BUCERIUS IP CONFERENCE 2013: INNOVATION, COMPETITION AND COLLABORATION

Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany
October 11, 2013


 Bucerius Law School’s Center for Transnational IP, Media and Technology Law and Policy held its second academic conference in October 2013. This conference tackled yet another critical topic in the field of intellectual property – the interrelation of innovation, competition and collaboration. A number of internationally well-known scholars and practitioners spoke and moderated the conference.

Background

The interrelation between innovation, competition and intellectual property (IP) laws has never been more complex. At one end of the IP law spectrum, the "proprietary" regime seeks to apply and enforce IP laws with increasing stringency, in an effort to protect innovation and brand values invested into IP assets. Still, such stringency may, under certain circumstances, restrict competition. Young entrepreneurial companies' access to essential technologies may be throttled and truly paradigm-shifting, growth-enhancing innovation, as the "Googles" of the future, may never enter the market. The other end of the spectrum, the "open" regime, involves increasingly open and collaborative uses of IP, prompted by advanced technologies, new cross-disciplinary fields of endeavor and open business processes. Open innovation and open access approaches are rapidly gaining in acceptance.

These seemingly conflicting "proprietary" and "open" regimes are likely to intersect, as the pace of innovation demands a massive, unrestricted flow of technological information. New models may involve a departure from purely exclusionary uses of IP and may envision shared use of proprietary IP, combined use of both proprietary and open regimes and collaborative innovation and creation.

Topics

The conference was intended to take a closer look at these regimes, their intersection and the legal issues raised by it. Specific topics addressed included the contractual exploitation of patents in light of competition law, patent essential standards and FRAND terms, the coexistence between open and proprietary IP models, redefining the public domain as a positive space, private ordering in the trademark field and its impact on competition and transparency, confidential know-how as the basis for creating and disseminating new technologies, exhaustion in connection with online transmission of data, as well as related developments in the telecommunications and biotechnology areas.