Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES)


21-22 June 2016
Innovation, Competition Law and IP Rights

21 June 2016
Competition Law and Inequality

22 June 2016
The Android case(s)

9 July 2016
Competition Law and IP: A Chinese and Comparative Perspective

27 July 2016
Digital Currencies, Digital Finance and the Constitution of a New Financial Order

For more information and to view past events, please go to the events pages.


Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact:

laws.research [at] ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 3108 8484

For research project enquiries, please contact:

Professor Ioannis Lianos
+44 (0)20 3108 8346
i.lianos [at] ucl.ac.uk


Please see below for upcoming events. Past events can be viewed here.

UCL Centre for Law, Economics & Society

21 to 22 June 2016

Innovation, Competition Law and IP Rights


Professor Herbert Hovenkamp,
University of Iowa School of Law and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Visiting Professor, UCL

The course is accredited with 12 CPD hours by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board. It also constitutes relevant CPD for IPReg.

About the course:

The course will explore the interaction between competition law and intellectual property rights. In the modern knowledge economy undertakings develop a number of strategies to expand their IP rights portfolio and achieve competitive advantages by employing their IP rights in order to exclude competitors or raise their costs, and charge higher prices to consumers. Competition law and IP law disputes are interconnected, as recent litigation in the pharmaceutical sector and the recent patent wars in the IT sector illustrate.

The course will analyze the value of competition law in addressing a variety of practices in innovation-intensive markets, including interconnection in networks, duties to deal, the licensing and distribution of IP rights (standard setting organizations, patent pools), tying, patent assertions by non-practising entities, pay-for-delay (“reverse”) settlements, and the nature of FRAND obligations for standards essential patents (SEPs), as well as injunctive remedies and computation of FRAND royalties, drawing from examples mostly from US law.

The course will also consider the uses and limitations of competition law and policy as a vehicle for promoting innovation and will examine realistic reforms that can be undertaken in IP law and competition law in order to achieve this objective.The course will aim to examine the interaction between competition law and IP law in various sectors of the economy and the practical implications of that interaction for a number of commercial practices.

The course will primarily examine the US systems for competition law and intellectual property rights.

Visit the event website for more information and to register.

UCL Centre for Law, Economics & Society

21 June 2016

Competition Law and Inequality Roundtable

Prof. Ioannis Lianos, UCL Faculty of Laws; Director, CLES


  • Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele (South African Competition Commission)
  • Prof. Damien Geradin (Tilburg University, George Mason University and UCL Faculty of Laws)
  • Prof. Herbert Hovenkamp (University of Iowa Law School & UCL Faculty of Laws)
  • Prof. Morten Hviid (University of East Anglia)
  • Prof. Bill Kovacic (King’s College London, Dickson Poon School of Law & George Washington University)
  • Prof. Bruce Lyons (University of East Anglia)
  • Sean Ennis and Pedro Gonzaga (OECD)
  • Ms. Azza Raslan (World Bank & UCL Faculty of Laws)
  • Prof. Tommaso Valletti (Imperial College London)

About this event:

In his recent book on Inequality: What can be done? Professor Tony Atkinson makes the following proposal:

“Proposal 2: Public policy should aim at a proper balance of power among stakeholders, and to this end should a) introduce an explicitly distributional dimension into competition policy; […]”

This proposal raises a number of questions with regard to the way competition law may square with inequality concerns.

First, is the distributional dimension already taken into account in competition law? And if yes, is a “proper” balance of power among stakeholders achieved? Who should define this “proper” balance of power?

Second, are the concepts and instruments of competition law ready for a more pronounced distributional dimension? What would be the concepts and instruments ones needs to develop and the reforms one needs to bring to modern competition law enforcement so as to make it more distributive justice compatible?

Third, how a more proactive distributive justice agenda in competition law may square with the global governance of antitrust and the fact that consumers are mostly found in developed countries (rather than developing ones) and that many of the actions taken by competition authorities may be thought of as focusing only on certain parts of the population with higher than average revenue?

Fourth, is the lack of competition one of the causes of the inequality currently observed in developed countries, such as the Unites States and the European Union?

