Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Annette Kur
Award  |  05/14/2024

Annette Kur inducted into the IP Hall of Fame

Together with Jenny Lukander (Nokia), Shira Perlmutter (U.S. Copyright Office) and Klaus Grabinski (German Federal Supreme Court, Unified Patent Court), Annette Kur has been inducted into the IP Hall of Fame. This award is only presented to four people worldwide each year.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Annette Kur
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Annette Kur

The prize, which has been awarded by the IP Hall of Fame Academy since 2006 and was developed by the IAM platform, honors personalities who have made a special contribution to establishing intellectual property as one of the most important economic factors of the 21st century. Award winners include the former directors of the Institute, Friedrich Karl Beier and Joseph Straus.

The IP Hall of Fame Academy is made up of former, living members of the IP Hall of Fame and individuals who have been nominated for membership based on their recognized expertise in international intellectual property issues.

Annette Kur was a Research Fellow at the Institute from 1980 to 2021 and has remained closely associated with the Institute as an Affiliated Research Fellow since 2021. Her research focuses on European and international trademark and design law, overlap issues, and the interface between intellectual property and private international law. In 2023, she played a leading role in the Institute's Statement on the EU-Design Package.

See also World Trademark Review

Benedict Probst
People  |  04/30/2024

The Institute Welcomes New Max Planck Research Group Leader Benedict Probst (Net Zero Lab)

Starting in May 2024, the environmental economist Benedict Probst will establish an independent Max Planck Research Group at the Institute. The goal of the Net Zero Lab is to accelerate the development of green technologies that are crucial for replacing fossil fuels in industry as well as of technologies that remove CO2 directly from the air.

Benedict Probst
Max Planck Research Group Leader Benedict Probst (Net Zero Lab)

Max Planck Research Group Leaders are appointed by the President of the Max Planck Society and enjoy an independent status similar to that of directors. With his group, Benedict Probst will explore the economic determinants, incentives, and implications of green innovation. “I am very much looking forward to this new challenge,” says Probst. “I have been following the Institute’s excellent research for a long time and I am very happy to be able to establish my research group here.” He will be a member of the economics department “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research”, which is headed by Dietmar Harhoff.

Benedict was born in Munich, but has spent most of the last decade abroad. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Economics from the University of Cambridge and was a senior researcher and lecturer at ETH Zurich. In addition to his academic work, he worked for a green startup and consulted for the World Bank and the German Development Bank.

“The group will focus on examining the entire innovation process, from invention through commercialization to global diffusion,” says Probst. “It is very important to us to exchange ideas with policymakers and companies so that our findings also make their way into society.”

To the personal website of Benedict Probst

Miscellaneous  |  04/18/2024

Call for Papers – RISE7 Workshop

Young researchers working in the fields of Economics or Management who would like to present an empirical research paper at the 7th Research on Innovation, Science and Entrepreneurship Workshop are invited to submit it until 26 July 2024.

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

The RISE7 Workshop on 17/18 December 2024 aims at stimulating a rigorous in-depth discussion of a selected number of research papers by Ph.D. students and Junior Post-docs, providing feedback and connecting with peers from other research institutions.

Keynote speaker of the RISE7 Workshop is Matt Marx (Cornell University).

Get the Call for Papers.

See RISE6 Workshop Website.

Dan L. Burk (1962 – 2024)
People  |  02/09/2024

In Memoriam Dan L. Burk (1962 – 2024)

We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of Dan L. Burk, Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. He passed away on 4 February 2024, leaving behind a profound and worldwide legacy on issues related to technology law, including the areas of patent, copyright, electronic commerce, and biotechnology law.

Dan L. Burk (1962 – 2024)
Dan L. Burk (1962 – 2024). Photo: UCI Law

He had close ties with the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. He was a member of the Advisory Board from 2013 to 2023. In 2011, as a Fulbright Scholar, he conducted groundbreaking research at the Institute on the patenting of biotechnology in Germany and the European Union. Dan was a long-standing member of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) faculty. His contributions were crucial in helping to establish the excellent reputation and made a profound impact on the MIPLC community.


