IPL Program at Hanken School of Economics

Intellectual Property Law Master Degree Porgram at Hanken School of Economics (IPL program) id created to provide students with specific intellectual property knowledge while developing their generic skills.

Knowledge of intellectual property law is becoming more important for the businesses in today’s knowledge based society. Intellectual Property Law Master Degree Program at Hanken School of Economics (IPL program) is created to provide students with specific intellectual property knowledge while developing their generic skills.

IPL program at Hanken is the only master’s degree program in Finland, which focuses specifically on intellectual property law. Since its launch, it has become increasingly popular, attracting great amount of international and national applicants.

With connection to practice and business, the program also boasts its high quality of research based teaching, as Hanken’s intellectual property research is considered to meet the “highest international standard” by external reviewer’s committee. Furthermore, the annual in-take of 30 students allows IPL program to ideally implement small group teaching for active learning.

Combining legal and business studies

The strength in the IPL program comes from both IP specialization and the interdisciplinary combination of legal and business studies. The program leads to the degree of Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration (M.Sc.(Econ.)).

The program aims to provide education utilizing the core competence areas in the department of accounting and commercial law at Hanken, supplementing it with resources in the school of economics, for relevant business and management studies.

The IPL program is a two-year full time program with 120 required credits. Out of this, 90 credits have to be acquired from the program course modules. Compulsory course modules include: Fundamentals of Intellectual Property Law I &II, International and Comparative Intellectual Property Law, Law and Economics of Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Strategy for Business, Research Seminar, Literature courses in Intellectual Property Law.

In addition to this, students are required to acquire 30 credits through master thesis, 24 credits in elective courses and 6 credits in language studies. For elective courses, students may choose either a program bound elective course module (Nordic Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition), or any other courses that are offered by Hanken or by other universities subject to credit transfer agreement.

The learning objective of the program is to build competences for both intellectual property law and business studies. As the structure of the courses makes it abundantly clear, through mandatory course modules and components, as well as elective courses, the IPL program provides students with a curriculum that allow a combination legal and business studies.

Internationally known teachers

The IPL program is international in terms of faculty, students as well as the networks as well as course substances.

As one of the most popular English master programs in Hanken, the program draws large international applicants from all continents, including Europe, Africa as well as Asia. Admitted students include both international and Finnish students, with diverse backgrounds.

In addition to the local core faculty members, internationally renowned guest faculty also teaches the courses. For the last years, guest professors included Prof. Dr. Annette Kur, (Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Munich, Germany), Prof. Barton Beebe, (New York University School of Law, USA),  Prof. Cedric Manara, (EDHEC, France), Prof. Jens Schovsbo (Copenhagen University, Faculty of Law, Center for Information and Innovation Law, Denmark) Prof. Graeme Dinwoodie, (Oxford University, Director of Oxford Intellectual Property Research Center, UK), Prof. Sean O’Connor (University of Washington Law School, Seattle, USA.). In 2013, the Chief Judge Randall R. Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit, has taught in the program.

Students are also encouraged to take up elective courses or extra-curricular activities within international networks. The students are invited to participate in “Nordic Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition,” where Nordic universities with intellectual property law programs convene.

Moreover, IPL program is the only Finnish university program in the Office of Harmonization for Internal Market (OHIM) University Network. OHIM network provides a unique opportunity for our student to network with students from other leading European intellectual property institutes through thesis presentation and discussions in the research seminars.


IP research in Hanken is as the EOR 2012 report puts it “dynamic, up-to date topics…in both Finnish/Nordic and international perspectives and in international research collaboration.” Reflecting the philosophy of research based education, the program provides not merely local knowledge in English but also Nordic, European and international knowledge of intellectual property law.

Diverse means for learning

The program aims to help students to experience learning in diverse means. Through the IPL program participation, students not only gain their field specific knowledge of intellectual property law and management, the courses are pedagogically designed to develop their generic skills as well. In particular, master thesis works, each course module and through flexibilities elective courses, the students develop both specific and generic skills that are useful for their career.

By writing a master thesis, a student develops not only advanced specialized knowledge on the topic but also substantive generic skills such as research and analytical skills, critical thinking, communication skill, data collecting skill, independence and autonomy and professional integrity. As plagiarism is strictly checked, students learn that professional integrity is an important generic skill to maintain.

Additionally, most of the core program courses require students to be evaluated not only based on their written examination but also based on classroom discussions as well as term papers. Combination of in-classroom presentations and the term papers prepares the students to experience what master thesis project requires and allows an active and autonomous learning experience.

Furthermore, flexibility in elective courses and language studies allows students to develop generic skills of independent thinking, and self-management when they identify and build courses that they would use in their careers.

Connection to networks

The IPL program maintains a close connection to business and entrepreneurship through adjunct faculty and guest lecturers, through course and seminars. One of the program’s core faculty members is Adjunct Prof. Max Oker-Blom who has extensive experience in the industry previously as the Senior Vice President, Legal and M & A, Oy Karl Fazer Ab and President of the European Communities Trade Mark Association (ECTA).

In addition, the courses boast guest lectures who are currently or have worked in the business as the IP counsel, or as IP managers, and entrepreneurs in businesses such as Beneq Oy, eBay, Nokia, Pfizer Finland, Wärtsila. Furthermore, the IPL program benefits from Hanken’s close co-operation with IPR University Center, which is the leading intellectual property education and research center in Finland. Through the activities of IPR University Center, the IPL program students are invited and encouraged to participate in seminars that are directed to industry.

The IPL program at Hanken aims to meet the challenge posed by creative and innovative society through continuous education and research. After completing the programs, students have found works in fields corresponding to their disciplines, as well as Hanken’s ph.D program.

More information on the program can be found on the program’s website: http://www.hanken.fi/public/en/ipl

Admission information is available on the general admissions website: http://www.hanken.fi/public/en/admissions

Evaluation of Research 2012 Report: http://www.hanken.fi/public/en/forskning



Nari Lee
Hanken School fo Economics