MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR INNOVATION & COMPETITION
RESEARCH PAPER SERIES
"Blockchains and Data Protection in the European Union"
Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 18-01
MICHÈLE FINCK, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, University of Oxford
This paper examines data protection on blockchains and other forms of distributed ledger technology (‘DLT’). Transactional data stored on a blockchain, whether in plain text, encrypted form or after having undergone a hashing process, constitutes personal data for the purposes of the GDPR. Public keys equally qualify as personal data as a matter of EU data protection law. We examine the consequences flowing from that state of affairs and suggest that in interpreting the GDPR with respect to blockchains, fundamental rights protection and the promotion of innovation, two normative objectives of the European legal order, must be reconciled. This is even more so given that, where designed appropriately, distributed ledgers have the potential to further the GDPR’s objective of data sovereignty.
"From TRIPS to FTAs and Back: Re-Conceptualising the Role of a Multilateral IP Framework in a TRIPS-Plus World"
Forthcoming, Netherlands Yearbook of International Law
Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 18-02
University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 3/2018
HENNING GROSSE RUSE-KHAN, University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
International intellectual property (IP) protection is increasingly governed by a network of bilateral and regional treaties. Most of these contain obligations on the protection and enforcement of IP that set significantly higher standards than those of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), commonly referred to as ‘TRIPS-plus’. Human rights bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and academic commentators often criticise these standards for undermining flexibilities available under TRIPS. Such policy space, however, is critical to design national IP laws in light of domestic needs. This chapter makes a case for the continued relevance of the TRIPS Agreement as an overarching, multilateral framework. My argument is based on the role treaty law affords to the object and purpose expressed in Articles 7 and 8 TRIPS. They have not only been recognised as essential for promoting access to medicines in the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. As integral objectives and principles of TRIPS, Articles 7 and 8 limit the ability of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members to modify their IP-related treaty obligations inter se. Based on their negotiation history and common understandings expressed by WTO Members, I argue for an enhanced role of TRIPS’ object and purpose as a loose constitutional frame for IP commitments in bilateral and regional treaties.
"The Impact of International Patent Systems: Evidence from Accession to the European Patent Convention"
Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 18-03
BRONWYN H. HALL, University of California at Berkeley, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
CHRISTIAN HELMERS, Santa Clara University - Department of Economics
We analyze the impact of accession to the regional patent system established by the European Patent Convention (EPC) on 14 countries that acceded between 2000 and 2008. We look at changes in patenting behavior by domestic and foreign applicants at the national patent offices and the European Patent Office (EPO). Our findings suggest a strong change in patent filing behavior among foreigners seeking patent protection in the accession states, substituting EPO patents for domestic patents immediately. However, there is little evidence that accession increased FDI by patenting foreign companies in accession countries. Moreover, there is no discernible reaction among domestic entities in terms of domestic filings, although we do find some evidence that applicants in accession states increased their propensity to file patents with the EPO post-accession. Inventor-level information suggests that the underlying inventions originate in the accession states.
"Automated Processing of Personal Data for the Evaluation of Personality Traits: Legal and Ethical Issues"
Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 18-04
KLAUS WIEDEMANN, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
This paper examines the approach under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to profiling and (automated) decision-making as well as the corresponding legal and ethical implications. The definition of profiling under the GDPR is analysed in relation to different degrees of automation when it comes to decision-making based on the processing of personal or non-personal data. A two-step approach to profiling and decision-making, which can be found in the structure and wording of the GDPR, is described and analysed. It is argued that the use of this model helps understand how profiling and decision-making are conducted and how the two steps are interconnected. Furthermore, the two-step approach allows to identify various legal implications of profiling and the corresponding decision-making, such as those related to privacy and economic freedom. Further, the discussion of ethical aspects draws on two recent and controversial use cases. The first example deals with discriminatory effects that may result from profiling. The second one concerns opaque automated decision-making in the context of credit scoring. This ethical assessment is based on the ethical framework supplied by the wording of the GDPR.
About this eJournal
The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Research Paper Series is a source for research papers authored by the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition academic staff (Eds.: Prof. Josef Drexl, Dir., Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Exec. Dir., Prof. Reto M. Hilty, Dir.). Papers cover topics on intellectual property law (copyright, patent, trademark law), competition law (law of unfair competition, antitrust law), innovation research and entrepreneurship. To access all the papers in this series please use the following URL: http://ssrn.com/link/Max-Planck-Innovation-RES.html
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LAW RESEARCH CENTERS PAPERS
BERNARD S. BLACK
Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
RONALD J. GILSON
Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
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