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Reto M. Hilty
People  |  02/07/2024

Reto M. Hilty Retires

Reto M. Hilty, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, having reached the age of 66 at the beginning of 2024, officially retired at the end of January. The legal scholar is a leading authority in the field of intellectual property law and an internationally renowned advisor for legislation at European and national level. This also includes non-European legal systems, in particular China and Latin America.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Reto M. Hilty
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Reto M. Hilty, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Reto Hilty has repeatedly contributed to the legislative processes of the European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany with expert opinions, most recently in 2023 with the Revisiting the Framework for Compulsory Licensing of Patents in the EU. During the coronavirus pandemic, he took a clear position on the idea of releasing patents on vaccines and explained why releasing patents would not lead to a better supply of vaccines.

Over the last years, Reto Hilty has been leading the SIPLA – Smart IP for Latin America project, which investigates which protection standards are useful for economic development in Latin America. The aim of the various individual projects is to further develop the protection systems in such a way that the historical, cultural, social, economic and political conditions of the different countries can be adequately taken into account.

Reto Hilty, who initially studied mechanical engineering, already joined the then Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Patent, Copyright and Competition Law in Munich for a research stay in 1989 to work on his dissertation on patent law. This was followed by teaching assignments at the Universities of Zurich and St. Gallen. After his habilitation on license agreement law, he was appointed full professor of technology and information law at the ETH Zurich in 2001, followed by an appointment as full professor of intellectual property law at the University of Zurich in 2002. In the same year, Reto Hilty was also appointed Director of the Max Planck Institute.

This was followed by numerous honorary and visiting professorships, for example at Tongji University in Shanghai (PR China) and at Singapore Management University. The University of Buenos Aires awarded Reto Hilty an honorary doctorate in 2019 for his achievements in the field of intellectual property and competition law.

The Institute has many reasons to thank Reto Hilty. Over the past 22 years, he has shaped, significantly changed and advanced the Institute with his drive, strategic brilliance and academic achievements. His particularly lasting initiatives include the creation of an economics department and the imminent relocation of the Institute to a new site.

Fortunately, his retirement does not mean a farewell to the Institute. He would like to continue his research and will do so at our Institute, albeit balancing between Buenos Aires and Munich.

Comparative Data Law, conference impression
Event Report  |  01/12/2024

Conference “Comparative Data Law”

Legal issues relating to the development of global data law were discussed at the "Comparative Data Law" conference on December 7 and 8, 2023. The Research Center for Legal Issues of Digitalization (FREDI) at the University of Passau, the Institute for Media and Information Law (Department of Private Law) at the University of Freiburg and the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition  jointly hosted and organized the conference at the Haus der Bayerischen Wirtschaft in Munich. Moritz Hennemann (Uni Freiburg) and Josef Drexl were responsible for the content.

Comparative Data Law, conference impression
Comparative Data Law, conference impression. Photo: Moritz Hennemann
Participants of the conference “Comparative Data Law”
Participants of the conference “Comparative Data Law”. Photo: Delia Zirilli

Academics from all over the world discussed international data regulation on various continents and critically explored future options for action. The thematically diverse program was dedicated to central data law issues and opened with a keynote speech by Michal Gal (University of Haifa) on “The Effects of Legal Data Regimes on the Global Data Race”.

In the following four sections of the conference, data trust models, questions of data localization and data sharing as well as suitable international regulatory forums were presented and controversially discussed. The question of how to deal with the phenomenon of so-called data colonialism was also the subject of presentations and discussions.

At the end of the event, Josef Drexl presented the Institute’s project group “Data Governance in Emerging Economies to Promote the Sustainable Development Goals”, which includes several researchers from the Institute. Numerous poster presentations, in which scientists presented current research projects and discussed them with interested conference participants, completed the event.

Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl
People  |  01/02/2024

Rotational Change of Management of the Institute as of 1 January 2024

As of 1 January 2024, Josef Drexl assumes the role of Managing Director of the Institute through biennial rotation.

Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl
Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl, LL.M. (Berkeley), Managing Director 2024/2025

He succeeds Dietmar Harhoff, who has been Managing Director since 2022. Josef Drexl has been Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition since 2002 and already served as Managing Director in 2009/2010, 2013/2014, and 2020/2021.

Joseph Straus
People  |  12/14/2023

Joseph Straus Celebrates his 85th Birthday

The Institute and all its members extend their heartfelt congratulations to former Director Joseph Straus on his 85th birthday. Joseph Straus is one of the outstanding researchers in the field of intellectual property law and is particularly active in the field of patent law with a focus on biotechnology.

Joseph Straus
Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Joseph Straus

His scientific achievements have been honored in many ways, including the Science Prize of the Stifterverband der Deutschen Wissenschaft in 2000 and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Ljubljana and Kragujevac. He is also a member of the Academia Europea and a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Slovenia, as well as a foreign member (socio straniero) of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (the oldest scientific academy in the world) and a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In addition to his birthday, the emeritus professor has another reason to celebrate this year: the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) Cooperation Project, which he led from 2003 to 2008, has been in existence for 20 years and has gained an excellent international reputation with its Master's program. In recognition of his vision and leadership role in founding the MIPLC, the “MIPLC Joseph Straus Distinguished Service Award” was created and first awarded five years ago.

Joseph Straus has not only taught as an honorary professor at the LMU Munich, but also as a visiting professor at numerous foreign universities. His contacts in the USA and China are particularly close. Joseph Straus is an honorary professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan and Tongji University in Shanghai. The cooperation with Tongji University, which has existed for 20 years and is also being celebrated these days, was largely co-initiated and supported by him.

Even in the year in which he turned 85, Joseph Straus is still giving lectures and courses. The list of his publications continues to grow.

For further appreciation of Joseph Straus' research and achievements, please refer to this article on our website and the editorial in GRUR Int 67, (12/2018).

[Bitte nach "english" übersetzen:] RISE Logo
Miscellaneous  |  11/27/2023

The Program Is Available Now! − RISE6 Workshop

On 18 and 19 December 2023, the sixth “Research in Innovation, Science and Entrepreneurship Workshop” (RISE6) from young researchers for young researchers will take place. The program of the RISE6 Workshop 2023 is now available. The participants can look forward to exciting topics, an interesting keynote, and inspiring scientific exchange.

The workshop was first organized by Junior Researchers in 2018, and is aimed at Ph.D. students and Junior Postdocs worldwide. RISE offers them an opportunity to present their work, receive feedback from experienced researchers and connect with peers from other research institutions. Keynote Speaker of the RISE6 Workshop is Ina Ganguli, Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

See the Program RISE6 (PDF).

More on the workshop website RISE6 Workshop.

AI-generated image to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the economics department of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
Event Report  |  11/20/2023

Anniversary Celebration “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research” – 10 Years Economics Department at the Institute

On 10 November 2023, more than 80 participants, including 26 Alumni, Alumnae and Affiliated Research Fellows, gathered to celebrate and honor the tenth anniversary of the Economics Department at the Institute. Dietmar Harhoff had been appointed Director at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law in 2013.

AI-generated image to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the economics department of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
A special gift: AI-generated image based on prompts from department members with memories of the past years.
Dietmar Harhoff with the historic event bell
Dietmar Harhoff with the historic event bell
Laura Rosendahl Huber presents a retrospective of the beginnings of the economics department at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
Laura Rosendahl Huber sharing a look back to 2013
Young researchers pitch their projects.
Young researchers pitching their projects
Federal Research Minister Stark-Watzinger during her congratulatory video greetings
Federal Research Minister Stark-Watzinger during her congratulatory video greetings

The program of the anniversary event traced the development of the department for “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research” and the interdisciplinarity at the Institute. The archive reports on the  appointment of Dietmar Harhoff and subsequent  renaming of the Institute as the “Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition” tell the story of the department, to which reference was made.

