The Alumni Scholarship

As MIPLC alumni, you have first-hand experience of the truly international student community at the MIPLC and many of you have praised this feature, be it in the final program evaluation or in your personal statements. This level of internationality is achieved by one of the keystones of the MIPLC philosophy, namely that the program should be accessible to highly qualified students who come from a modest financial background. However, having to operate on a cost-covering basis, the MIPLC is limited in its ability to grant tuition-waiver scholarships. Consequently, additional scholarships are needed.

The MIPLC marked its 10th anniversary in 2013. One way of celebrating this event was to inaugurate the MIPLC Alumni Scholarship. After ten years, the alumni community was considered strong enough, both regarding numbers and professional seniority, to support an ambitious young IP professional to join the program. In the five years that have passed since then, the Alumni Network has grown to over 400 members and the list of employers and careers is highly impressive. In light of this development, the goal is to fund a full tuition waiver each year for a well-deserving LL.M. candidate.

Who Are the Candidates for 2018/19?

This year, the candidates are four excellent students from Bolivia, Cambodia, Ukraine and Vietnam:

Andrea Arce Gallardo, Bolivia

Andrea aims at contributing to the improvement of the practice of intellectual property law in her home country of Bolivia. This goal has emerged thanks to her enthusiasm for two specific fields: human rights and intellectual property. As a student, she participated in and won her university's 'Human Rights Moot Court Contest' which led her to an instructor position at the Bolivian UN Information Center. In a next step, she followed her passion for intellectual property and marketing by joining a well-respected Bolivian IP law firm, where she attained a deeper understanding of the inter-connectedness of economic growth, the legal framework and the public sector. She hopes to apply the knowledge and insights she will gain during her year at the MIPLC by joining the Bolivian National Industrial Property Service (SENAPI) upon graduation. There she would like to help implement better and faster ways to make IP procedures more efficient and accessible – especially for Bolivia's indigenous population.

Chandavya Ing, Cambodia

Chandavya's long-term goal is to work as an arbitrator in her home country in the quickly emerging field of intellectual property and competition law. She first came into contact with this domain when, while doing research at university, she discovered how developing countries are struggling to enforce their copyright laws, and especially Cambodia, which does not have effective mechanisms for IP law enforcement or dispute resolution. To succeed in implementing international IP law instruments, Cambodia will require the knowledge of intellectual property rights in the global context and this is what Chandavya aspires to: She wants to help her country develop an operational IP practice, raise awareness of intellectual property law and finally protect rights. By doing so, Chandavya hopes to help attract investors to Cambodia. Her entire academic and professional career has been dedicated to intellectual property, from a Moot Court Competition in Washington D.C., to an internship in Thailand and her first employment at a law firm in Cambodia. For Chandavya, participating in the MIPLC program is just the logical next step.

Anton Kapitonenko, Ukraine

Anton has set himself high goals in life. First, Anton is striving to become a professional judge at the High Intellectual Property Court of the Ukraine, which is expected to begin hearing cases in 2019. He would also like to contribute to the development of IP legislation in Ukraine by helping to develop best practice guidelines of European IP laws. Finally, he aims to teach future generations of IP law professional as an associate professor and seeks take the collaboration between Ukrainian and foreign educational institutions to the next level. Having participated in numerous conferences and workshops, published articles, taught IP Law at Kyiv Tara Shevchenko University and participated in drafting legislative acts relating to IP in Ukraine, Anton has already begun paving a promising path in the direction of his dreams. Anton sought out MIPLC to get closer to his short- and long-term goals and to be further inspired by fellow IP enthusiasts from around the globe, both professors and fellow students alike.

Minh Hùng Tao, Vietnam

Having always been captivated by IP law, it was only after completing a survey that Minh Hùng's fascination became a lifetime commitment. The survey aimed to answer why famous Vietnamese eateries kept operating at a limited scope despite their success. The dominant reply was that via expansion there was a higher risk of secret recipes being leaked, a concern directly related to intellectual property. This was the spark for a career dedicated to making IP an instrument for local businesses. Because of his outstanding academic record, Minh Hùng was hired by a prestigious Vietnamese IP law firm where he dove deeper into the IP world, getting to know numerous cases across all industries, scales and continents. Minh Hùng's goals after graduating from MIPLC are threefold: First, as a lawyer, he would like to provide local SMEs with IP management strategies to protect their rights and expand their business. Second, he would like to connect with other lawyers to advise legislators on improving the existing legal system in Vietnam. Lastly, he would like to teach IP law in Vietnam to make it more accessible for law and business students.

