Michèle Finck, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, University of Tübingen, Inaugural Chair of Law and Artificial Intelligence
People  |  09/20/2021

Michèle Finck Appointed Professor of Law and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Tübingen

Michèle Finck is the Inaugural Chair of Law and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Tübingen. Her research will focus on the legal implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly in relation to data law and data governance. Questions regarding AI and sustainability, as well as climate change, are also a focus of the Chair.

Michèle Finck, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, University of Tübingen, Inaugural Chair of Law and Artificial Intelligence
Michèle Finck is the Inaugural Chair of Law and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Tübingen.

The research professorship, supported by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, follows an interdisciplinary approach in research and teaching. A close collaboration is intended, inter alia, with the Cluster of Excellence Machine Learning in Tübingen, the AI Center and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. At her Chair Michèle Finck wants to establish a team of national and international experts for legal issues of Artificial Intelligence. In the first stage, there will be five positions for doctoral students and one postdoctoral position at the Chair.    


Prior to her appointment at the University of Tübingen, Michèle Finck from 2017 worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute in the Intellectual Property and Competition Law Department with Reto M. Hilty. She focused her research work primarily on data (protection) law and new technologies, especially AI and blockchain, as well as data governance. As an Affiliated Research Fellow, she will continue to be associated with the Institute.


Michèle Finck received her PhD in European Law from the University of Oxford in 2015. Apart from her work as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute, her professional career includes, among others, positions as a Fellow at the London School of Economics, as a lecturer for European Law at Keble College at the University of Oxford, as a Fellow at University College London and as a visiting scholar of law and technology at several European universities.

Mor Bakhoum, Head of the Max Planck Partner Group, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Université virtuelle du Sénégal, “Regulation of the data economy in emerging economies”
Miscellaneous  |  08/12/2021

Max Planck Partner Group founded in Senegal

The Max Planck Society has given its approval to the establishment of a Max Planck Partner Group affiliated with the Institute at the Université virtuelle du Sénégal in Dakar. The aim of the collaboration is joint research on issues of data access and regulation in relation to sustainable development.

Mor Bakhoum, Head of the Max Planck Partner Group, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Université virtuelle du Sénégal, “Regulation of the data economy in emerging economies”
Mor Bakhoum is Head of the newly founded Max Planck Partner Group in Senegal

Head of the new Max Planck Partner Group will be Mor Bakhoum, who was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute from 2009 to 2018 and is still associated with the Institute as an Affiliated Research Fellow. In addition, Mor Bakhoum continues to teach at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) the course “Competition Law in Emerging Markets” and supervises master theses of MIPLC students. He also currently heads the doctoral school of the Université virtuelle du Sénégal (UVS).


The Partner Group, which is based at the UVS, will comprise, apart from Mor Bakhoum, seven postdoctoral researchers, two doctoral students and a research assistant. In collaboration with the team at the Institute in Munich, they will undertake research activities on the issue of regulation of the digital economy and data access in relation to sustainable development. The Group will publish position papers and articles as well as support doctoral students at the UVS doctoral school working on the topic of data and the digital economy. The research within the Partner Group is closely linked to the Institute’s Research Project “Regulation of the data economy in emerging economies”.


The Max Planck Partner Groups are an instrument of the Max Planck Society in the joint promotion of researchers with countries interested in strengthening their research through international cooperation. A Partner Group can be set up on condition that outstanding young researchers, following their tenure at a Max Planck Institute, return to their home country and carry out further research on a subject that is also of interest to their previous host Institute. More than 70 Partner Groups exist worldwide at the moment.

Miscellaneous  |  07/28/2021

Call for Papers – RISE4 Workshop

Researchers who would like to present a paper at the “4th Research on Innovation, Science and Entrepreneurship Workshop” are invited to submit it until 30 September 2021.

For the fourth time now, the two-day event is organized by Ph.D. students and Postdocs of the Department for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research headed by Dietmar Harhoff to give young scholars the opportunity to present their work.


The RISE4 Workshop on 6/7 December 2021 aims at stimulating a rigorous in-depth discussion of a selected number of research papers by Ph.D. students and Junior Postdocs, providing feedback and connecting with peers from other research institutions.


Keynote speaker of the RISE4 Workshops is Catherine Tucker (MIT & NBER).


Please send your submissions as a PDF to rise_workshop(at)ip.mpg.de.


Get Call for Papers

See RISE4 Workshop Website

Miscellaneous  |  07/21/2021

Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus Pandemic – Diagnoses and Options for Action

In a new statement, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina presents an analysis of the economic and sociopolitical situation in Germany in the face of novel challenges posed by the pandemic and derives possible courses of action to cope with the upcoming structural change. Dietmar Harhoff contributed as an expert and addressed questions pertaining to the structural change and economic growth as well as the performance of public organizations.