After introductory words by Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., a panel discussion was held in which a decade of progress in the research field and the department was reflected upon. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Zhaoxin Pu (DataGuard), who herself completed her doctorate at the Institute in 2020, and at present works for a company specializing in data protection, information security, and compliance.

Prof. Dr. Fabian Gaessler, now Assistant Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, showed in his contribution how research at the interface of management, economics, law, and computer science, leads to a “cross-pollination”, so to speak, with an input of doctoral students from various institutions and a throughput of postdocs from renowned research institutions (EPFL, Cornell University, ZEW, KAIST, Northwestern University, Mines Paris Tech, University of Cape Town, Goethe University and many more). This qualifies for positions in various sectors and has led the former Research Fellows into industry, start-ups and spin-offs (octimine technologies), or to EPO, bidt, and other research institutions (e.g., KU Leuven, Erasmus University, Politecnico di Milano, Bocconi University, University of Groningen, Ingolstadt University of Technology, Bundeswehr University).

Prof. Laura Rosendahl Huber, Ph.D., who is now Assistant Professor at the Rotterdam School of Management and is, inter alia, conducting research on gender differences, portrayed the development of the department into an increasingly diverse and international team in her presentation of photos and memories.

Prof. Bronwyn Hall, Ph.D., Emerita Professor at the University of California Berkeley, and Affiliate of the department, examined the department’s publication figures  and noted a constantly growing publication output.

Dr. Matthias Lamping, Senior Research Fellow, gave an entertaining account of the expectations of the legal colleagues that were associated with the establishment of an economics department. It quickly became apparent that interdisciplinarity cannot be established at the push of a button, but that ideas on common research questions grow together through continuous dialogue.

Dr. Alexander Suyer, also a former doctoral student of Dietmar Harhoff and now Research Coordinator at the Institute, started with the Institute’s Mission Statement to reflect on Dietmar Harhoff's many years of engagement in evidence-based policy advice at the national and federal state level.

In his speech, Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl expressed in particular appreciation for the colleague, scientist, and person Dietmar Harhoff.

Very refreshing and impressive were the subsequent “elevator pitches”, short presentations by young researchers from both the economics and law departments of the Institute, which ranged from core innovation and patent research to gender issues in innovation and entrepreneurship, digital markets, platforms and artificial intelligence to green tech, and showed that the young scientists have grown and settled in interdisciplinary exchange.

In an interactive memory lane game, the Junior Research Fellows Ann-Christin Kreyer and Timm Opitz then presented surprising, interesting, and amusing facts and figures that required the knowledge and judgment of those present.

A special surprise was presented at the end of the afternoon event: In a video greeting, the Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watziger honored the ten-year anniversary of the department for “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research” as well as Dietmar Harhoff personally as a “particularly influential voice for innovation and competition” who was and is heard by policymakers.

At the subsequent reception in the Institute’s Grand Hall, attendees were invited to step into the time machine, and look at the project posters from the first poster session in 2013, which were set up in order to trace the significant changes and developments of the last ten years in terms of both subject matters and persons.

The evening dinner event, which was dedicated to the exchange between the Alumni and Alumnae of the economics department and the current team, was introduced by piano music in the Max Planck Hall of the Akademischer Gesangverein München (Academic Choral Society), which Max Planck joined at the age of 16 – a lesser-known facet of his talents. Dietmar Harhoff was thanked by his team with a special gift based on the idea and initiative of Senior Research Fellow Dr. Marina Chugunova, who researches human-machine interactions, inter alia: an image generated by artificial intelligence fed with prompts from the team. The fact that humans are still indispensable for achieving outstanding creative results was demonstrated by the commitment of Sebastian Erhardt, also known as “SebGPT”, who gave the result an extra boost.

Special thanks for her commitment and creativity in organizing the event went to Junior Research Fellow  Svenja Friess.


Video Greeting (in German) of the Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger

LinkedIn Post on the event by Prof. Dr. Claudia Lieske (Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt)