Cover of the CDTM Trend Report “Tackling Climate Change in the AI Era”
Miscellaneous  |  03/01/2023

Tackling Climate Change in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time, confronting us with cascading effects if no action is taken now. How can we cope with climate change with the support of AI solutions? As a member of the Bavarian AI Council, Dietmar Harhoff leads the project group “AI for Climate Protection”. A first project in cooperation with the Center for Digital Management and Technology (CDTM) of TUM and LMU has now been successfully completed – the Trend Report on “Tackling Climate Change in the AI Era”. 

Cover of the CDTM Trend Report “Tackling Climate Change in the AI Era”
CDTM Trend Report “Tackling Climate Change in the AI Era”

Using AI in sectors such as agriculture, energy and transportation can lead to economic benefits while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. How can this technology be leveraged to create tangible impact and pursue a transformation that creates opportunities for all? How to develop ethical and trustworthy AI systems without a large carbon footprint? The CDTM Trend Report looks into these questions and provides an understanding of the potential of AI for tackling climate change in the next 20 years. It describes trends (political and legal, economic, social and environmental, technological, as well as business models) that explain the current and upcoming challenges of climate change, identifies potential future scenarios, and innovates new business models, ensuring a balance between sustainability, technology, and future prosperity.

The report was developed within the framework of the trend seminar at the CDTM, where 25 young innovative students from interdisciplinary backgrounds conduct holistic trend research over seven weeks on a specific, future-oriented topic. In the basic phase, a comprehensive trend analysis is prepared, the scenario phase is used to develop four future scenarios, and in the ideation phase, five future-proof digital business models are elaborated. In their work, the students were supervised, among others, by Anna-Sophie Liebender-Luc, who is now a Junior Research Fellow and Doctoral Student at the Institute.

Dietmar Harhoff presented the Trend Report to Judith Gerlach, Bavarian Minister of State for Digital Affairs, at AI.BAY2023, the 1st International AI Conference of the Bavarian AI Network baiosphere, held at the Deutsches Museum in Munich on 23 February 2023.

Directly to the CDTM Trend Report “Tackling Climate Change in the AI Era”.

Patrick Cramer, President-elect of the Max Planck Society with employees of the Institute
Miscellaneous  |  01/31/2023

Institute Visit by the President-Elect of the Max Planck Society, Patrick Cramer

On 24 January 2023, Patrick Cramer, the President-elect of the Max Planck Society, visited the Institute. He will take over from Martin Stratmann on the 75th anniversary of the Max Planck Society in June 2023 in Göttingen, where the Max Planck Society was founded. Cramer’s goal is to have visited and become acquainted with all 86 Institutes of the Max Planck Society by the time he takes office. He was impressed by the societal relevance of the research conducted at the Institute.

Patrick Cramer, President-elect of the Max Planck Society with employees of the Institute
Patrick Cramer, President-elect of the Max Planck Society with employees of the Institute
Katja Ketterle, Head of the Institutes’ Department, with Patrick Cramer
Katja Ketterle, Head of the Institutes Department, with Patrick Cramer
Patrick Cramer, President-elect of the Max Planck Society
Patrick Cramer addresses the General Assembly of the Institute
Employees of the Institute, ready for group discussion
Representatives of the researchers, IT, equal opportunity officers, and science communication, ready for group discussion

At its meeting on 23 June 2022 in Berlin, the Max Planck Society’s Senate appointed Patrick Cramer as new President-elect of the Max Planck Society for the term of office from 2023 to 2029. The 54-year-old chemist and molecular biologist currently is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Göttingen. He will take over the role from Martin Stratmann in June 2023 in Göttingen, where the MPG was founded, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Max Planck Society. Stratmann was at the helm of the Max Planck Society for nine years.

By the time he takes office as president of the Max Planck Society in June, Patrick Cramer wants to have visited all 86 Max Planck Institutes. A lofty goal that is within reach: Since July 2022, Cramer has visited nearly two-thirds of the Institutes. Our Institute was number 54 on his list. He was accompanied by Dr. Katja Ketterle, Head of the Institutes Department of the Max Planck Society, and Dr. Sabine Gieszinger, Institute Support.

Thus, on the morning of 24 January, after a joint photo session, the entire Institute gathered for a brief address by the President-elect, followed by a question and answer session.

Cramer spoke of a triad of core values of the Max Planck Society. First, he mentioned excellence, although pure scientific excellence would not suffice. It is also about the personalities and people around whom the Institutes of the Max Planck Society are built. The so-called Harnack principle is an essential part of the Max Planck Society’s strategy and crucial for attracting other outstanding minds. It is equally important to communicate and explain the work of top researchers to the public. Finally, the third core value he cited was the sense of unity among all employees of the Max Planck Society.

“We all are Max Planck,” Cramer emphasized in an open exchange with the Institute’s employees. It is the task of all employees to contribute to the goals of the Max Planck Society. It is equally important that the ideas of all members of the “Max Planck Family” are heard. The President-elect showed that he was open to the wishes, questions and suggestions of everyone.

