Immaterialgüter- und Wettbewerbsrecht

Re-visiting EU Standardization Legal Frameworks in the Open Source Era: a Quest for Adaptation

The research aims to study the adaptability of both EU competition and ICT standardization legal frameworks to open source. The project will focus on the study of current standardization and open source innovation models, to then analyze the need to adapt competition law frameworks and standards’ IPR policies to new ICT dynamics.

Last Update: 13.11.20

This research project seeks to analyze the effects of the ubiquity of software and related innovation dynamics imposed by new industry trends, such as IoT, in standardization settings. As a result, on the one hand, actors from both standardization and open source platforms are faced with new challenges which may have an impact on their current business models; on the other hand, policy makers and regulators have started to acknowledge the potential risks and benefits to be extracted from it. 

Firstly, the project will focus on the study of current standardization and open source innovation models, by scrutinizing their dynamics, benefits and pitfalls. The author aims to get an understanding of two different - and sometimes confronting - intellectual property cultures, and therefore to depict the rationale behind current legal instruments present in these two divergent approaches to innovation– eg IPR policies, open source licenses etc. 

Secondly, the research aims to assess whether there is a need to adapt EU competition law tools to the increasing relevance of open source and related consortia in ICT markets. The project will analyze the current interplay between competition legal frameworks and ICT standardization. Moreover, the main aim of the chapter is to emphasize the need of adaptation of existing competition law tools and standardization frameworks to open source dynamics. Henceforth, by the identification of market/system failures in standardization and open source settings, it is aimed to identify existing legal vacuums and outdated interpretations in EU competition law, which may potentially lead to future competition and innovation distortions in ICT markets.

Thirdly, the research will target internal failures in SDOs and open source communities, and explore new legal tools seeking to contribute to the adaptation of current standardization frameworks - eg IPR policies - to open source. Consequently, the research will propose several amendments on, on the one hand, existing typologies of IPR policies, and on the other hand, open source licenses and contribution agreements. The objective of this chapter is: to achieve a better integration of open source dynamics into standardization bodies and vice versa; and to secure an efficient interrelation between standardization and open source proponents. 

Finally, the project will propose new legal mechanisms able to steer the transition towards a new standardization approach in the areas of competition law and IP law. The proposed legal tools will seek to strengthen both innovation and competition settings in the EU.


Doctoral Student

Carlos Muñoz Ferrandis

Doctoral Supervisor

Aurelio López Tarruella and Manuel Desantes Real

Main Areas of Research

II.2 Inhaltsbezogene Märkte