Dr. Gert Würtenberger (GRUR) with Dr. Timmy Pielmeier
Award  |  11/02/2022

Timmy Pielmeier receives the GRUR Dissertation Prize

Timmy Pielmeier has been awarded the GRUR Dissertation Prize in the category of Trademark, Competition and Design Law for his dissertation on  Die Konkurrenz von Urheberrecht und Lauterkeitsrecht im Binnenmarkt (The Relationship of Copyright and Fair Trading Law in the Internal Market). The awardee wrote a significant part of his work during his time as a scholarship holder at the Institute.

Dr. Gert Würtenberger (GRUR) with Dr. Timmy Pielmeier
Dr. Gert Würtenberger, President of GRUR with Dr. Timmy Pielmeier. Photo: Andreas Burkhardt/GRUR
Dr. Gert Würtenberger, President of GRUR with Dr. Timmy Pielmeier. Photo: Andreas Burkhardt/GRUR
Dr. Gert Würtenberger, President of GRUR with Dr. Timmy Pielmeier. Photo: Andreas Burkhardt/GRUR
Award of the GRUR Dissertation Prize. Photo: Andreas Burkhardt/GRUR
Award of the GRUR Dissertation Prize. Photo: Andreas Burkhardt/GRUR

In his thesis, Pielmeier examines the tense relationship between and the delimitation of Copyright Law and the Law of Unfair Competition in the European internal market. The aim of the work is to create a uniformity of valuation or harmony between copyright law and fair dealing law. Thus, cases that are equal in terms of valuation are to be treated equally within a uniform and consistent legal order, a legal system; conversely, cases that are different in terms of valuation are to be treated differently according to their differences. In specific cases, contradictions in legal valuations must be identified and resolved within the limits of permissible application of the law, in accordance with this philosophical foundation of value jurisprudence. The last part of the thesis anticipates the potential for conflict in individual cases and examines the collision relationship by applying the developed collision tool with a view to concrete clusters of cases.


Timmy Pielmeier received his doctorate from LMU Munich under Prof. Dr. Ansgar Ohly, LL.M. (Cambridge). He currently works as a research fellow with Prof. Dr. Dr. Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt, LL.M. (NYU), Professorship of Law of Digital Goods, Commerce and Competition at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).


With the GRUR Dissertation Award, the Association honors up to four particularly outstanding dissertations in the fields of Patent and Utility Model Law, Copyright and Media Law, Trademark, Competition and Design Law, and Data and Information Law. The prize is endowed with € 2,500 each and was presented by the President of GRUR, Dr. Gert Würtenberger, on 7 October 2022, during the annual conference of the German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR) in Dresden.


The thesis will be published next year by Mohr Siebeck under the title "Urheberrecht und Lauterkeitsrecht - Die Konkurrenz zweier Regelungskomplexe im Binnenmarkt".

Miscellaneous  |  10/27/2022

Bucharest Conference on “Building a Global Ethical Framework for AI: The UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of AI”

On 4 October 2022, Dietmar Harhoff, member of UNESCO’s High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on the Implementation of the AI Recommendation since December 2021, participated as an expert in the con­fer­ence on “Building a Global Ethical Framework for AI: The UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of AI” in Bucharest, which addressed the guidelines on the design, development, and use of AI systems adopted in November 2021. The con­fer­ence focused on the need to promote diversity and inclusiveness, and how to move from principles to practice to assess the ethical impact of Artificial Intelligence on society.

Participants of the conference on Building a Global Ethical Framework for AI in Bucharest. Center: Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO, with Sebastian-Ioan Burduja, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization. Right: Dietmar Harhoff and Mariagrazia Squicciarini, Chief of Executive Office, Chief of Executive Office, Social and Human Sciences Sector at UNESCO.

On 23 November 2021, the 193 Member States at UNESCO’s General Conference adopted the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, which is the first global normative in the field responding directly to the need for clear, ethically informed guidelines on the design, development and use of AI systems. This very first global standard-setting instrument on the subject is to not only protect but also promote human rights and human dignity, and will be an ethical guiding compass and a global normative bedrock allowing to build strong respect for the rule of law in the digital world.


The international conference on the UNESCO Recommendation was organized by the Romanian Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization (MCID), together with UNESCO and two of the most prestigious Romanian Universities – West University of Timişoara (UVT) and Politehnica University of Bucharest (UPB) – and was held at the premises of Politehnica University of Bucharest in presence of Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO, and Sebastian-Ioan Burduja, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization.


The event brought together a wide array of stakeholders from science, legal practice, policy, and civil society to discuss the UNESCO recommendation and its ability to serve as a global instrument for the ethical design, development and deployment of Al.


The conference centered around two main themes: the need to promote diversity and inclusiveness, and how to move from principles to practice to assess the ethical impact of AI on society.