In four thematic sections, diagnoses of the status quo are first presented, followed by specific options for policy measures. The statement provides answers to the following questions, among others:


  • Effects of the pandemic on the economic structural change: Under what conditions can existing growth potentials be leveraged?
  • Possible consequences of the pandemic on the distribution of wealth and social inequality: How can decision-makers respond in the areas of education and training, the fostering of gender equality and the design of the social security net?
  • Limits to the performance of public organizations in the crisis: What are their causes and how can they be overcome?
  • Sustainability of public finances: What are the reform options for national debt? How relevant is local government financing and investment activity after the pandemic?

More information on the Leopoldina website.


Go directly to the statement (in German).

 “New directions in the European Union’s innovation policy?” Alumni Association Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
Event Report  |  07/10/2021

“New Directions in the European Union’s Innovation Policy?” – 17th Annual Conference of the Institute and the Alumni Association

On 9 July 2021 this year’s Alumni Conference was held on the topic “New Directions in the European Union’s Innovation Policy?”. In two panels with four keynotes, the participants discussed questions of competition and IP policy of the European Union from an interdisciplinary perspective.

 “New directions in the European Union’s innovation policy?” Alumni Association Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
On 9 July the 17th Annual Conference of the Institute and the Alumni Association was held.

What direction is the European Union's innovation policy going in? Can legislative proposals such as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) make Europe fit for the digital age? Is the European IP framework still suitable to fulfil its fundamental functions in view of technological disruption? These were the questions addressed at this year's Alumni Conference, which was hosted on 9 July for the 17th time by the Institute in collaboration with the Alumni Association “Friends and Former Employees of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition”. 
 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time the event took place online. Researchers and Alumni of the Institute as well as external guests from all over the world engaged in fruitful discussions on the current and future European law and policy framework for innovation and competition in digital markets. The conference was opened by welcome addresses of the chairwoman of the Alumni Association, Federica Togo, and the Managing Director of the Institute, Josef Drexl.


The European Union's Competition Policy
 

The first panel dealt with the competition policy of the European Union and was chaired by Dietmar Harhoff, Director of the Institute’s economic department. Cristina Caffarra, Senior Consultant to Charles River Associates and Visiting Professor at University College London, started by providing a critical look at the current competitive landscape and competition law enforcement within the digital world. In her keynote, she raised major concerns regarding, inter alia, structural underenforcement coupled with insufficient regulation, which also fails to properly address privacy concerns. The talk contained a critical look at the proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA) and further legislative action in the UK, the US, and Germany, and questioned whether the current regulatory environment helps to foster innovation.
 

In the second keynote of the first panel Rupprecht Podszun, Chair for Civil Law, German and European Competition Law and Director of the Institute for Competition Law at the University of Düsseldorf, spoke about “Taking Decisions on Regulating Big Tech”. He argued for a principled approach that should be followed by policymakers enforcing competition law vis-à-vis Big Tech companies. The presentation focused, inter alia, on the question where such principles come from (e.g. constitutional documents) and on the relationship between competition law and fundamental rights issues, such as personal data protection, sustainability or the protection of consumer autonomy. Within his keynote he discussed different ways of intervention against the backdrop of different market models.
 

The discussion after the first panel focused, for example, on the question which goals the proposed DMA pursues (if any). It was also discussed how a competition policy can be justified that aims at providing consumers with more sovereignty and choice in order to protect competition, but at the same time cuts down the users’ convenience by regulating the conduct of Big Tech companies.


The IP Policy of the EU


The second panel, chaired by Reto M. Hilty, Director at the legal department of the Institute, was devoted to the EU’s IP policy. Katharine Rockett, Professor at the University of Essex, started by laying the economic groundwork on intellectual property protection for data and Artificial Intelligence. She first elaborated on the general preconditions under which IP rights for data may be justified and put a special emphasis on issues of licensing and diffusion. After having illustrated the distinguishing features of data compared to more traditional subject matter for intellectual property protection and the implications of these features for intellectual property design, she made some final remarks on how Artificial Intelligence might alter traditional IP paradigms.
 

Building on this economic foundation, Matthias Leistner, Chair of Private Law and Intellectual Property Law with Information and IT-Law at the University of Munich, gave an overview on both the current IP landscape of the EU and upcoming IP policy reforms from a legal point of view. Against the backdrop of a newly-evolving overall access and portability paradigm in EU law making, he critically examined the protection of database works de lege lata under copyright law, the sui generis right for databases, and trade secrecy rules. He particularly pointed out the need for abolishment or at least substantial reform of the database sui generis right. Leistner then gave an outlook on how the European Commission plans to address this and other existing problems in the course of its upcoming Data Act.
 

