MIPLC Celebrates Two Decades of Academic Excellence at 2023 Graduation Ceremony

This year's MIPLC graduation ceremony, held on November 17, 2023, marked a historic moment filled with pride and remarkable accomplishments, celebrating two decades of academic excellence. The event was a spectacular celebration of milestones, highlighting the achievements of the 20th graduating class and honoring MIPLC Project Board Member, Professor Robert Brauneis. The event was held in Augsburg’s Small Golden Hall (Kleiner Goldener Saal), a late beautiful Baroque banqueting hall of the former Augsburg Jesuit College of St. Salvator.

During the ceremony, Professor Brauneis was conferred with a well-deserved honorary doctorate degree from the University of Augsburg, acknowledging his significant contributions to the field of Intellectual Property and Competition Law. Professor Dr. Thomas M.J. Möllers, in his Laudatory address, amusingly highlighted Prof. Brauneis's research on the transition of the song "Happy Birthday to You" from copyright protection to the public domain, underlining the practical relevance of his work and bringing laughter to the audience. We were honored to hear from Vice President of the University of Augsburg, Professor Dr. Peter Welzel, and the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the same institution, Professor Dr. Gregory Kirchhof, who connected the significance of this event with that of the beautiful venue.

A memorable highlight of the ceremony was Professor Brauneis's commencement speech, where he eloquently honored the Class of 2022/23. He emphasized the importance of MIPLC, showcasing the program as a space where individuals from diverse backgrounds come together, exemplifying collaboration and peace in today's world. His insightful remarks resonated with the audience, reinforcing the significance of global cooperation.

Furthermore, class representative Camilo Jose Yañez Diaz delivered the Graduates’ Address. Diaz warmly spoke about the experiences of his fellow classmates throughout the academic year—a year full of new, merging friendships, learnings, and making personal and professional connections. His heartfelt address added a personal touch to the ceremony, reflecting on the shared journey of the graduating class and highlighting what MIPLC means to so many people.

The Class of 2022/23, the first to graduate with degrees conferred jointly by both the University of Augsburg and TUM, holds a special place in MIPLC's history. This achievement reflects the commitment to excellence and collaboration between these esteemed institutions, setting a precedent for future cohorts and marking even more the MIPLC 20th year anniversary.  

Noteworthy during the evening was the Oehm Prize, awarded annually to the MIPLC graduate with the highest grade point average in their class. This year, the award went to Ms. Michelle Rafenomanjato Noro from Class of 2022/23, celebrated with applause from her classmates and guests as she received the award from Prof. Jose Drexl, Director of the MPI and Chairman of the MIPLC Project Board.

The event concluded with Prof. Drexl thanking sponsors and supporters and highlighted the significance of this class, marking a milestone in the 20-year history of MIPLC. In his closing remarks he gave homage to supporter of the MIPLC such as the Friends of the University of Augsburg, members of the Project Board, among others, encouraging the audience to consider membership to the Friends of MIPLC, e.V.,  a registered, not-for-profit association based in Munich, Germany, supporting the development of the MIPLC.

The ceremony ended with a bang from the Quartet Geirhos, providing beautiful music accompaniment throughout the evening, as graduates tossed their caps, adding to the celebratory atmosphere of the beautiful Augsburg Small Golden Hall (Kleiner Goldener Saal).   

Speakers for the evening included:

Master of Ceremonies, Prof. Dr. Michael Kort, MIPLC Project Board, Faculty of Law at the University of Augsburg

Vice President Prof. Dr. Peter Welzel, University of Augsburg

Prof. Dr. Gregory Kirchhof, Dean, Faculty of Law at the University of Augsburg

Prof. Dr. Thomas M.J. Möllers, Faculty of Law at University of Augsburg

Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl, Director, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and Chairman of the MIPLC Project Board

We extend heartfelt congratulations to the accomplished graduates and express our pride in commemorating two decades of unwavering academic excellence. As MIPLC continues to thrive as a center of academic excellence, we look forward to many more years of collaborative achievements and the success stories of our graduates.