and how this can later be applied to ML models. It follows a technical overview of the differences between AI software, ML models and algorithms, as to delineate and frame the type of work that a ML model would be. This part also focuses on the differences between traditional (non-AI) software and ML process design and development, and the role that ML models play therein. The third part explains what the legal framework for copyright protection of computer programs is and tests its applicability to ML models. The paper is finalized with a set of conclusions and thoughts for future reflection.
                          • Available at SSRN

                          Demystifying the Role of Data Interoperability in the Access and Sharing Debate (Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper, No. 20-16), 2020, 37 pp. (together with Jörg Hoffmann).

                          • In the current data access and sharing debate, data interoperability is widely proclaimed as being key for efficiently reaping the economic welfare enhancing effects of further data re-use. Although, we agree, we found that the current law and policy framework pertaining data interoperability was missing a groundworks analysis. Without a clear understanding of the notions of interoperability, the role of data standards and application programming interfaces (APIs) to achieve this ambition, and the IP and trade secrets protection potentially hindering it, any regulatory analysis within the data access discussion will be incomplete. Any attempt at untangling the role of data interoperability in the access and sharing regimes requires a thorough understanding of the underlying technology and a common understanding of the different notions of data interoperability. The paper firstly explains the technical complexity of interoperability and its enablers, namely data standards and application programming interfaces. It elaborates on the reasons data interoperability counts with different levels and puts emphasis on the fact that data interoperability is indirectly tangled to the data access right. Since data interoperability may be part of the legal obligations correlating to the access right, the scope of interoperability is and has already been subject to courts’ interpretation. While this may give some manoeuvre for balanced decision-making, it may not guarantee the ambition of efficient re-usability of data. This is why data governance market regulation under a public law approach is becoming more favourable. Yet, and this is elaborated in a second step, the paper builds on the assumption that interoperability should not become another policy on its own. This is followed by a competition economics assessment, taking into account that data interoperability is always a matter of degree and a lack of data interoperability does not necessarily lead to a market foreclosure of competitors and to causing harm to consumer welfare. Additionally, parts of application programming interfaces (APIs) may be protected under IP rights and trade secrets, which might conflict with data access rights. Instead of further solving the conflicting regimes within the respective legal regimes of the exclusive rights the paper concludes by suggesting that (sector-specific) data governance solutions should deal with this issue and align the different interests implied. This may provide for better, practical and well-balanced solutions instead of impractical and dysfunctional exceptions and limitations within the IP and trade secrets regimes.
                          • Available at SSRN
                          • Also published on Research Gate
                          • Also published at: CFRED CUHK Law on Nov 3, 2020

                          Survey on National Public Sources of Copyright Flexibilities – Spain (National Expert) for the H2020 RIA Project ReCreating Europe, 2020.

                          Technical Aspects of Artificial Intelligence: An Understanding from an Intellectual Property Law Perspective (Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper, No. 19-13), 2019, 15 pp. (together with Reto M. Hilty et al.).

                          • The present Q&A paper aims at providing an overview of artificial intelligence with a special focus on machine learning as a currently predominant subfield thereof. Machine learning-based applications have been discussed intensely in legal scholarship, including in the field of intellectual property law, while many technical aspects remain ambiguous and often cause confusion. This text was drafted by the Research Group on the Regulation of the Digital Economy of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in the pursuit of understanding the fundamental characteristics of artificial intelligence, and machine learning in particular, that could potentially have an impact on intellectual property law. As a background paper, it provides the technological basis for the Group’s ongoing research relating thereto. The current version summarises insights gained from background literature research, interviews with practitioners and a workshop conducted in June 2019 in which experts in the field of artificial intelligence participated.
                          • Available at SSRN

                          Informe para la elaboración de un Manual de Buenas Prácticas para la persecución de los delitos contra la propiedad intelectual, report comanded by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture of Sports, Directorate of Copyright, Madrid, 2018 (together with F. Carbajo Cascón).


                            Comments of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition of 11 February 2020 on the Draft Issues Paper of the World Intellectual Property Organization on Intellectual Property Policy and Artificial Intelligence, 2020, 9 pp. (together with Reto M. Hilty et al.).


