Calendar

Oct
6
Thu
Florence Seminar on Standard-Essential Patents @ European University Institute - Badia Fiesolana
Oct 6 @ 2:00 pm – Oct 7 @ 6:00 pm

If you’re aiming at fine-tuning your expertise in Standard-Essential Patents, you might also be interested in the 4-day advanced training taking place prior to this seminar, on 3-6 October 2022: check out the Florence Patent Licensing Academy 


The Florence Seminar on Standard-Essential Patents sets the stage for two days of lively academic discussion about FRAND licensing and SEP litigation topics.

22 unpublished papers, both legal and economics-related, will be discussed by prominent scholars in the field. The over 30 authors and co-authors will represent more than 20 university institutions from three continents.

A keynote by Michael Carrier ensures a solid trans-Atlantic perspective, while a roundtable by four industry representatives links the scientific issues to the market realities.

The main topics of discussion include:

  • Liability and property remedies for SEPs and proportionality defense
  • Jurisdiction issues of global SEP disputes
  • SEP hold-out vs hold-up
  • FRAND licensing levels in value chains
  • EU competition law and FRAND licensing
  • Geopolitics and international trade issues of SEPs
  • SEP transparency and essentiality checks

 

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The call for papers is now closed. Due to the unexpected number of high-quality submissions received, we have expanded the number of selected papers from 14 to 22.

DOWNLOAD THE CALL FOR PAPERS

Scientific committee
  • Marco Botta | EUI
  • Ginevra Bruzzone | LUISS
  • Beatriz Conde Gallego | MPI-IC
  • Josef Drexl | MPI-IC
  • Lapo Filistrucchi | EUI – University of Florence
  • Igor Nikolic | EUI
  • Pier Luigi Parcu | EUI
  • Nicolas Petit | EUI
  • Maria Alessandra Rossi | University of Chieti Pescara
Organising committee
  • Chiara Carrozza | EUI
  • Niccolò Galli | EUI
Post-seminar publication

The organisers have reached an agreement with M&CLR – Market and Competition Law Review and IIC – International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law. Speakers accepted to the Florence Seminar on SEPs are invited to submit their final papers for publication by 31 December 2022. Acceptance will depend on the successful completion of the M&CLR and IIC peer-review process. The organisers of the seminar, M&CLR and IIC will collaborate to shorten the period this process will take.


Submission process

Please submit extended abstracts or full papers by 19 June 2022. Acceptance notifications will be sent by the end of June 2022. Final paper versions of the selected submissions are due by 18 September 2022.

Oct
28
Fri
Florence Competition Autumn Conference – 2022 edition @ Hybrid: EUI campus + Zoom
Oct 28 @ 9:30 am – 5:15 pm

The future of consumer IoT products: testing the interaction of competition policy and sector regulation in the digital economy

 

florence in autumn

 

The European University Institute (EUI) is pleased to invite you to the 2022 edition of the Florence Autumn Competition Conference. During the conference, the new Centre for a Digital Society (CDS) at the European University Institute (EUI) will be officially presented.

The conference aims to gather academics, practitioners, officials from national competition authorities, EU institutions, as well as industry representatives to discuss the interaction of competition policy and sector regulation in the context of consumer IoT products. The Autumn Conference takes place in parallel to the 2022 edition of the Florence Competition Autumn School: Participants in the residential track of the Autumn School may attend the Autumn Conference free of charge.

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PROGRAMME

Background

Nowadays, an increasing number of electronic devices ‘talk to each other’ in the contest of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). In particular, consumer IoT products, such as smart home and wearable devices, as well as voice assistants increasingly exchange personal and non-personal data concerning their users. The market share of consumer IoT devices is expected to double in the course of the coming years.

In January 2022, the European Commission published the result of a sector inquiry on consumer IoT devices.  According to the report, the industry is characterised by a number of entry barriers, which affect its competitive dynamics. Voice assistants services, in particular, are provided by a limited number of vertically integrated firms, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. By collecting a large amount of data from different smart devices, vertically integrated firms generally have preferential access to users’ data. Secondly, by defining the eco-system rules, vertically integrated firms generally restrict the interoperability of different IoT devices and limit the degree of industry standardization. Similar findings had also been achieved by the German Bundeskartellamt in 2020, at the conclusion of its sector inquiry on smart TVs. The recent sector inquiries on consumer IoT products show increasing attention by competition enforcers vis a vis this sector. Although no antitrust authority has so far carried out any investigation in this industry, this might happen in the future.

In addition to possible antitrust investigations, consumer IoT products are affected by the sector regulation currently developing at the EU level. First of all, the recently approved Digital Markets Act (DMA) mentions IoT smart devices and voice assistant services as ‘core platform services’; in the future, digital gatekeepers providing consumer IoT products will be subject to the DMA obligations. Secondly, while the transfer of personal data between IoT devices is subject to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the flow of non-personal data might be incentivised in the future by the Data Act, proposed by the European Commission in February 2022. Finally, the European Commission is currently considering the adoption of a legislative proposal to clarify the licensing framework of Standard Essential Patent (SEPs), in order to foster standardisation process in a number of industries, including the IoT sector.

Key topics of debate 

The Florence Competition Autumn Conference aims at discussing the growing interaction of EU competition policy and sector regulation in relation to the digital economy, by looking at the case of consumer IoT products. Firstly, the Autumn conference will discuss what are the key competitive dynamics and entry barriers in this industry, and how competition policy and sector regulation may tackle such barriers. Furthermore, a general question discussed at the Autumn Conference concerns the degree of coherence of the new EU regulatory framework, and how such framework may be enforced in the future in parallel with EU competition rules.


Practical information

Invited speakers will be mostly present at the EUI campus in Florence.

The audience will be able to follow the conference via Zoom, free of charge. Please note that online registration is required to receive the Zoom credentials.

A limited number of participants will also be able to attend the event in person, in Florence. The registration fee to join the event in person is 200 €. The fee covers the cost of the refreshments (2 coffee breaks, and 1 lunch). In addition, a shuttle bus between Florence city center and the EUI campus will be organized for the registered participants. On the other hand, The registration fee does not cover travel and accommodation expenses in Florence.

The Autumn Conference will take place on October 28th (9.30 – 17.15). The time indicated in the programme refers to Central European and Eastern Time (CEST) zone.

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