How Is the Scholarship Funded?

The scholarship works on a crowd-funding basis and we encourage donations of any amount, according to your financial ability. Payments can be made by bank transfer, SEPA direct debit mandate, or PayPal to "Friends of the MIPLC e.V." (payment instructions). Depending on the financial authorities in your country of residence, your contribution may be tax-deductible. Please let us know if you would like a tax receipt.

How Is the Alumni Scholar Chosen?

The scholarship recipient is selected by the Alumni Advisory Board on the basis of the candidate's application documents. The awarding ceremony then takes place during the Alumni Conference.

Your Donation Makes a Difference!

To learn what past donations have achieved and what your donation could do for one of the candidates, just take a moment to read what the Alumni Scholars have to say:

2017/18: Yvette Tumukunde, Rwanda

»Attending the MIPLC Program was the best education decision that I have ever made. Being taught by distinguished professors and practitioners in IP and Competition Law, I enhanced both my analytical and comparative skills in IP Law and other closely related legal fields. Not only did the program provide me with the skills necessary to contribute to the IP system in my country but studying with colleagues from different backgrounds has also tremendously expanded my professional and personal horizons. As an MIPLC Alumna, I will benefit greatly from the MIPLC’s global network of IP and Competition Law experts.

All this would not have been possible without the Alumni Scholarship which gave me an opportunity to be part of the MIPLC family. I will always be grateful for this life-changing opportunity.«

Yvette's passion is community development. Very early in her academic career, after meeting with and helping poor Rwandan women and adolescents managing cooperatives, she realized that sustainable development of a country starts at the community level. A student of Public Administration, she specialized in community development and NGO organizations. This led her to her first position as a copyright officer where she learned about IP while working with women producing and selling handcrafted items. She realized how important it is for community development. Numerous meetings with investors, students, and government officials made her aware that in developing countries such as Rwanda the concept of IP is quite unknown mostly due to a lack of formal education. Yvette wants to become an expert in this field to help implement a developmental program by the Rwandan government called 'Vision 2020'. As creativity and innovation plays a significant part in the development of a country, she hopes to be able to support Rwanda with her knowledge and expertise.

2016/17: Carolina Banda, Ecuador

»Looking back after having graduated from the MIPLC, I feel even more honored that I was awarded the Alumni scholarship. The more I got to know my fellow students, the more I was impressed by their talent and professional and academic experience, which would have made all of them worthy scholarship recipients. I am very happy that I could learn from people with such diverse cultural backgrounds and that I can call many of them my friends now. The same holds for the alumni who I could meet on several occasions.
 
The LL.M. program felt like a strong catalyst that helped me develop the analytical and reasoning skills that are pivotal for my academic and professional career, especially for the Ph.D. that I have just started. Besides the comprehensive curriculum and outstanding professors, I especially appreciated the proximity to the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, which I have perceived as being one of the most renowned places in the world for investigating cutting-edge research topics. Furthermore, the program gave me the opportunity to do an internship at one of the most prestigious law firms in Europe.«

Carolina holds an LL.B. from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. Having a keen interest in competition law but not finding it as a specialization in her university, she explored the topic in self-study. In 2014, her strong research skills were awarded with a scholarship granted by the Superintendency of Market Power Control SCPM and the National Secretariat of Higher Education, Science and Technology SENESCYT, covering the expenses of her Bachelor's thesis. That same year, she was offered the position of a Legal Analyst at the SCPM where she trained private and governmental institutions on the scope and objective of the Ecuadorian antitrust law and also helped create new policies and guidelines such as the "Manual of Good Practices in the Pharmaceutical Sector". Carolina's goal for the time after her graduation is to contribute to a more equitable and fair Ecuador by serving the competition agency as an accomplished expert and by sharing her knowledge and experience in a teaching position.

2015/16: Barbara Radoń, Poland

»Thanks to the Alumni Scholarship, it was possible for me to study at the MIPLC which turned out to be definitely the most fruitful and exciting year of my life. I had visited the MIPLC already in 2011 and I knew that the program it offered was unique and truly international. However, I must say that this year not only met my expectations but even exceeded them in many ways. I was able to participate in classes taught by professors which I knew from their articles and books, and I had great pleasure studying with a wonderful group of talented and inspiring classmates.

