Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law

Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law

With effect from January 1, 2011, the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law was replaced by the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law and the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance. Together with the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law, these two Institutes form the Munich-based Max Planck Campus for Legal and Economic Research.


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).

There is always the possibility to do a PhD. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

To introduce competition policies, developing countries can act on the national or supranational level. A trend toward supranational competition law systems can be witnessed in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean region. In many instances, developing countries follow the European example. However, the particular trade and integration paradigm of the European model cannot provide an adequate response to the manifold challenges in developing countries. Rather, one has to take account of the socio-economic, political and cultural specificities of the particular region. more
The expansion of protection for intellectual property rights on the international level is increasingly met with criticism. As a reaction, it is considered to impose mandatory limits to the scope and contents of protection. As the international Conventions until now are based on the principle of minimum rights, such an approach is venturing into largely unchartered territory, raising a number of unsettled issues. more
Profit shifting by means of systematic debt financing has been in the public focus for many years. A research project at the Max-Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law analyses the basic concepts to prevent excessive debt financing including recent developments in selected countries. The main objective is to support the legislative body in improving the existing regime respectively to encourage a full reconception. more
Tax reform considerations in the United Kingdom and the United States have renewed the debate on the optimal taxation of foreign business income. The standard theory states that dividends paid by foreign affiliates should be taxed according to the tax credit system. However, recent empirical research has challenged the main assumption of this theory and suggested the introduction of the tax exemption system. In models accounting for these new findings it can be shown, though, that the tax credit system dominates the exemption system in welfare terms. more
The division of taxing powers between the German federal government and the German states has been a controversial issue since the establishment of the federal republic in 1949. A research project at the Max-Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition, and Tax Law scrutinizes whether the German tax system violates the perpetuity clause of the federal constitution. Moreover, the project discusses the federal structure of the U.S. and Canadian tax systems in order to identify options for a reallocation of taxing powers in Germany. more
Most standards of international protection of intellectual property derive from a growing number of free trade agreements. They often promote increasing levels of protection in developing countries, without taking into account the public or private interests they affect. A new generation of European free trade agreements however claims sustainable development as one of its primary goals. Do these agreements offer new approaches for reconciling private rights with conflicting private and public interests? Do they serve as an example for a reform of the multilateral intellectual property regime? more

An Economic and Legal Analysis of the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

2009 Müller-Langer, Frank; Wechsler, Andrea
The economic analysis of the intellectual property law system constitutes an extensive refinement of the research methodology relating to intellectual property rights. The International Max Planck Research School for Competition and Innovation (IMPRS-CI) combines these two most relevant research strands to a new area of research: the economic and legal analysis of intellectual property rights enforcement. more

Patenting Inventions Pertaining to Early Stages of Human Life

2009 Clara Sattler de Sousa e Brito
Jurisprudence Medicine
Ethical objections to modern biotechnology, especially those pertaining to human life, currently generate vivacious public discussions, which naturally flow into Patent Law due to the application of patents to biotechnology. Subsequently, the European Parliament generated a list of examples of the public order exclusion from patentability in the Biopatent Directive. However, these examples were unclear, resulting in not only an unfortunate profusion of different national solutions, but also leading to a constitutional issue by removing decision-making power from the democratic processes. more
While private corporations have no standing under classic international public law, international investment treaties allow foreign corporations to sue the guest state before an international arbitration tribunal. Due to the fact that the provisions of international investment treaties also cover intellectual property, these treaties provide causes of action which are not available to private corporations under the WTO regime. more

Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

2008 Jaeger, Thomas
Provisions of intellectual property remain incomplete where their enforcement and legal consequences in national courts are not fully transparent and effective. Enforcement deficits do not only entail economic consequences for undertakings, they may moreover open an unacceptable leeway for modifications of the scope of the rights protected by the parties. The Division for Intellectual Property and Competition Law at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law emphasises research activity in the enforcement area, aiming at a comprehensive understanding of related problems and an elaboration of precise remedies for deficits related to substantive and procedural enforcement provisions. more