The following lively discussion revolved around, inter alia, the problem of over-complex and overlapping regulatory levels to the detriment of small market players, the possibility of introducing new registration systems for as of yet unregistered IP rights, and the advantages of a more unfair competition law oriented approach towards the protection of databases.

Cristiane Stülp at working in the server room
Miscellaneous  |  06/25/2021

First Woman Successfully Completes Vocational Training at the Institute’s IT Department

Cristiane Stülp has become the first woman to successfully complete her training at the Institute’s IT department. The 25-year-old Brazilian is thus a role model for many young women who would like to develop their talents and interests in areas of the professional world that traditionally have a male connotation. She tells us her story and confirms in the interview how important it is for women in this context to have the necessary support in their private environment.

Cristiane Stülp at working in the server room
Cristiane Stülp at working in the server room. Photo: Andreas Kraus

Women are still significantly underrepresented in IT professions. Only about 8 percent of all IT apprentices in Germany are female (source: Statistisches Bundesamt, 2019). The IT world of work has traditionally been considered a male domain, even though programming, for example, was still a typical female occupation in the 1980s as busywork for office staff. One exception was the U.S. computer scientist and computer pioneer Grace Hopper, who worked with the Mark I, the world's first fully electronic computer, at Harvard University from the mid-1940s.


There are also economic reasons why policymakers and the industry are trying to attract more women to IT professions: Due to the shortage of skilled workers, vacant IT positions can no longer be filled (source: Handelsblatt) . Nevertheless, young women in the IT sector still have to contend with obstacles and prejudices.


We asked Cristiane Stülp about her personal experiences on her way to becoming an IT specialist and what she would pass on to young women as a role model.


The young Brazilian with German roots emphasizes that, at the beginning of her path, a fair amount of risk-taking was necessary to even go to Germany. Her family played an important role. In a way, her older sister Marlise, who had completed an agricultural internship in Germany, served as a female role model. Cristiane Stülp had initially planned only a one-year internship – in the meantime, she has been in Germany for almost five years.


The IT specialist reports that her family has an agricultural business in Brazil. However, her parents never mapped out career paths with expectations, but were always open and supportive about their children’s career aspirations. One experience she took away from the agricultural world was her assertiveness. She emphasizes that she is not afraid to work as the only woman among men.


Her interest in IT was also awakened and strengthened in her private life. Even as a girl, she had to stand up to her brothers to get her fair share of limited computer time. Her partner Jacob, who works in the IT sector, has always encouraged her to pursue her interests in this field and to look for an apprenticeship. Here again, assertiveness and persistence were required – both in dealing with the immigration authorities and in the search for a vocational training institution.


When choosing her career, she never experienced anyone advising her against an IT vocational training – yet, many reacted with surprise. For her colleagues, too, it was new territory to no longer work only among men – but she never encountered any prejudice or resistance in the IT team, which Cristiane Stülp now calls “my men” with a wink and smile. On the contrary, she has experienced great appreciation, support, and encouragement.


Working in a mixed team has proved successful. The IT department would like to recruit more female trainees, but there is a shortage of applicants. In the last round of applications, their share was far below 5 percent. When it comes to internal tasks, Cristiane Stülp also likes to seek responsibility. She sees as a special female quality that she identifies organizational improvement potential and thus contributes to solutions with greater sustainability in the community of the team.


Although women tend to have higher exit rates in male-dominated professions (source: Accenture, 2020), Cristiane wants to continue working in the IT field after her training. She is particularly interested in system administration. She is happy to continue working at the Institute after her exams.


The training and examination period during the COVID-19 pandemic brought great additional challenges and also personal losses – Cristiane Stülp overcame all this with great mental strength and maturity. She also emphasizes that it was striking that she encountered very few young female IT trainees in the vocational school environment, but rather independent adult women.


After her successful training, she is first and foremost looking forward to seeing her family in Brazil as soon as this is possible. At the end of the interview, she makes a wonderful closing statement: “I, as a woman here at the Institute, am just happy.” She would take the same path again at any time.


(The interview was conducted by Myriam Rion, Hella Schuster, and Ulrike Garlet.)

[Translate to english:]
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

Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition,Professorship of Law of Digital Goods, Commerce and Competitionn, TUM School of Management
People  |  04/09/2021

Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt Appointed to Professorship of Law of Digital Goods, Commerce and Competition at TU Munich

Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt has been appointed as a university professor (W3, tenured) at Technical University Munich (TUM). He holds the professorship of Law of Digital Goods, Commerce and Competition at TUM School of Management.

Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition,Professorship of Law of Digital Goods, Commerce and Competitionn, TUM School of Management
Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt holds the professorship of Law of Digital Goods, Commerce and Competition at TUM School of Management

Prior to his appointment at TU Munich Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute in the Intellectual Property and Competition Law Department with Professor Josef Drexl. He will continue to be associated with the Institute as an Affiliated Research Fellow after his move. In his research and teaching Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt focuses on topics such as the law of the digital economy, platform markets, data-driven economy, competition law and policy, entrepreneurial strategies and innovation activities, as well as law and economics.


Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt holds graduate degrees in law as well as in economics. He studied law (First and Second Juridical State Exam) at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Dr. iur., PhD in law), at NYU Law School (LL.M. (NYU)), in Würzburg and at the Université de Genève. In economics, he attended the University of Karlsruhe (Dr. rer. pol.), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Stern Business School (NYU) in New York and the University of Würzburg. His legal and academic practice includes working at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, at the universities of Munich, Würzburg and Harvard, in the Foreign Service at the German Embassy in London and at the United Nations (UNCTAD).  
 

Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt has been awarded the Faculty Prize of the University of Munich and the Prize of the Munich Law Society. He has obtained scholarship funding from the European Recovery Program (ERP), the German Ministry of Economics, the German National Academic Foundation, the Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR) and the VG Wort.

Miscellaneous  |  04/01/2021

Commission for the Future Presents Report

Demographic developments, climate change, globalization, digitalization, and the preservation of social cohesion are the topics of the report prepared for the Lower Saxony state government by the “Commission Lower Saxony 2030” headed by Dietmar Harhoff. Along these challenges, development trends, opportunities and risks as well as recommendations were identified and elaborated, which can be guiding not only for this state, but other states and countries as well.

Dietmar Harhoff presents the report to Minister President of Lower Saxony Stephan Weil. Photo: Jasper Erich, Lower Saxony State Chancellery.

On behalf of the state government of Lower Saxony, a team of experts chaired by Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, has developed options for action on how the federal state can respond to current major societal challenges. In the next few years, the course will be set for future developments. 


Eleven renowned scientists had agreed to develop recommendations for the future. The commission took up its work as an independent and autonomous body of experts on 1 July 2019. The highly interdisciplinary panel identified five areas in which the state faces particular challenges, but that also affect other states and countries: (1) demographic developments, (2) climate change, (3) globalization, (4) digitalization, and (5) the preservation of social cohesion. Ten fields of action were examined along these challenges, within which general development trends as well as opportunities and risks for the state were identified.


These fields of action comprise the topics (1) demography and generations, (2) immigration and diversity, (3) work, employment and upskilling, (4) health and care, (5) landscape, energy and climate change, (6) agricultural and food economy, (7) mobility, (8) research and innovation, (9) high-tech strategy, robotics and AI, and (10) digitalization.


Finally, the commission presented particularly relevant options for action and core recommendations. These are intended to help ensure that the state can fully exploit its potential for a future-proof, successful development, and will be economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable in 2030.


The commission submitted the final report with its recommendations to the government of Lower Saxony on 25 March 2021. It is available online on the website of the state of Lower Saxony.

Miscellaneous  |  02/08/2021

Call for Papers – Munich Summer Institute 2021

Researchers who would like to present a paper are invited to submit it online until 15 March 2021.

From 7 to 9 June 2021, the Center for Law & Economics at ETH Zurich, the Chair for Technology and Innovation Management at TUM, the Chair for Economics of Innovation at TUM,  the Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization at LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition will jointly organize the fifth Munich Summer Institute.


The Summer Institute will focus on three areas:

The goal of the Munich Summer Institute is to stimulate a rigorous in-depth discussion of a select number of research papers and to strengthen the interdisciplinary international research community in these areas. Researchers in economics, law, management and related fields at all stages of their career (from Ph.D. students to full professors) may attend the Munich Summer Institute as presenters in a plenary or a poster session, as discussants or as attendants. The Munich Summer Institute will feature three keynote lectures, 12 plenary presentations and a daily poster session (including a poster slam). The Munich Summer Insti-tute focuses on quantitative empirical research. Participation in the Munich Summer Institute is by invitation only. 


Keynote speakers are:

Paper submission procedure

Researchers who would like to present a paper are invited to submit their paper online until 15 March 2021. The Munich Summer Institute only considers pa-pers which have not been published or accepted for publication at the date of submission. Paper selections will be announced in late April 2021. The program of the Munich Summer Institute will be available in early May 2021. Final papers will be made available to conference participants on a public website, and are due on 15 May 2021. Researchers who would like to attend the Munich Summer Institute without giving a presentation should contact one of the organizers by 15 May 2021. 


Further information

More information is available at the MSI website. Any questions concerning the Munich Summer Institute should be directed to Stefan Bechtold, Jörg Claussen, Dietmar Harhoff, Joachim Henkel, Hanna Hottenrott or Tobias Kretschmer.