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)

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,, 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.

Zdenko Caganic
People  |  07/06/2022

We mourn the passing of our colleague and friend Zdenko Caganic (1968 – 2022)

It is with great sadness and dismay that we had to learn that our colleague and friend of many years Zdenko Caganic passed away on 5 July 2022. We are all deeply shocked by his death.

Zdenko Caganic
Our colleague and friend Zdenko Caganic (1968 – 2022)

Quite suddenly and without any warning, he suffered a cardiac arrest on the sidelines of a business trip. Immediate help given to him by companions and emergency doctors were of no avail.

Mr Caganic had been part of the core team of our institutes for more than 20 years. With passion, wisdom and wit, he championed the interests of us all. He was appreciated and well-liked, approachable for everyone and a constant support for his colleagues in the house services. We all relied on his help on countless occasions. 

Our special sympathy goes to his family, especially to his wife Jakica Caganic, who has also been a valued member of our staff for many years. The Caganic couple was an integral part of our “Max Planck family” for a long time. We are sure that the entire staff will stand by Mrs Caganic in this difficult time. 

For now, we have nothing left but to mourn Mr Caganic and grieve with his family.

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, as well as the predecessor institutes.

Josef Drexl during his opening lecture at the launch of the Max Planck Partner Group Senegal. (Photo: Université Virtuelle du Senegal)
Event Report  |  04/05/2022

Official Opening Event of the Max Planck Partner Group in Senegal

On 16 and 17 March 2022, the inaugural event for the formation of the Max Planck Partner Group at the Université Virtuelle du Sénégal, or UVS of the Max Planck Partner Group with the Université Virtuelle du Sénégal, or UVS, took place in Dakar, Senegal. To launch its scientific activities, the research group held a kick-off workshop on “Access, Data Sharing and Sustainable Development Goals: An Overview from the Senegal's Point of View.”

Josef Drexl during his opening lecture at the launch of the Max Planck Partner Group Senegal. (Photo: Université Virtuelle du Senegal)
Josef Drexl during his opening lecture at the launch of the Max Planck Partner Group Senegal. (Photo: Université Virtuelle du Senegal)

At the opening ceremony before the workshop, Josef Drexl, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, gave a lecture on "Marchés numériques, droit de la concurrence et développement éconmique" (Digital markets, antitrust law and economic development). The event was streamed live on the YouTube platform and is still available there.

With the foundation of the research group, UVS hopes that its own strategic orientation will be strengthened and that the first project is only the beginning of a long partnership between the two institutions, as UVS wrote on Twitter.

With the project "Access, Data Sharing and Sustainable Development Goals: Regulation of the Data Economy in Emerging Economies," the institute will work with partners from emerging economies to develop advice on designing the optimal regulatory framework for data sharing to promote sustainable development in countries in the global South. In addition to UVS, research partners include universities in India and Brazil.

3rd SIPLA Conference, 03/16/2022, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Event Report  |  03/23/2022

Third SIPLA Annual Conference: Innovation as a Key Component for Sustainable Development

How can innovation impact the solution of fundamental challenges facing humanity - climate change, food and the health of the world's population? Do new technologies make a strategic contribution to sustainable development - and where do the potentials of Latin America come in? These were the questions addressed by participants at the third annual meeting of the Institute's Smart IP in Latin America (SIPLA) research initiative, held on 16 March in Buenos Aires.

3rd SIPLA Conference, 03/16/2022, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3rd SIPLA Conference, 03/16/2022, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Since Latin American countries have significant potential for innovation in sustainable technologies thanks to certain resources, the focus of the conference was on the specific incentives that can drive relevant innovation in the region. Reto Hilty, Director at the Institute, and Diego Hurtado, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, opened the event.

The debate included three panels: one with representatives of various Latin American start-ups, one with experts from the economic sciences, and one with legal scholars. The scientific panels used different, complementary approaches to discuss the questions of how to promote innovation in the field of sustainable technologies.

The first panel focused on the areas in which the invited start-ups from six Latin American countries are particularly innovative. Also addressed were the legal and economic difficulties faced by founders, as well as established companies. Moreover the panel examined the extent to which government or other support was decisive and thus contributed to economic growth.

The economic panel dealt with the question of how incentives can be created or increased in order to innovate in the areas of sustainability-oriented technologies. The economists also considered which factors have a positive or negative impact on the willingness of private actors to invest and what conclusions can be drawn from this in regulatory terms.