Being awarded this scholarship was the best motivation that I could get to make the most of this experience and to put the maximum effort into it – always keeping in mind that without the scholarship I would never be a part of the MIPLC family. After this year, I will not only be awarded an LL.M. but I will also have some very close friends, a network of professional contacts, new career opportunities, and further research ideas related to my PhD topic.«

Barbara holds a law degree from the University of Warsaw, complemented by Bachelor degrees in social sciences and linguistics. Upon graduation in 2013, she started work as a lawyer at Noerr Warsaw. Since she also aims to pursue an academic career, she enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2014. During her studies, she was awarded several scholarships for academic excellence. At the MIPLC, Barbara is seeking specialized knowledge and input for the development of her Ph.D. thesis in the intersection of IP and competition law.

2014/15: Isaac Kundagoko Kunko, Ghana

»My year at the MIPLC was a memorable one. I met great professionals in class and was privileged to be taught by a faculty with a wealth of knowledge and experience that is undoubtedly invaluable to my career and the development of IP law in Ghana.

The knowledge I have acquired through my comparative study and rigorous training in the field of IP, affords me with the singular opportunity to drive legal and policy reforms in IP law in Ghana. The LL.M. has enhanced my research skills and capabilities. It has brought me a step closer to my plans of teaching and research particularly in the field of IP law. 

But the benefits of the Alumni Scholarship transcend individual recipients. The Alumni are touching a lot of lives through the annual award of the Scholarship to a student who otherwise would not be able to study at the MIPLC. I am proud to be associated with the MIPLC and its Alumni Network. I will forever remain grateful for this scholarship that has changed my life and offered me opportunities beyond my comprehension.«

Isaac has a background in both science and law. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and is also a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ghana. Before joining MIPLC he worked as Head Pharmacist at the Lawra District Hospital and has also served as Executive Secretary on the hospital's Drugs and Therapeutics Committee. Having experienced in his daily work the challenges in the intersection of pharmacy and IP, Isaac aims at supporting the development of his country both in terms of a sustainable pharma sector as well as on the academic level.

2013/14: Jurgita Randakevičiūtė, Lithuania

»The MIPLC Alumni scholarship provided me with access to this LL.M. program, where an incredible number of distinguished scholars and practitioners from famous institutions are teaching a wide variety of IP and Competition law-related subjects. It gave me an opportunity to live and gain experience in an environment full of IP and Competition law seminars and conferences taking place at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition.

In addition, I was able meet people, who on the research or purely practical level are dealing with complex and (sometimes) very specific questions of the afore-mentioned fields of law. Finally, during my studies I built strong friendships with colleagues from this LL.M program, who are not only interested in the same areas of law as I am, but always remind me of how strong the MIPLC community is.« 

Jurgita holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Vilnius. During her studies, she received several scholarships and awards for excellent performance, and she honed her skills by participating in a number of Summer Schools, among others at the London School of Economics. After graduating from the MIPLC, Jurgita worked as a lawyer in a Lithuanian law firm in the IP, Media and Privacy Team. Since 2012, she has also been a Ph.D. student at the University of Vilnius, investigating new directions for the development of IP law in view of the progress of biomedical science. Currently, Jurgita's research is financially supported by the MIPLC, enabling her to return to her alma mater and benefit from the proximity to the unique library of the Max Planck Institute.

Passing the torch

The Alumni Scholarship is awarded on the occasion of the Annual MIPLC Alumni Conference, where the previous scholar presents the certificate to the next.

Carolina Banda and Yvette Tumukunde (Awarding Ceremony 2017/18)
Barbara Radoń and Carolina Banda (Awarding Ceremony 2016/17)
Isaac Kunko and Barbara Radoń (Awarding Ceremony 2015/16)
Jurgita Randakevičiūtė and Isaac Kunko (Awarding Ceremony 2014/15)
Eiji Fujimoto and Jurgita Randakevičiūtė (Awarding Ceremony 2013/14)
 

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Status of Donations

Jurgita Randakevičiūtė
2013/14
Jurgita Randakevičiūtė
Isaac Kunko
2014/15
Isaac Kunko
Barbara Radoń
2015/16
Barbara Radoń
Carolina Banda
2016/17
Carolina Banda
Yvette Tumukunde
2017/18
Yvette Tumukunde

"For us, receiving the Alumni Scholarship made a tremendous difference.
Please contribute to the Scholarship 2018/19 and help to make this experience possible for another MIPLC student."