Fifth, it seems that the growing financialisation of the economy has played some role in exacerbating inequalities. As a CEPR blog report recently noted “(t)he financial sector has seen a moderate increase in its share of the workforce and a dramatic increase in pay per worker (between 1978 and 2000, wages rose 73.7 percent in the financial sector but rose just 12.0 percent in the private sector more generally). These two factors have allowed finance to capture a growing share of wages and made it so most Americans are unable to share in the economy’s gains” ( http://cepr.net/blogs/cepr-blog/the-growth-of-finance-in-graphs ). If this is true, has the lack of an active competition law enforcement with regard to the financial sector for decades played a role? Are the existing competition law tools sufficient, or not, to take into account the growing importance of overlapping financial investor ownership? What can be done to remedy this problem, in case of course this is something one considers to be a priority?

Visit the event website for more information and to register.

The Android Cases – Part of the UCL Centre for Law, Economics & Society Brown Bage Lunch Series

22 June 2016

The Android case(s): A Discussion


  • Prof. Herbert Hovenkamp (University of Iowa Law School)
  • Ass. Prof. Alexey Ivanov (HSE Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development)
  • Dr. Pierre Regibeau (CRA & Imperial College London)
  • Prof. Ioannis Lianos (UCL Faculty of Laws & Director, CLES)

About this event:

Alphabet’s Google’s contractual (and other) practices with regard to Android, an off-the-shelf Operating system (OS) that Original Equipment Manufacturers can freely install on a cell phone or other computing devices, have been at the centre of the enforcement attention of various competition authorities around the world. In 2012, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (Mofcom) announced its conditional approval of the Google/Motorola merger, some of the conditions raised concerning the licensing of the Android Operating System to hardware manufacturers. In 2013, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission dropped a two-year anti-competition probe into Google’s Android smartphone operations. In 2015, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service adopted a decision finding Google “guilty of abusing its dominant position” and requesting Google to make changes in the requirements it puts on its hardware partners. This decision has been recently confirmed on appeal. In April 2016, the European Commission announced that it sent a statement of objections to Google, in which it takes the preliminary view that the company has, in breach of EU antitrust rules, “abused its dominant position” by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators. It was reported that the United States Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating into whether Google unfairly used Android’s strength in the mobile computing market to prioritize its own services over those of competitors. Google responded to these allegations by publishing a statement emphasizing its “model of open innovation”.

The objective of the discussion will not be to address the factual elements of the Android case(s), for which there is little published information, but to reflect on the possible theories that could be advanced by each of the parties and explore the various theories and approaches followed by various competition authorities around the world with regard to a similar set of facts, the link between expertise and politics that underscores the various interventions, and, finally, the broader picture of the global governance of competition law that emerges out of the multiple competition law investigations in these jurisdictions.

Visit the event website for more information and to register.

 UCL Centre for Law, Economics & Society
In collaboration with:

  • Center for Competition Law and Policy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development

9 July 2016, Shanghai, China

Competition Law and IP: A Chinese and Comparative Perspective

About this international conference:

Download the conference programme.

Visit the event website for more information and to register.
UCL Centre for Law, Economics & Society

27 July 2016, Athens

Digital Currencies, Digital Finance and the Constitution of a New Financial Order: Challenges for the Legal System

This is the first event of the recently launched research initiative of the CLES@UCL on Digital Currencies, Digital Finance and the Constitution of a New Financial Order.

About this conference:

The conference deals with emergent economic, political and legal phenomena in the field of finance. Therefore, it aims to raise questions and explore innovative connections rather than to give definite answers. It pursues four distinct goals. First, it intends to generate awareness and facilitate a better understanding of the actors, phenomena and dynamics of the new financial order. Second, it explores the economic, political and legal implications that follow from a data-driven financial world. The concept of the performativity of markets offers a great vantage point that can bring together a range of discussions spanning from the legal and political implications of technological change in financial intermediation to even larger questions of monetary governance. Third, these debates will ideally constitute the basis of an edited volume that brings the proceedings of the conference to the attention of a greater public. Fourth, the conference aims to bring together internationally-renowned experts from different fields and disciplines so as to facilitate a discourse that breaks up traditional patterns of intellectual exchange. This is primarily reflected in the composition of the panels.

Visit the event website for more information and to register.


Page last modified on 22 jun 16 11:18