In the third panel, legal scholars addressed the legal framework conditions that can represent not only incentives but also constraints to sustainable development. They also highlighted the complexity of these frameworks and addressed the difficulties start-ups face in complying with them.

The enormous interest this topic attracts was also reflected in the number of participants: nearly 1,000 people attended the hybrid conference, according to the Argentine Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The ministry acted as co-organizer and provided also the venue for this conference.

SIPLA - Smart IP for Latin Armerica

Otto-Hahn-Medaille, Felix Poege, Daria Kim
Award  |  03/18/2022

Two Otto Hahn Medals for Young Researchers of the Institute

Dr. Daria Kim and Dr. Felix Pöge, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition who both completed their doctoral theses in 2021, have been awarded the Otto Hahn Medal by the Max Planck Society in recognition of their outstanding scientific achievements. 

The Legal Scholar Daria Kim

The legal scholar Daria Kim receives the award for her work on “Access to Non-Summary Clinical Trial Data for Research Purposes Under EU Law”, a study on the regulation of access to data collected during clinical trials in order to improve future drug research.

Daria Kim provides in her dissertation an in-depth study on the regulation of access to patient-level data generated in the context of clinical trials. As an interdisciplinary study, it integrates the insights from medical research, economics and public policy into normative legal analysis. The author elaborates a proposal of how the rules on access to data can be designed on the EU level to reconcile the policy objectives of leveraging the knowledge potential of data through exploratory analysis in the interest of society at large while protecting innovation incentives of research-based drug companies. She thereby substantially contributes to the further development of the legal system designed to promote innovation against the backdrop of the current development of digitization.

Daria Kim is now a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute.

The Economist Felix Pöge

The economist Felix Pöge is awarded for his dissertation on “Corporate Innovation – The Role of Scientific Discoveries, Taxation and Antitrust” which makes important contributions to the analysis of innovation processes, in particular the impact of competition on innovation outcomes.

In four essays, Felix Pöge answers pressing research questions and examines how the quality of scientific contributions, corporate taxation, corporate participation in scientific conferences, and industry structure affect innovation outcomes. In his most comprehensive essay, he looks at the breakup of IG Farben after World War II and its impact on competition and innovation in the chemical sector. Pöge concludes that the politically motivated breakup led to a substantial increase in competition, which was reflected in lower prices for a large number of chemical products and in an increase in patenting activities by the companies affected by the breakup. For the current debate on the effects of mergers on competition and innovation, this historical study provides important evidence and implies that mergers can harm both competition and innovation.

Felix Pöge is now a Postdoctoral Associate at the Technology & Policy Research Initiative at Boston University. 

The Max Planck Society has been awarding the prize for outstanding scientific achievements, named after the „father of nuclear chemistry” Otto Emil Hahn (1879–1968), since 1978. The prize is endowed with 7,500 euros and is intended to motivate young talented scientists to pursue a research career.

The Otto Hahn Medal for Young Scientists will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Max Planck Society on 22 June 2022 in Berlin.

We congratulate the award winners!

Access to Non-Summary Clinical Trial Data for Research Purposes Under EU Law (pdf and epub)

Corporate Innovation – The Role of Scientific Discoveries, Taxation and Antitrust (pdf)

Institute Building in colors of Ukranine flag.
Miscellaneous  |  03/09/2022

The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Is Committed to Support Ukrainian Researchers

Both the legal and economic departments of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition offer to support Ukrainian researchers fleeing from war in their home country. We also invite Ukrainian researchers to turn to us whose stipend or employment abroad ended recently and who are now looking for a way to continue their research outside Ukraine. The Institute provides office space, access to the library, a stipend for at least six months (extendable), and support for searching accommodation.

Scholars with a background or interest in Competition Law, Intellectual Property Law, Innovation Economics or Entrepreneurship Research should reach out to scienceforukraine(at) This applies to doctoral students and established scientists alike.

Update from 4 May 2022

Since the publication of this information, numerous applications have been submitted. So far, eight scientists have been welcomed to the Institute. Two people are now conducting research in the department of Reto M. Hilty, and three each in the department of Josef Drexl and the department of Dietmar Harhoff. In addition to integration at the Institute, team members have helped with interpreting, finding a kindergarten place, organizing school places, and finding housing for the researchers and their relatives. In total, seven relatives, including five children, accompany the refugees. To strengthen contacts with and among the new colleagues, excursions were organized and the guests were even invited privately to an Easter brunch. All of this cannot make the cruel war in Ukraine forgotten, but hopefully it will make it a little easier for the newly arrived to settle into their new environment.