Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition was founded in Munich in 1966 as the Institute for Foreign and International Patent, Copyright and Competition Law. During the following decades, it became instrumental in the development of the areas of law that it dealt with. In 2002, in conjunction with new appointments, its scope of research was extended to include core areas of antitrust law and tax law - hence, the change of the Institute’s name to the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law. After the establishment of an additional department for financial economics in 2008, this Institute was replaced, with effect from January 1, 2011, by the MPI for Intellectual Property and Competition Law and the MPI for Tax Law and Public Finance. Together with the MPI for Foreign and International Social Law, these two Institutes form the Munich-based Max Planck Campus for Legal and Economic Research. In 2013, the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law was expanded to include a new, economics-oriented department (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research); in 2014 the Institute changed its name to Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition.


Marstallplatz 1
80539 München
Phone: +49 89 24246-0
Fax: +49 89 24246-501

PhD opportunities

This institute has no International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

The Directors as well as some researchers of the Institute also teach as Professors and Honorary Professors at universities, including in particular the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. It is in that capacity that they also supervise their own PhD students at these universities. The Institute also accepts external PhD students as scholarship holders and guest researchers. Further information can be found on the website of the Institute and on the websites of the law schools with which the Directors and other researchers at the Institute are affiliated.

Department Intellectual Property and Competition Law more
Department Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research more
Department Intellectual Property and Competition Law more
'Start-ups are the main drivers of growth'
Dietmar Harhoff is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition where he heads the Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research. As Chairman of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI), he also advises the German government on innovation issues. In the run-up to the CeBIT, taking place in Hanover from 14 to 18 March, we spoke with him about how future-proof German industry is in the digital age, the role of start-ups, and the latest buzzword, “Industry 4.0”. more
Experts published a declaration according to 20 years TRIPS agreement more

The German economy is booming, with research and development seeing welcome growth in recent years. However, our author, Chair of the German government’s Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI), warns that we shouldn’t content ourselves with our achievements to date. Germany still has some catching up to do, particularly when it comes to digital infrastructure and the internet offerings of German public authorities and ministries. But higher education institutions and young, innovative businesses need support from the new federal government, as well.

No job offers available

Access to data in the data-driven economy

2017 Richter, Heiko; Surblytė, Gintarė; Wiedemann, Klaus

Business models in the digital economy are increasingly based on the collection, analysis and use of data. However, the legal framework addressing general issues of access to and control of data is complex and not entirely clear. Given the importance of access to data and in light of the EU Commission’s “free flow of data” initiative, a working group of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition digs deeper into questions of the data-driven economy, in particular the need and the optimal scope of data-related regulation.


Patent Litigation in Europe

2017 Gaessler, Fabian; Harhoff, Dietmar

The economics department of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition participated in a research cooperation with other national and international institutions on the judicial enforcement of patent rights. The project comprised the data collection of patent litigation cases in several European countries and their analysis in the context of national jurisdictions. The research project addressed the analysis of the fragmented European system on effectiveness and efficiency to settle patent disputes.


Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems

2016 Harhoff, Dietmar; Stoll, Sebastian
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences

The department “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research” participated in the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 15 “Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) focusing on the development of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) systems, notably patents and trademark rights. The research addressed the rapid changes in IPR systems and their implications on market structures. The research contribution lies in the theoretic economic analysis of IPR systems and empirical analysis of extensive data sets.


Standard essential patents: The role of standard setting organizations

2016 Conde Gallego, Beatriz; Drexl, Josef; Harhoff, Dietmar

During the last years standard essential patents (SEPs) have been subject to intensive litigation worldwide. Apart from their significant economic harm, patent wars, especially in the information and telecommunication sector, have a negative impact on innovation. As key players in the standard setting context, standard setting organizations (SSOs) can contribute considerably to solve SEP-related problems. The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition explores in the framework of an interdisciplinary project how the legal framework for a self-regulation by SSOs should be designed.

