Currently, we carry out the following projects:
1. International relations of Intellectual Property rights
Private international law in the field of intellectual property is forever changing. On the one hand, one can notice a tendency to consolidate the traditional principle of territoriality. The clearest expression of this tendency is Article 8 of the "Rome II" Regulation 864/2007 which came into force in January 2009. On the other hand, the increased use of ubiquitous forms of utilisation of technologies and contents on the Internet puts the notion of territorially limited intellectual property rights into question. Against this background, the Max-Planck European Group for Conflict of Laws in Intellectual Property rights has worked on a collection of principles on international jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement in the field of intellectual property since 2004. Professor Metzger is a member of the working group.
2. Open source software and other alternative licensing models
The success of GNU / Linux, Firefox, Creative Commons and Wikipedia in recent years proves the impressive sustainability of alternative licensing models. The underlying development and distribution models raise a variety of legal issues in the fields of copyright, patent, contract and liability law as well as international civil law. The jurisprudence needs to develop methods to solve these questions. At the same time the alternative licensing models question traditional principles of intellectual property rights. In this respect, basic research approaches, including the economic analysis of law and other related disciplines, are required. The chair is engaged in the framework of the Virtual Institute for Legal Issues on Free and Open Source Software (ifrOSS).
3. Systematic issues of European private law
Private law in Europe is currently developing along different lines to European private law. For example, there are the increasing number of Directives and Regulations of the European Community in the field of private law and the accompanying jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice that create a significant acquis communautaire in the field of private law. In addition, numerous groups and Commissions of scientists work Europe-wide on comparative principles of civil law which should further affect European and national legal developments. All this occurs against the common historical background of the ius commune. At present, it is uncertain whether a european civil code will be available as a result of this development. One of the chairs' special interests therefore is the function of general legal principles in this development process and the methods of alignment in Europe generally.
4. International civil-and business law
Another focus is on general questions of international private and business law. Current topics being examined in this field are the legal liability for warranty of title in the CISG, the personal status of refugees under the Geneva Refugee Convention, the new European conflict of laws in the Rome I and II regulations and the international jurisdiction regarding license and supply agreements according to the Brussels I regulation.
5. German civil- and business law
The Institute regularly examines issues of general civil and commercial law, i.e. the development of contract rights after the implementation of "Directive 1999/44/EC on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees", indemnity in supply chains and contract adjustment in energy supply contracts. Special attention is given to comparative law and economic arguments.