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7th GRUR meets Brussels Workshop

Towards a connected Digital Single Market – what about a new
'industrial data protection right' for companies?

Generating and trading of industrial data has become as important for the digital economy as oil has been for the “real” economy. While contractual practice treats data like property rights already, a legal analysis shows that no legal scheme generally provides for exclusive rights in data, yet. Hence, the call for introducing an industrial data right as a kind of neighbouring right can be increasingly heard in recent years, coming from industry as well as academia. While intellectual property protection has been continuously extended in the past decades, establishing such an exclusive right on data could turn the existing system upside down. Many consequences are far from clear and many followers of open innovation would raise serious doubts pointing to the need for free flow of information in a digital economy.

While further academic research is needed, the question is on the table whether the European legislator should seriously consider introducing an industrial data right and start consultations in this direction. Ultimately, this depends on the effectiveness of alternative measures to protect data without seriously disrupting the necessary flow and exchange of information. In this respect, the protection of trade secrets and know-how coupled with technical and contractual measures may turn out to be the better solution in functioning markets, complemented by refining competition law and the contract law framework.

In this 7th edition of the GRUR meets Brussels Workshop, renowned experts and high-level representatives from academia, legal practice, industry and the EuropeanCommission will present their views on this topic and discuss the need for further legislative actions in the future. The common objective should be to keep Europe competitive in a fast developing new era of the digital economy.

The event will take place on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 from 12.30 to 19.00 at the Representation of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium. It will be held in English language without simultaneous translation. The working programme (ending at approx. 18.00) will be followed by a reception for all participants.

The workshop is open and free of charge. Please note that room availability is limited to 100 seats so that we recommend an early registration.

Contact: Sandra von Lingen, GRUR Manager Legal & International Affairs, or +49 (0)221 650 65-155,


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Date (from) 2016-06-15
Time (start) 12:30 - 19:00
City Brussels

Representation of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia to the EU in Brussels

Rue Montoyer 47

B-1000 Brussels

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Please note that the event is already fully booked so that we can unfortunately not confirm your registration. However, the administrators of the event have been notified of your request and have put you on a waiting list. They will contact you no later than one week prior to the event in case seats should become available following cancellations. Thank you for your understanding and patience!

Here you can apply for participation in the event.