Dietmar Harhoff was a keynote speaker and shared his professional vantage points to the first panel to discuss and explore issues such as the lack of diversity and inclusiveness in AI, algorithmic bias and discrimination, as well as possible measures to address these issues. However, he also pointed to the difficult trade-off between regulation and incentives for innovation.


Directly to the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.

Miscellaneous  |  10/27/2022

Expert Study Sees Need for Action in the Regulation of Data Access Rights

On 26 October, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) published a comprehensive scientific expert study on data access entitled “Data access and sharing in Germany and in the EU: Towards a coherent legal framework for the emerging data economy”. The report was prepared by our senior research fellow Heiko Richter in co-authorship with the Berlin professors Heike Schweitzer, Axel Metzger and Knut Blind and other authors.

Data is at the heart of the ongoing digital transformation of the economy and society. In many different ways, access to data is becoming a precondition for innovating and for competing effectively. Against this background, both the European and the German legislator are striving to develop a legal framework for the data economy that facilitates voluntary agreements on data access and sharing and mandates data portability and/or data access where it is needed to protect – and sometimes to promote – competition.


The BMWK has asked the consortium consisting of lawyers and economists to determine whether the emerging legal framework is fit for the task of protecting and, where necessary, promoting competition, and to outline options for action in case of deficiencies. In fact, the inventory of the legal rules relating to data access and data sharing currently in place provides evidence of a great degree of legal uncertainty. Legal institutions, i.e. well-defined (intellectual) property rights, contract law principles and competition law principles, are only emerging. On the basis of this stocktaking exercise, the study discusses the need for reform and explores policy options. These relate to the European Commission’s proposal for a Data Act, European and German competition law including merger control, the Digital Markets Act and Section 19a GWB (German Act against Restraints of Competition), as well as the legal framework for data intermediaries.


The expert study is available at the following link:
Data access and sharing in Germany and in the EU: Towards a coherent legal framework for the emerging data economy

EUI, Badia Fiesolana
Event Report  |  10/21/2022

Florence Seminar on Standard-Essential Patents

On 6 and 7 October the Florence Seminar on Standard Essential Patents took place. The conference, which was jointly organized by Florence School of Regulation at the European University Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, offered the opportunity for a lively academic discussion on FRAND licensing and SEP litigation topics. Twenty-two unpublished papers, both legal and economic, were presented and discussed by prominent scholars in the field.

EUI, Badia Fiesolana
EUI, Badia Fiesolana (Photo: Beatriz Conde Gallego)
Impression of the Florence Seminar on Standard-Essential Patents 2022
Impression of the Florence Seminar on Standard-Essential Patents 2022

The authors and co-authors represented more than twenty academic institutions from three continents. Distributed in a plenary session and several parallel ones, the papers covered timely and contentious issues, such as SEP-related jurisdictional and trade conflicts, the existence of hold-out by implementers, the determination of FRAND licensing levels in complex value chains or the merits of different approaches designed to improve SEP-transparency, as well as recent developments in national patent laws. A roundtable with industry representatives helped to link the academic perspective to market realities. The conference ended with a keynote speech by Michael A. Carrier, who did not only provide a solid trans-Atlantic perspective, but insightfully outlined the manifold and demanding challenges SEPs will still pose in future.


Full programme:  Download.

Miscellaneous  |  10/04/2022

Call for Papers – 16th Workshop on the Organisation, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research

WOEPSR is coming back to Munich! After the 14th workshop of the series in 2020, the “16th Workshop on the Organization, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research”, jointly organized with TUM, will again take place at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition on 13 and 14 April 2023. Researchers who would like to present a paper are invited to submit it online by 15 January 2023.

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), GREThA at the Université de Bordeaux-CNRS (2019), and KU Leuven (2022).


The organisers aim to attract contributions from both junior and senior scholars on topics related to the organisation, economics and policy of scientific research. A minimum number of slots are reserved for junior researchers (PhD students or postdoc scholars who obtained their PhD in 2020 or later).

Contributions are invited on (but not limited to) one or more of the following topics:


  • Organisation of research activities in universities, PROs and private R&D labs
  • The evaluation of science policy
  • Science in the private sector and spillovers from scientific research
  • Role of individual researcher characteristics in scientific research
  • Science research networks and collaboration
  • Scientific careers and mobility

Please submit previously unpublished papers or extended abstracts (min 3 pages) by 15 January 2023.
We strive to notify authors by 27 February 2023.


Download Call for Papers.

More information and submission of papers on the workshop website.

Reto M. Hilty with Sol Terlizzi and Valentina Delich
Event Report  |  09/30/2022

Potential and Limits of Patent Law to Fight Climate Change

At the opening of FLACSO Argentina's Master's Program in Intellectual Property Law, Director Reto M. Hilty spoke on "Potential and Limits of Patent Law to Combat Climate Change" at the FLACSO Argentina Auditorium in Buenos Aires on 5 September. Sol Terlizzi, Academic Director of the Master's Program in Intellectual Property Law, and Valentina Delich, Director of FLACSO Argentina, gave the welcoming remarks.