                            AI computer programs: Is EU copyright law fit for purpose? - AI, Data Protection and IP Law in a European context
                            Organized by: University of Lund
                            Location: Lund, Sveden

                            Recognising IPRs in everyday-life items - From innovation to commercialization: how to protect your start-up idea and IP - Workshop
                            Organized by: EPO-EIT Health
                            Location: Ghent, Brussels

                            Computer programs and licensing needs for AI: is EU copyright law fit? - 4th EU-China IP Academic Forum
                            Organized by: IP Key China
                            Location: Alicante, Spain


                            From idea to profit
                            Webinar series by 4IP Council
                            Online, 4IP Council


                            Enhancing IP capacity for SMEs’ Intermediaries
                            International IP Stakeholders’ Meeting (IISM)
                            Location: Brussels, Belgium


                            Intellectual Property for Startups and Country Managers
                            EITH Health Training Investment & IP Management
                            Location: CLC France, Paris, France


                            Legal Rules Constraining TDM beyond Copyright
                            International Conference Contratos y Licencias de Derecho de Autor en el Mercado Único Digital
                            Location: University of Valencia, Spain


                            The Roll Out of IoT across the IP Landscape: One Smart Revolution?
                            Getting Ready for the Internet of Things: Business and Legal Challenges, Magister Lucentivus and 4IP Council
                            Location: Alicante, Spain


                            International Conference “Electric Mobility is Coming: Get Behind the Wheel”
                            Head of the Organizing Committee
                            Location: EU Business School and UITP, Munich, Germany


                            La justa remuneración en contratos de autores y artistas: arts. 14 a 16 de la Propuesta de Directiva del derecho de autor en el Mercado único digital
                            ALADDA Annual Conference
                            Location: Valencia, Spain


                            Hacia un Mercado único digital: retos y oportunidades para las industrias creativas
                            talk organized by Instituto de Cultura de la Generalitat Valencia and InnDEA
                            Location: Valencia, Spain


                            Mandating Portability as a Strategy to Achieve Interoperability between On-line Platforms: Pros & Cons
                            Internet Law & Politics Conference: Building a European Digital Space
                            Location: Barcelona, Spain


                            Copyright and its Discontents
                            ATRIP Conference
                            Location: Krakow, Poland


                            The interface between the right to data portability and the current intellectual property framework on software: Repercussions for interoperability policies in the cloud
                            ATRIP Conference
                            Location: Montpellier, France


                            Compelling Disclosure of Software Interoperable Information
                            ATRIP Conference
                            Location: Oxford, United Kingdom


                            2. Alumni-Jahrestagung des MPI
                            Location: Munich, Germany


                            Open Software and Open Design
                            Berliner Kolloquium für Internet und Gesellschaft
                            Location: Berlin, Germany


                            Guest Lectures


                            The Roll Out of IoT and AI across the IP Landscape: Digitalis?
                            Magister Lucentivus
                            Location: Alicante, Spanien


                            Artificial Intelligence: Looming Challenges for the Creative Industries
                            Teaching Staff Seminar
                            Location: Berklee College of Music, Valencia, Spanien


                            Legal Implications of Technology for the Creative Industries
                            Master in Global Entertainment & Music Business
                            Location: Berklee College of Music, Valencia, Spanien


                            Consumers and E-commerce
                            VII Jean Monet Seminar on European Integration and Private Law
                            Location: School of Law, Universität Santiago de Compostela, Spanien

                            Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

                            Spring Semester 2019, 2015, 2014

                            Business Law Course
                            Bachelor of Sciences in International Business, undergraduate, first year
                            Location: EU Business School Munich, Munich, Germany

                            Fall Semester 2015, 2014

                            Knowledge Management
                            Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, undergraduate, second year
                            Location: EU Business School Munich, Munich, Germany

                            Spring Semester 2015, 2014

                            International Law
                            Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, undergraduate, third year
                            Location: EU Business School Munich, Munich, Germany

                            2015, 2014, 2013

                            Sports Sponsorship
                            MBA in Sports Management, graduate, third term
                            Location: EU Business School Munich, Munich, Germany


                            Mass Media Strategy, Planning and Media Law
                            MBA in Communication & Public Relations, third term
                            Location: EU Business School Munich, Munich, Germany