Competition Law in Developing Countries

2008 Drexl, Josef
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
Many so-called developing countries are currently in the process of developing domestic competition laws and policies. Taking US or European law as a model often seems a promising approach. Whether, however, developing countries are in need of a “different” competition law is hardly ever considered although different economic, cultural, political and social conditions may argue for crucial modifications. more

Legal Capital and Financing of Stock Corporations in the Arab Countries

2008 Pohlhausen, Carlo
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
A research project at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law analyses the laws and regulations for the financing of stock corporations in selected Arab countries, which, among other things, aim to balance the conflict between the capital seeker’s freedom of raising capital and the protection of the investor. For this purpose it undertakes to evaluate the efficiency of the systems of legal capital, the rules pertaining to the increase of capital and the raising of funds through corporate bonds. more

Copyright and the system of competitive markets

2007 Drexl, Josef
Cultural Studies Jurisprudence
To achieve its goals of promoting creativity copyright law has to rely on market inventives. Therefore, copyright law is intrinsically intertwined with competition policy. Economic and legal writing so far has discussed the relationship of copyright and competition only in the light of the patent paradigm by referring to a dynamic concept of competition meant to promote innovation, or it only applied a static concept of competition based on a purely output and price-oriented analysis. Recent discussions on the Recommendation of the European Commission on the management of online-rights in musical works caused the Institute to work on a creativity-enhancing competition policy which might also be applied to other current problems in the field of copyright. more

European intellectual property contract law: Promoting innovation and creativity

2007 Peukert, Alexander; Hilty, Reto M.
Intellectual property law aims at promoting innovation and creativity. This object requires a secure legal framework not only for the protection of intellectual property, but also for contracts about these rights, especially licensing contracts. However, clear-cut rules on licensing contracts are missing on a national and an international level. In order to develop a consistent body of intellectual property contract law in Europe, the legal systems of the EU member states are studied comparatively in that respect. more
There is a multitude of reasons for valuation of Intellectual Property. Substantial disagreement exists with respect to the question how such a value finding process should be carried out. A project at the Max-Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law aims at illuminating fundamental issues of Intellectual Property valuation, examining the suitability of Intellectual Property valuation models and developing alternative valuation approaches. more

The German Real Estate Investment Trust

2007 Wagner, Gunther
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
The Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a tax transparent real estate investment vehicle. For a long time players in the financial and real estate markets have been requiring its introduction to Germany. To avoid tax losses of the German tax authorities, the German legislator demands to secure taxation at shareholder level. In this context, problems are caused especially by the existing double taxation agreements and the EC Parent Subsidiary Directive. Thus, the jurisprudence is called upon to analyse the methods of resolution proposed and present own solutions, in order to assist the German legislator in his further decisions. more

Perspectives of the Community trademark system

2006 Knaak, Roland
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
The Community trademark system is one of the main focuses of current research at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law. In the context of these activities, fundamental issues which have a potential model character for other Community intellectual property rights are the subject of this research. more

Taxation and corporate governance

2006 Mayer, Stefan; Friese, Arne; Link, Simon
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
Taxation and corporate governance interact in various ways. Until now, no systematic analysis of these interactions has been carried out. Insofar as authors have dealt with separate aspects, the focus is now less on the question how tax law influences corporate governance, and more on effects changes in the practice of corporate governance in the wake of spectacular corporate breakdowns have on taxation. more

Intellectual property as a component of competition law

2006 Drexl, Josef; Conde Gallego, Beatriz
Intellectual property rights and competition law pursue the same goal of promoting innovation. This requires taking competition policy concerns already into account when designing the optimal scope of intellectual property rights. On the other side, it is also necessary to consider the positive effects of intellectual property rights in fostering innovation when applying competition law to restrictions involving such rights. In this respect, the “more economic approach” nowadays advocated by the European Commission allows to take into account the economic effects of IPRs on a given market. Striking the right balance between intellectual property rights and competition law in order to best achieve the common goal of promoting innovation and an efficient allocation of resources is one of the main focuses of research at the Department of Intellectual Property and Competition Law of the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law. more

What impact do modern information and communication technologies have on patent law?