Collective Rights Management Organisations (CMOs) are necessary institutions for the enforcement of copyrights. The EU is currently in the process of implementing a harmonised legal framework for the activities of these organisations. Thereby, the interests of all stakeholders, i.e. of the users (licensees) and the right-holders (creators and creative industries) need to be taken into account. The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition contributes to this process through further research and providing critical and constructive advice to the European and national legislature. more

Inventor Mobility

2015 Harhoff, Dietmar; Hoisl, Karin

Knowledge – in particular, the tacit component of knowledge – is embedded in individuals. Hence, inventors are an important mechanism to transfer valuable knowledge from one organization to another. Previous research has established that employee mobility can also lead to individual gains in productivity. Research carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition will seek to understand the impact and determinants of inventor mobility, both at the individual and at the corporate level. Combining data from different sources, the team seeks to identify causal relationships.

A research projekt at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition identifies and discusses the relevant and more common economic characteristics of developing jurisdictions that impact the adoption and enforcement of their competition laws. It aims at providing a better understanding of developing countries’ economic features and discusses how those economic features can be considered adequately when adopting or enforcing a competition law in a developing jurisdiction. more

Challenges for the unitary patent system

2014 Jaeger, Thomas
The European legislator after years of discussions reached agreement over a Regulation on a European Patent with unitary effect and a flanking Court system. The result, however, is a territorrially and substantially truncated system based upon a strangely hybrid and, upon closer examination, deficient legal title. This hitherto unique model is analysed in the context of a research project which also is intended to develop alternatives. more

There is no evidence that researchers in economics and management are willing to share their research data voluntarily for purposes of promoting scientific discourse or for replication. Based on this finding, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition study the incentives that increase the chance of voluntary data-sharing. Academic tenure and a positive attitude towards Open Science principles are two potential factors that have a verifiable impact on voluntary data-sharing.

Also poorer countries possess a large potential of creativity. To bring creative works from these countries to the market, it is not copyright alone that matters, but also competition law. Due to the large diversity of the markets, however, there is very little knowledge about the application of competition law to copyright-related markets. A survey of this practice shows that competition law may not only be applied with the objective of controlling anti-competitive use of the copyright by right-holders, but also as an element of a policy against copyright piracy. more
As a regulatory institution, the patent system must be embedded within the general social and economic framework. Along the lines of the “Declaration on a Balanced Interpretation of the Three-Step Test in Copyright Law”, the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law has initiated a study on the interpretation of international treaties in the area of intellectual property with the aim of highlighting the regulatory autonomy that States enjoy in designing their national patent laws. more

The Balance of Copyright

2012 Nérisson, Sylvie
A comprehensive comparative-law study looks at the ways in which the legislative bodies and the legal practice in over forty selected countries attempt to balance adequate copyright protection, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the legitimate interests of third parties – especially the interests in the widest possible dissemination of knowledge and culture. more
Public sector bodies control a constantly growing amount of information which could be commercially exploited in particular by digital value added services. With the PSI Directive of 2003, the European legislature aims at promoting the re-use of “public sector information” and the emergence of a private sector for value added information services. The question of how to reform this directive under today’s different economic conditions requires a thorough analysis from the perspective of competition policy. more

Study on the overall functioning of the European trade mark system

2011 Knaak, Roland; Venohr, Philipp
The review of the Community trade mark system undertaken on behalf of the European Commission leads to fundamental systemic issues that are of great importance particularly to the coexistence of the Community trade mark system and the national systems. A project carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law has analyzed these issues and the European trade mark law as a whole, and has worked out improvement suggestions. more

The turn to private law: Solving conflicts post deregulation

2011 Podszun, Rupprecht
Deregulation and public-private partnerships of state actors with private undertakings move conflicts from the domain of administrative law to private law. Private law courts decide the cases. This shift proves to be problematic: the regulative effect of court rulings is often underestimated. The free system of private law may also suffer when public actors and interests start to slip in. Therefore, the model of governing the economy through private law needs institutional and procedural safeguards. more
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