Reto M. Hilty with Sol Terlizzi and Valentina Delich
Reto M. Hilty with Sol Terlizzi and Valentina Delich

The Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) is a transnational organization for research, teaching and promotion of the social sciences in Latin America. It was founded in Rio de Janeiro on 17 April 1957 at the initiative of UNESCO on the occasion of the Conferencia Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales. 


The event was live-streamed and is available online:  YouTube

Fabian Gaessler at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona
People  |  09/16/2022

Assistant Professorship at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) for Fabian Gaessler

Fabian Gaessler, so far Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, joined the Faculty of Economics and Business of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona as Assistant Professor (tenure track) on 15 September 2022. His research and teaching focus on innovation and strategy.

Fabian Gaessler at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona
Dr. Fabian Gaessler

He works at the intersection of innovation and strategic management with particular focus on intellectual property rights, knowledge production, and technology strategy.


Fabian Gaessler has been working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in the Department  Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research headed by Dietmar Harhoff. Having joined the Institute already as a doctoral student, Fabian Gaessler has been a member of the research team since the establishment of the economics department in 2013. In 2017, he was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal for his thesis “Enforcing and Trading Patents – Evidence for Europe”. The Max Planck Society awards the prize, endowed with EUR 7,500, with the intention to motivate talented junior scientists to pursue a future research career. In 2018 and 2019, Fabian Gaessler served as an interim Professor of Technology Management at the Technical University of Munich.


Fabian Gaessler has published his research results in renowned international journals such as the Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Research Policy, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and Science Advances. Recently, he became member of the advisory board of the “T!Raum” funding initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


His activities at Pompeu Fabra University include research and teaching in the fields of innovation and strategy. He continues to be closely associated with the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition as an Affiliated Research Fellow.

Call for Nominations: Director (f/m/d)
People  |  08/17/2022

Call for nominations: Director (f/m/d)

We invite nominations – including self-nominations – for the position of a Director to lead a research department at the Institute. The candidate’s unique, innovative, and long-term research program should focus on the study of the economic foundations and impacts of innovation processes, while the specific area of expertise is open.

Nominations and Self-Nominations Sought for the Position of Director (f/m/d) at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition


The Institute invites nominations, including self-nominations, for a Director, who is expected to lead a research department at the Institute. While the specific area of expertise is open, the future Director’s unique, innovative and long-term research program should focus on the study of the economic foundations and implications of innovation processes.


Max Planck Directors should have a record of excellent research and successful leadership, the ability or potential to devise a long-term visionary strategy for their research, and the potential to make a substantial contribution to their Institute’s mission. They are also expected to develop collaborations with other departments at the Institute and other institutes within the society as well as other globally leading research organizations.


Research at the MPI for Innovation and Competition is focused on legal and economic studies of processes of innovation and competition (see website). Our mission is to understand the incentives, determinants and implications of innovation. Currently, the Institute has three departments, each led by one Director: The new Director will join the directorate as the successor to one of the three Directors (Dietmar Harhoff). The Institute offers outstanding infrastructure for studying innovation via the use of, e.g., large data in econometric studies as well as field and lab experiments. The working language is English.


The Institute is located in Munich, Germany, and has close collaborative links with both Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich and the Technical University of Munich.


The Institute is part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The Max Planck Society, an equal opportunities employer, is committed to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of recruiting and employment and is particularly committed to increasing the number of women among its scientific leadership. Therefore, we strongly encourage nominations of qualified female researchers.


Nominations, including self-nominations, should be sent to: nominations(at)ip.mpg.de.

A nomination should include:
 

  • The candidate’s name and current affiliation
  • A brief motivational statement (200 words max.) specifying why you have nominated the candidate


Note that this call is part of the Institute’s scouting procedure; its purpose is to inform the Institute about possible candidates. The formal appointment procedure will follow. As a result of this call, a selection of (self-)nominated candidates will then be invited for a visit to the Institute in due time.


All nominations will be treated in the strictest confidence. We expect this call to remain open until midnight (CET) on Sunday, 18 September 2022.



Download the Call for Nominations and Self-Nominations: PDF

Impression of the workshop „Shaping the Internet for the Future“
Event Report  |  07/20/2022

Shaping the Internet for the Future – Workshop on Net Neutrality

On 24 and 25 June, the Institute organized a two-day workshop to discuss the issue of net neutrality rules, to which relevant stakeholders were invited. The workshop also addressed the broader question of shaping an Internet for the future capable of harnessing the full social welfare potential of the Internet.

