Themed sessions deal with specific topics proposed by the sessions’ organizers and reviewed by the Organizing Committee.

On invitation session will host submissions made by authors who had been invited by the organizers to serve the EPIP 2018 conference themes and mission.

Open sessions will host submissions peer-reviewed by each session’s organizer, under advisement by the Organizing Committee.

The submission portal and deadline for all Themed Sessions are the same as for general submissions, namely:; March 31, 2018.
Accepted authors will also need to pay fees and register as indicated by the Organizing Committee.

The Organizing Committee reserves the right to cancel any session for which the agreed number of accepted submissions and speaker registrations has not been reached. Both Full Papers and Extended Abstracts will be accepted; excessively brief Abstracts will not be accepted. For any information please contact the sessions’ organizers directly at the emails given in the below descriptions.


Organizer: Martin Kretschmer (University of Glasgow,

Summary information: The market for news is undergoing dramatic change. There are sharp falls in print subscriptions, and a shift in advertising revenues from the press to online platforms. In response, a new copyright (Leistungsschutzrecht or ancillary right) for press publishers has been introduced in Germany (in force since 1 August 2013), and in Spain in a related form (1 January 2015). At EU level a full neighbouring right is included as Art. 11 in the Proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (COM(2016) 593 final, 14 September 2016). The proposal grants exclusive rights to “reproduction” and “making available to the public” for the digital use of press publications for a period of 20 years from publication. The proposed directive is currently progressing through the complex process of EU law making. This is a fast moving, heavily lobbied policy site.

The topic is of considerable interest. The “fake news” discourse has been linked to the need for a new exclusive right for press publishers. The coalition contract for a CDU/CSU/SPD German government advocates strengthening the position of publishers at the European level through new rights. In the policy debate, the academic analysis has been unanimously against the proposed right. In return, there have been targeted attempts by lobbyists to discredit scientific evidence. The themed session will explore if evidence based policy making is possible in relation to IP rights for news  (which goes to the heart of our conception of a democratic order). The session will be by invitation only, and will follow a format that will bring into dialogue evidence and policy discourse, a core mission of EPIP.

Organizers: Irene Calboli (Texas A&M University and Singapore Management University); Carolina Castaldi (Eindhoven University of Technology); Sandro Mendonça (ISCTE Business School and University of Sussex)

Summary information: Legal and economic studies of trademarks tend to emphasise the positive welfare effects of trademarks. Yet, there is increasing evidence of over-trademarking and IPR stacking including trademarks, leading to societal economic costs and questions about the effectiveness of IPR systems. The aim of this themed session is to stimulate discussion among researchers from economics, law, industrial organisation, and political economy on the general and welfare implications of trademarks, their use, and their abuses for society as a whole.


Organizers: Catalina Martinez (CSIC-IPP Madrid,; Henry Sauermann (ESMT Berlin,

Summary information: Innovation is the engine of economic growth, patents are used as a proxy of inventive performance, and inventors are the power behind this engine. There is now a growing amount of research on inventors, their labor markets, and how inventive activity is conditioned by national and organizational contexts, including IP regimes. The aim of this session is to bring together and discuss empirical research on factors that affect the supply, demand, and labor market outcomes for inventors. Given the important role inventors play in different countries, sectors and types of organizations, comparative work can also provide important insights. Topics of interest for this session include, among others:
> Pecuniary incentives and wages for inventors in industry and academia
> Non-pecuniary incentives for inventors (freedom to experiment, taste for science)
> Competition for star inventors and highly productive individuals
> The impact of IP regimes on inventors’ careers (non-competes, trade secrecy, etc.)
> International mobility and policy instruments to attract foreign inventors

Submissions: Submissions are encouraged from legal, economic, managerial and sociological perspectives. All invited authors are required to submit by 31 March 2018 at

Organizers: Henry Sauermann (ESMT Berlin,

Summary information: A large body of research has studied how firms employ IP for a range of different purposes. However, much of this work focused on established firms, and less attention has been paid to the opportunities and challenges of IP from the perspective of potential entrepreneurs and new ventures. On the one hand, many high growth ventures are based on valuable intellectual capital, and mechanisms to protect ideas can be critical for sustainable success. At the same time, IP held by incumbents can create strong entry barriers that discourage entrepreneurial activity. Moreover, IP may play an important role as factor that facilitates – or hinders – the acquisition of resources and capabilities, including financial and human capital. This session aims to bring together research at the intersection of IP and entrepreneurship, including topics such as:
> Entrepreneurial strategies to overcome IP-related entry barriers
> The impact of incumbents’ IP strategies on employee entrepreneurship and spinoffs
> The use of IP mechanisms in start-ups versus established firms
> The role of IP in attracting financial and human capital
> IP policies that balance the needs of entrepreneurs and incumbents