2006 Klicznik, Alexander
Cultural Studies Jurisprudence
The field of patent law is impacted by the modern information and communication technologies in two respects. Firstly, the rise of electronic databases provides for new options with regard to the search for patents. Secondly, the Internet brought about new ways – for example the WWW, USENET or email – of disclosing a technical teaching. With regard to these new kinds of disclosures, courts and patent authorities face the problem of an appropriate legal assessment and also problems with regard to proof. more

Patents on disease genes

2005 Herrlinger, Karolina Anna
Genetics Jurisprudence Medicine
Patents on disease genes cause concerns about hampered research and development and access to medicine services. A research project at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law analyses how far these concerns are justified and discusses possible measures to ensure freedom of research and development. The analysis shows that the major factor in the conflict between promotion of investments and freedom of research is the patent owner’s licensing policy. more

Corporate information and competition

2005 Link, Simon
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
Expanding the amount of information corporations are legally required to publish has become a popular means of regulation. Economically, there are many reasons why this makes good sense. But mandatory publications may lead to competitive disadvantages for firms if the information turns out to be valuable to competitors or other players in the market. Balancing these aspects of information regulation is difficult because information once publicised can no longer be controlled. In this situation lawmakers can either try to restrict the distribution of sensitive information or mitigate the danger of competitive disadvantage by varying scope and detail of mandatory publications. more

The equitable balance of interests in copyright law in the information society

2005 Hilty, Reto M.; Geiger, Christophe
Cultural Studies Jurisprudence
Since the information society has fundamentally changed large areas of economic, political, social and cultural life, many aspects of law need to be reassessed. The adjustment of copyright law to these challenges has thus been one of the main focuses of the Department of Intellectual Property and Competition Law of the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law in 2004 and will continue to be a challenge in the long run within the framework of multiple projects in the Institute. more

Network effects, dynamic efficiency and antitrust law

2005 Mackenrodt, Mark-Oliver
From the point of view of antitrust law the legal assessment of a competitive strategy hinges on the strategy’s effect on competition. This effect, in turn, is determined by market mechanisms. The notion of network effects refers to a microeconomic concept of industrial economics that explains the specific market mechanisms in network markets. A research project at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law analyzes the influence of network effects on market mechanisms and competitive strategies and assesses how effectively the instruments of antitrust law scrutinize the activities in network markets. more

International and foreign competition law

2004 Drexl, Josef; Mackenrodt, Mark-Oliver
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
Under the impression of strong opposition from developing countries at the WTO Ministerial Conference of Cancún in 2003, the European Community has to review its proposals for binding international rules of competition law. An approach developed at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law conceptualizes an international competition order in the framework of the WTO as a response to the perceived drawbacks of globalization and trade liberalization. Given the growing number of newly enacted national competition laws worldwide the Institute examines how the specific cultural, economic and political concerns in the different countries can best be taken into account both in the domestic legal framework and for a future international competition law. more

Linkage between commercial and tax accounting under German and European law

2004 Schön, Wolfgang
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
The introduction of the International Accounting Standards as binding framework for listed groups of companies in Europe brings forward the issue of the future of "linkage" between commercial and tax accounting. The Institute discusses the commercial and company law background - specifically creditor and shareholder protection -, analyses legal choices for domestic legislation and prepares proposals for a Euro-wide applicable consolidated common tax base for cross-border multi-national enterprises in Europe. more

Unfair competition law at a crossroads

2004 Hilty, Reto M.; Henning-Bodewig, Frauke
Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences
There are considerable differences of opinion about how to harmonize unfair competition law at an EC-level. Insofar, the approach of the ten new Member States could be crucial. A new research project of the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law focuses on the situation in the new Member States and its impact on future Community law. more

Recent patent law development in Europe

2004 Straus, Joseph; Schneider, Michael
Since 1978 the European Patent Office issues European bundle patents. These patents have the same effects as national patents of the contracting states. Their validity and infringement are judged by the courts of the contracting states. Up to the present neither a Community patent nor a centralized European patent jurisdiction has been achieved. While the European Commission is aiming at establishing a centralized patent jurisdiction in the framework of the proposed Community patent regulation, without any jurisdiction over European bundle patents, a working party of the contracting states of the European Patent Convention (EPO) has submitted a draft for a European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA). At the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law, which has been involved in the preparatory work for the EPLA, proposals for merging the two projects beneficially have been elaborated. more
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