> Concept

Industrial property rights build the pillars of an innovative and dynamic economy: patents and registered designsgrant exclusive beneficial use to the inventors and represent the payment for large-scale research and development activities. In most cases, they are an unalterable condition for technical innovations becoming marketable products.Ornamental designs include special rights of use concerning new product creations. Brand names and other proprietary rights will only fulfill their identifying role if an effective protection against misuse is guaranteed. Discussions on software patents and trademarks for internet domains are omnipresent and show the close relationship between traditional industrial property rights and the comparatively new branch of information law.

All these considerations and the fact that existing research and teaching activities on intangible assets bear no proportion to the practical meaning of this branch, led to the foundation of the Research Centre for Industrial Property Rights in 1998. The centre belongs to the ITM in terms of location and organisation and is headed by Prof. Dr. Hoeren who also attends to the content of works. The centre can be defined as a link between science and economics. It initiates lectures and informs the members of the sponsors`association by publishing newsletters about current developments in legislation and adjudication.

Beside those permanent activities, the institute devotes itself to selected questions of intellectual property rights with a scientific objective. On behalf of and in cooperation with the Ministry of Science (North Rhine-Westphalia) the project “Inventions at Universities” has been carried out recently.

As a leading principle, the Research Centre for Industrial Property Rights aims at giving an introduction to the fundamental ideas and structures of intellectual property rights to future lawyers, students of science and practitioners. Therefore the institute offers an additional training on industrial property rights which is carried out by experienced practitioners. The training begins with a series of lectures, which is followed by a seminar on a specific topic in order to deepen the students’ understanding.


Shalene Edwards
Institute for Information-, Telecommunication- and Media law (ITM)
Research Centre for Industrial Property Rights
Leonardo-Campus 9
48149 Münster

Tel: 0251-8338605
Fax: 0251 / 83 – 386 01