Submissions: Authors should submit full papers by 31 March 2018 at

Organizers: Roxana Bratu (; Nicola Searle (

Summary information: This panel focuses on trade secrets and economic espionage. We welcome papers – theoretical and/or empirical – that challenge the existing theories of intellectual property (IP), critically analyse IP and cybercrime policies, investigate the construction of ethics and hacking in IP, or the economic justification for the criminalisation of IP “theft”. We are particularly interested in cybercrime aspects. For example, research examining the criminalisation of the “theft” of trade secrets using digital means or analysis of the efficacy of online enforcement. As the study of IP “theft” and cybercrime spans a variety of disciplines, we welcome scholars/practitioners from all backgrounds. Likewise, we are very interested in research spanning academic, policy and industry sectors.

Target audienceOur main aim is to engage in an intellectual dialog with scholars from different backgrounds and set up a network focusing on trade secrets and economic espionage at European level that would facilitate regular interactions between members and would enhance cooperation and the development of joint research projects.

Submissions: Submissions are accepted from all interested scholars. Please submit by March 31, 2018 at

Organizers: Weizenbaum Institute for the networked Society – The German Internet Institute

Summary information: The incentive theory rests on the premise that exclusive rights in immaterial subject-matter such as patents or copyrightable works increase the motivation of individuals and firms to create and innovate and to publicly distribute their creations. It is not clear, however, whether the incentive theory operates in the same way with regards to “big data” that is generated automatically by virtue of operating large-scale IT enterprises. The main function of IP protection is the creation of limited, private exclusion regimes that hinder competition. Such regimes can be justified if the positive incentive effects offset the negative anti-competitive access and use barriers. Taking the positive incentive effects out of the equation would leave us only with the downsides of exclusion. If firms that produce valuable data – an economic activity that is considered socially and economically desired – need no special legal incentive to continue operations, is there any justification or room left for IP rights in “their” data?

Organizers: Weizenbaum Institute for the networked Society – The German Internet Institute

Summary information: Data markets are often controlled by a relatively small number of large players. In the networked economy, those influential players that already possess and control an enormous amount of data tend to increase their impact exponentially over time due to entrance barriers, lock-ins and network effects, among others. This phenomenon raises the question whether data markets need designated legal rules to facilitate competition in the form of tailor-made (access) rights and remedies allocated to small companies and new entrants. Alternatively, perhaps the proper application of existing competition and antitrust rules suffices to alleviate the negative effects of size advantages and dominance in data markets?

Organizers: Weizenbaum Institute for the networked Society – The German Internet Institute

Summary information: Many business models in the Internet and on other networks are based on “free” goods and services in exchange for the right to collect and monetize data. Monetization of data is prevalent both on the primary market, where data is collected directly from individual consumers in business-to-consumer settings, as well as on secondary markets, where the data is being traded between enterprises in business-to-business settings. The session focusses on the premises on which a market model for personal and big data is based. What are the limits and conditions of any such model (e.g., non-pecuniary interests in personal data, the difficulties to attribute monetary value to a give data-set, or more generally, ontological features of “data” that challenge certain economic rules and assumptions as applied to corporeal resources)? 

Organizers: Weizenbaum Institute for the networked Society – The German Internet Institute

Summary information: Data sovereignty refers to a twofold concept: (1.) the ability to control personal data by a data subject; (2.) the ability of states to confine data to a certain territory.
The first concept relates to the principle of self-determination of individuals. The second concept is logically related to the applicability of the laws of a state concerning the collection and use of data, in particular in the context of personal data. The second concept of data sovereignty maintains a built-in tension with the basic internet architecture as a global medium of digital communication. Imposing technical safeguards to secure data sovereignty triggers different issues which are addressed in the session: the practicability of technical safeguards, the implication of such safeguards on the operation, functionality and utility of the internet in light of the original vision of its architects.