He also answered personal questions. Just three years ago, he said, he could not have imagined that he might put his own research on hold in favor of his new responsibilities. Cramer has been director of the Göttingen Institute since 2014; before that, he was professor of biochemistry at LMU Munich and director of the Munich Gene Centre.

Cramer has made significant contributions to the development of life sciences, both through his own research and by mentoring and promoting young scientists. He solved the three-dimensional structure of one of the largest enzymes in the nucleus, RNA polymerase. This work enabled his team to unravel the mechanisms of gene transcription. Gene transcription is the process by which living cells make copies of their genes, which then serve as blueprints for the production of proteins. Shortly after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cramer and his group visualized how the coronavirus copies its genetic material. The team also showed how the Covid-19 drugs Remdesivir and Molnupiravir interfere with this copying process.

But now, Cramer said, he embraces the challenge of the new office and is convinced that it is important to help shape the future of science and bring new knowledge into the world for the benefit of all people.

In the further course of the visit, a group discussion was held with representatives of the researchers, IT, science communication and equal opportunity officers, in addition to discussions with the directors. Finally, a poster presentation of the Institute’s research highlights took place in a smaller circle.

Cramer was impressed by the social relevance of the research conducted at the Institute, highlighting in particular research on the transition to a sustainable economy, support for emerging economies, or on AI and the protection of private data. Katja Ketterle, head of the Institutes Department, emphasized how inspiring the brief insights into the research were and that the Institute also had a great team in other areas, making it one of the particularly fine small Institutes within the large Max Planck Society.

We thank you for your visit and look forward to further exchange!

f.l.t.r.: Calixto Salomão Filho, Reto M. Hilty, Celso Fernandes Campilongo,Juliana Krueger Pela
Miscellaneous  |  01/17/2023

Reto M. Hilty signs cooperation agreement with the University of São Paulo

On 11 January 2023, Reto M. Hilty signed a research cooperation agreement between the Institute and the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo (FDUSP). This cooperation is part of the “Smart IP for Latin America” (SIPLA) Initiative, which provides a neutral forum for academic and legal policy discourse on intellectual property and competition law in Latin America. In addition to the existing observatories in Argentina and Colombia, an academic observatory will now also be established in Brazil.

f.l.t.r.: Calixto Salomão Filho, Reto M. Hilty, Celso Fernandes Campilongo,Juliana Krueger Pela
Reto M. Hilty (2.f.l.) with the Director of the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo (FDUSP), Celso Fernandes Campilongo (2.f.r.) the Head of the Brazilian Observatory, Juliana Krueger Pela (right) and the Head of the Commercial Law Department of the FDUSP, Calixto Salomão Filho (left) / Photo: FDUSP

Prof. Dr. Celso Fernandes Campilongo, Director of FDUSP, emphasized at the signing ceremony that partnerships such as this are fundamental for the advancement of FDUSP's faculty and students. This cooperation will develop projects that will serve to better use the creative and technological potential of Latin America to best meet the social, cultural, and economic needs and interests of this region of the world. Joint publications and events complement the research cooperation portfolio.

The first events are already in preparation: On 26 April 2023, the SIPLA Annual Conference will take place in São Paulo. The main topics will be technology transfer and regional innovation. The conference will be rounded off by four internal workshops devoted to the further development of SIPLA projects already underway in the areas of copyright, patent law, competition law, and trade secrets protection.

Event Report  |  01/16/2023

RISE5 Workshop 2022 – Two Days of Diverse Scientific Exchange for Young Scholars

Just before Christmas, the 5th Research in Innovation, Science and Entrepreneurship Workshop took place, which has been organized since 2018 by young researchers of the Institute for young researchers from all over the world. Robert Seamans from the Stern School of Business at New York University was invited to give the keynote speech. His presentation on the use of AI and robots sparked a vivid discussion on the limits of measuring the phenomena and the implications for the economy.

RISE5 Workshop with Robert Seamans
Participants of the RISE5 Workshop
Organizing team of the RISE5 Workshop with Keynote Speaker Robert Seamans

More than 40 international young researchers from over 20 universities around the globe attended the RISE 5 Workshop on 19 and 20 December 2022. For the fifth time now, the two-day event was organized by Ph.D. students from the Department for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research to give young scholars the opportunity to present and discuss their work.

After two years of being held online due to the pandemic, this year’s workshop finally took place again in person in Munich, much to the delight of all participants. The program was exciting and covered the topics of Economics of Innovation, Knowledge Diffusion, Entrepreneurship and Artificial Intelligence. Twelve selected doctoral students and recent graduates presented their work, which was then discussed by experienced researchers.

On the first day, the workshop was kicked off with a session on Knowledge Spillovers and Innovation Across Borders. Current research on the effect of antitrust enforcement against patent-based monopolies on innovation was presented, as well as how knowledge spillovers drive the relationship between clustering and firm innovation. The second session focused on Artificial Intelligence and Innovation. Speakers presented their work on how firms should design human-AI-collaboration to ensure that human workers remain engaged in their activities. On the other hand, the impact of AI on innovation activities of firms was demonstrated using the example of hospital suppliers.

