Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Chair in Civil Law and Commercial Law with a special emphasis on International Intellectual Property Law (Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert)

Since November 2008, Professor Alexander Peukert has been professor of law at the law faculty of Goethe University and Principal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence. In his research, Peukert combines theoretical and doctrinal approaches to the study of intellectual property (IP) and unfair competition law, with a specific emphasis on international aspects of these legal areas. His research is connected above all in two ways with the interdisciplinary approach of the Cluster. First, Peukert and researchers at his chair study legal concepts and narratives on which the international IP system is based and which contributed to the formation and dramatic growth of this normative order. A second strand of research examines examples of transnational law “beyond” or “in the shadow of” the state. This has been a central theme of the research on legal theory performed at the Cluster, and Peukert’s chair has studied it with particular regard to different forms of cooperation between private and public actors who are confronted with a highly fragmented, largely nation state-based IP law in a transnational economy (see project “Transnational Regulation of Intellectual Property Rights through Cooperation”).
As regards the theory and formation of IP law, research at the chair produced the following results: The monograph on the public domain in IP law published by Peukert in 2012 is the first in-depth study in the German language devoted to this legal concept. It contributes a novel, comprehensive legal doctrine of the public domain to the international debate whose central arguments have been summarized in an English article published in 2015. In another article on the future of digital copyright, Peukert develops a theory of two communication cultures on the Internet whose coexistence is regulated among other things by copyright. A dissertation supervised by Peukert and further articles authored by him analyze the core legal concepts and narratives underlying copyright and other IP rights that contributed to the formation and expansion of IP law.
Peukert has also drawn on social theories, in particular Karl Polanyi‘s “Great Transformation,” to explain the enormous growth and universal acceptance of this body of law. In addition, he has drawn on this theoretical perspective to shed light on the problematic interface of academic research and copyright (Open Access) and to analyze economization tendencies that come to light in unfair competition law. The fruitfulness of a combination of legal theory and legal doctrine was also demonstrated by the findings of the research project “Transnational Regulation of Intellectual Property Rights through Cooperation.”
Finally, legal-doctrinal work conducted at Peukert’s chair resulted in extensive commentaries to provisions of the German Copyright and Unfair Competition acts, and in a revised, 17th edition of a standard textbook on copyright law.

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Peukert, Alexander: Die Gemeinfreiheit. Begriff, Funktion, Dogmatik (Geistiges Eigentum und Wettbewerbsrecht, Band 63), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012, VIII, 321 pages.

Peukert, Alexander: Das Urheberrecht und die zwei Kulturen der Online-Kommunikation, GRUR-Beilage 2014, pp. 77-93; english version: “Copyright and the Two Cultures of Online Communication”, in: Paul L.C. Torremans (ed), Intellectual Property Law and Human Rights, 3rd ed. 2015, pp. 367-395.

Peukert, Alexander: “Intellectual property: the global spread of a legal concept”, in: P. Drahos/G. Ghidini/H. Ullrich (eds.): Kritika - Essays on Intellectual Property, Vol. 1, 2015, pp.114-133.

Peukert, Alexander: „Vom Warenzeichen zum Markeneigentum. Ein polanyischer Erklärungsversuch“, in: W. Büscher, et al. (ed.): Marktkommunikation zwischen Geistigem Eigentum und Verbraucherschutz. Festschrift für Karl-Heinz Fezer zum 70. Geburtstag, 2016, pp.405-426.

Nazari-Khanachayi, Arian: Rechtfertigungsnarrative des Urheberrechts im Praxistest: Empirie zur Rolle des Urheberrechts, Diss. Frankfurt am Main, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016, 272 pages.

The most important events of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

International Conference: Normative Orders of the Digital, July  6-7, 2017 (co-organized with C. Burchard und C. Daase).

Workshop Series: „International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Intellectual Property“, 2011-2017; with (among others): Susan Sell (George Washington U), Dan Burk (UC Irvine), Graeme Dinwoodie (Oxford), Jayashree Watal (WTO), Barton Beebe (NYU).

Lecture Series: „Frankfurter Abendkolloquium zum Immaterialgüterrecht“, with (among others): Karl-Nikolaus Peifer (Köln), Annette Kur (München), co-organized with Louis Pahlow.


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