Dr. Begoña Gonzalez Otero

Senior Research Fellow

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

          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: 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

                      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

                      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