Joint project between Hanken and the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology (Aalto University and University of Helsinki), conducted in co-operation with the IPR University Centre and the Universities of Copenhagen, Cambridge, California (Berkeley), Oxford and Bayreuth.
This international collaborative study strives for groundbreaking results on fundamental questions of patent law. It covers a broad range of issues from the applicability of the patentability requirements per se (“inner limits”) to the way the patent rights are used or enforced (“outer limits”). The goal is to provide a richer understanding of the ways that patent law reacts to and provokes complex technological phenomena. The empirical focus is on the software sector but results are applicable also to other sectors characterized by cumulative, incremental innovation. The methodology employed is legal dogmatics, comparative law, Law & Economics, Law & Technology and quantitative and qualitative empirical research. The project includes both a theoretical and an empirical component. The latter is particularly critical since Europe is getting closer to reach harmonization in the patent field through the "EU Unitary Patent Package". There is an urgent need to deeply investigate software-related patent issues so as to avoid wrong policy decisions as well as inefficient solutions for the whole patent system.