Impression of the workshop „Shaping the Internet for the Future“
Impression of the workshop „Shaping the Internet for the Future“ (Photo: Delia Zirilli)

In the context of new technological developments and business models in the Internet ecosystem, the debate about the rules of net neutrality has resurfaced. For example, the European Commission is considering fair forms of payment by the big-tech companies, which could come into tension with the current Open Internet Regulation. While it makes sense to review regulation in light of new developments and societal needs, this should be done with consultation with all stakeholders.


Workshop participants have been at the heart of the debate in the last decade. Among them were representatives of public bodies such as BEREC and the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) as well as representatives of civil society (Internet Society, Epicenter.works), think tanks (WIK) and academic scholars from technical, economic and legal disciplines. In addition, the discussion benefited from the participation of industry representatives, including major content providers (Netflix), Internet industry associations (eco e.V., ETNO) and entrepreneurs of new technologies at both the Internet application and infrastructure layers. With a focus on the EU, the workshop also brought together participants from other jurisdictions undergoing a flux regarding net neutrality policy, like the US and UK.


More or Less Regulation: Return on Investment versus Open Internet


The discussions emphasized that the debate over net neutrality is far from settled and remains polarized, making fact-based arguments more necessary than ever. One of the main questions that remains unanswered is how to achieve sufficient incentives to sustain investment in the Internet infrastructure as well as innovation in the fast-evolving Internet ecosystem. While some see the need to relax regulation to allow greater price differentiation and thus increase the return on investment for stakeholders, others believe that the hard-fought net neutrality rules in the EU's Open Internet Regulation should be kept intact.


Yet another key issue is the presence of big-tech companies in the Internet ecosystem. On the one hand, these companies have begun to develop their own private networks, raising the question of whether there are two Internets, one private and largely unregulated, and one public and subject to regulation. On the other hand, the debate about fair contributions reemerged, whereby large content providers, such as big-tech companies, would pay in relation to their use of the network. This renewed push came in the form of the publication of a study commissioned by ETNO on the socio-economic benefits of a fairer balance between tech giants and telecom operators. The argument is that this would enable the financing of the investments needed to roll out 5G technology. Depending on how a fair contribution is ensured, this might disrupt the established net neutrality system in the EU and finds fierce opposition among many stakeholders.


Conclusion and Outlook


A general conclusion of the workshop is that the independent nature of the Max Planck Institute puts it in a good position to enter the debate from an academic and neutral point of view. Against this backdrop, the workshop provided insights enabling the Institute to further develop a new line of research which represents a fundamental part of the discourse on digital economy.

Attendants of the Munich Summer Institute 2022 in the in Grand Hall at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich
Event Report  |  07/08/2022

Munich Summer Institute 2022 – Finally Back in Presence!

For the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Munich Summer Institute took place again as an in-person event from 8 to 10 June 2022. After more than two years of countless virtual meetings, the organizers were particularly pleased to welcome the MSI community back live in Munich. 120 attendants experienced three days of interdisciplinary research with three keynote lectures, 17 full paper presentations as well as 34 poster slam presentations.

Attendants of the Munich Summer Institute 2022 in the in Grand Hall at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich
Attendants of the Munich Summer Institute 2022 in the in Grand Hall at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

On day one, keynote speaker Hanna Halaburda (NYU) refreshingly discussed whether bitcoin can help us go green. The paper and poster presentations on that day focused on topics relating to “Privacy & Information”, “Digitization, Strategy & Organization”, “Media”, and “Market Dynamics”.


The second day initially dealt with the topics “Startups”, the “Gender Gap”, and “Entrepreneurship & Innovation”. The keynote speech was given by Nicola Lacetera (University of Toronto) on “Trust and Social Support: Rethinking the Economics of Innovation in the Age of AI”. Then the participants turned their attention to the areas of “Information” and “Labor”.


Day three first offered insights into “Incentives” and then dealt with the paradox of privacy regulation. Melissa Wassermann (University of Texas Austin) spoke in her keynote about investing in ex ante regulation drawing on evidence from pharmaceutical patent examination. The last poster slam centered around IP from a legal and economics perspective, innovation and digitalization. The MSI 2022 ended with presentations on platform regulation and drug patents.


Since its beginning back in 2016, the Munich Summer Institute has aimed to facilitate networking within an international and interdisciplinary research community. Accordingly, the conference was organized jointly by ETH Zurich’s Center for Law & Economics (Stefan Bechtold), the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Dietmar Harhoff), the Chairs for Technology and Innovation Management and Economics of Innovation at TUM (Joachim Henkel and Hanna Hottenrott), as well as the ISTO at LMU (Jörg Claussen and Tobias Kretschmer).


We would like to thank all our speakers, discussants and attendants for a truly outstanding MSI conference 2022. We look forward to next years’ Munich Summer Institute 2023, which will take place from 24 to 26 May 2023!


You can find the the full MSI program 2022 here.