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Legal Underpinnings of Innovation Policies: The Intersection of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (LAW-RS-INPOL-23)


Department LAW
Course category LAW Seminar - 3 credits
Course type Course
Academic year 2023-2024
Credits 3 (EUI Law credits)
  • Selçukhan Ünekbas (PHD researcher) Velizar K. Kirilov (PHD researcher)
Contact Law Department administration,
  Course materials

24/01/2024 15:00-17:00 @ Sala dei Cuoi

29/01/2024 13:00-15:00 @ Sala dei Cuoi

05/02/2024 15:00-17:00 @ Sala dei Cuoi

09/02/2024 16:00-18:00 @ Sala dei Cuoi


First and second year researchers as well as LLM researchers can gain 3 credits by attending one of the researcher-taught seminars in each academic year; they can also register for and attend further researcher-taught seminars without gaining credits.

Law is a key instrument for designing and implementing innovation policies across sectors. Two branches of regulation occupy a central role in this landscape: intellectual property (IP) and competition law. Both are concerned with engineering and channeling market power. IP law aims
to incentivize innovation by granting market power, while competition policy dissipates and controls market power. This regulatory mix is directly related to generating innovation, and consequently, spurring economic development.

EU competition and IP laws strive to achieve an equilibrium in promoting innovation through a mixture of policies enabling and/or constraining market power. By acknowledging that both can spur innovative activity, the law recognizes that monopoly and rivalry also display trade-offs.

In four sessions, this seminar explores how EU competition and IP laws strike a balance between competition and market power to drive innovation. It first clarifies what is meant by the term “innovation”. It deconstructs the concept into building blocks, highlights varieties of innovation, and how different types of innovation relate to each other. Second, it examines the impact of interfirm agreements on innovative activity: while research and development collaborations aim to boost innovation through concentrating market power, prohibitions on technology cartels safeguard rivalry to reach the same goal. Third, the seminar turns to unilateral conduct. It discusses two types of trade-offs - between monopoly and competition and between first generation and cumulative innovation. It analyzes how these trade-offs are approached within competition and IP law and how these two fields have interacted in refusals to license cases. Fourth, the last session focuses on mergers to explicate how the control of business concentrations can pursue innovation by bolstering market power (e.g., Schumpeterian competition) and preserving rivalry (Arrowian competition).

First, Second & Third Term: registration from 25 to 28 September.

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Page last updated on 05 September 2023

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