A special highlight of the day and the event was the inspiring keynote by Robert Seamans, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations and Director of the Center for the Future of Management at NYU Stern School of Business. He spoke on “AI and Robots - What’s New Here If Anything?” and presented results from a 2019 U.S. Census Bureau survey on the use of robotics in U.S. manufacturing establishments. His research shows a high degree of spatial concentration of robotized manufacturers, explained in part by complementary resources in a region, such as a qualified work force or robot integrator companies. His presentation sparked a vivid discussion about the limits of measuring AI and robots and the implications for the economy.

Entrepreneurship was the theme of the closing session of the first day. New research shows that greater emotional coherence expressed in venture pitches of start-ups can increase venture outcomes.

The second day raised numerous highly relevant questions about the Determinants of Innovation Incentives, the Direction of Research, Knowledge Diffusion and Protection and Access to Information. How do people at work strategically seek advice, and do others’ priors about their competence affect these strategies? How do scientists respond to increased demand for innovation in electric vehicle technologies and the quality of research outputs? Can diversity lead to greater research focus on populations underrepresented in science? What is the impact of academic science on corporate innovation? How do heterogeneous European legal regimes affect the patent litigation strategies of on non-practicing entities? Are research papers more frequently cited when research data is disclosed? And finally, what is the significance of Google for scientific research?

See the complete program with all topics here and check out the coverage on Twitter under #RISE5Workshop.

We thank all participants, including the fantastic keynote speaker, thorough discussants and great presenters for a truly outstanding RISE5 Workshop 2022. Our special thanks go to everyone who was so involved in the organization, in particular Sebastian Erhardt, Mainak GhoshKlaus Keller and Ann-Christin Kreyer. With great enthusiasm and motivation, we look forward to the RISE6 Workshop 2023 – again in person at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich.

Call for Papers - Munich Summer Institute
Miscellaneous  |  01/10/2023

Call for Papers – Munich Summer Institute 2023

The 7th Munich Summer Institute, jointly organized with ETH Zurich, HEC Lausanne, Northeastern University, LMU and TUM, will take place from 24 to 26 May 2023. Researchers who would like to present a paper are invited to submit it online until 15 February 2023. After the successful premiere last year, a workshop for Ph.D. students will be held again this year, on 23 May 2023.

We plan to hold the Munich Summer Institute 2023 as an in-person event (no hybrid meeting) in Munich. The Munich Summer Institute will be preceded by the second MSI Ph.D. Workshop on 23 May 2023.

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 Institute focuses on quantitative empirical research.

The Munich Summer Institute will be held at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in the heart of Munich. Participation is by invitation only. The Munich Summer Institute will fund hotel expenses for all plenary speakers, poster presenters and invited discussants. It is expected that participants fund their own travel. The Munich Summer Institute may provide limited travel scholarships in case of financial hardship.

Keynote Speakers

Paper submission procedure

Researchers who would like to present a paper are invited to submit their paper online until 15 February 2023 at The Munich Summer Institute only considers papers which have not been published or accepted for publication at the date of submission. Paper selections will be announced in mid-March 2023. The program of the Munich Summer Institute will be available in early April 2023. All accepted papers will be made available to all participants on 14 May 2023. Researchers who would like to attend the Munich Summer Institute without giving a presentation should contact one of the organizers by 15 April 2023. 

Further information

More information is available at the MSI website. Any questions concerning the Munich Summer Institute should be directed to Stefan Bechtold, Dietmar Harhoff, Joachim Henkel, Hanna HottenrottTobias Kretschmer, Christian Peukert, or Imke Reimers.

Symbolic Image
Event Report  |  01/10/2023

Access to Affordable Medicines in Wartime Ukraine - Roundtable Discussion

On 1 December 2022, the Institute held an online roundtable on the topic ‘Facilitating Access to Affordable Medicines During Wartime in Ukraine’. The event was co-organised in cooperation with the Scientific and Research Institute of Intellectual Property of the National Academy of Law Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine), the Institute of Law of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Kyiv, Ukraine) and the patient-led health initiative CO ‘100% Life’ (Kyiv, Ukraine). 

The overall objective was to discuss potential solutions under intellectual property (IP) law for alleviating the public health crisis in Ukraine through the exchange with international legal scholars. The latter included Matthias Leistner (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Germany), Geertrui Van Overwalle (KU Leuven, Belgium), Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan (University of Cambridge, UK), Mohammed El Said (University of Central Lancashire, UK), Peter K Yu (Texas A&M University, USA) und Erika Dueñas Loayza (Intellectual Property Unit of the World Health Organization’s Access to Medicines and Health Products Division).

The Ukrainian colleagues provided an overview of the current situation with the demand and supply of medicinal products in the aftermath of the outbreak of war. The participants discussed how the existing TRIPS flexibilities may apply in the context of today’s Ukraine to protect public health and which factors can enable or contribute to their impactful application. The co-organisers plan to continue the dialogue on this subject. 

View program

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.