Hoppa IP at Your Service

A new nonprofit legal advice group consists of three Hanken students.

Hoppa IP is an independent and nonprofit IP/legal advice group stemming from the Hanken School of Economics student community.

The group aims at providing quality legal advice to startups on issues relating to IP and business law.

Currently Hoppa IP consists of three Hanken students: José Godinho, Mikko Järvinen, and Philippe Pépin. We are eager to help clear up the somewhat obscure realm of IP and business law. The seeds of remarkable projects are sown first and foremost by their creators, but in order to get going, any valuable ideas need to be protected; we propose to help in the process.

Future Players

We believe that law firms, as they currently operate, are not meeting the demands of aspiring student entrepreneurs. The quotidian reality is that law firms are too expensive, hence students with projects do not go to them for help. Nevertheless students form companies and projects all the time.  

Currently Hoppa IP only deals with non-contentious matters. This also serves as a reminder that Hoppa IP is not a law firm, nor does it replace incumbent law firms or try to compete with them in any way, but rather complements the access to legal counsel. Currently, our services are limited to punctual advising, but will evolve into long-term startup assistance.

We are not reinventing the wheel. We just want to give the legal profession a reminder that novel ideas are welcome in the legal services market as well. We consider ourselves as a new player in the context of a some extent archaic system of legal services.

Why Us?

We see the clinic as a tool to further legal knowledge amongst fellow students as well as having the privilege of serving the community by helping starting entrepreneurs on their way to the business world.

There are a lot of complexities around IP and we think that in order to truly understand IPR issues and its intricacies, it is fundamental to know the law behind them.

We see every client as an opportunity to interact with brilliant people from around the world, thus our team consists of members with backgrounds from different jurisdictions to help clients on potential issues also in countries other than Finland. We hope that this unconventional approach to providing legal services will inspire people to start new businesses as well as help inform students on how to protect their innovations.

Hanken and Hoppa IP

Hanken’s Master’s degree programme in Intellectual Property Law has been growing in size and potential for the last years. In 2013, 27 new students with varied backgrounds and nationalities were admitted in the programme, with expertise not only in law but also in areas like entrepreneurship, business, accounting and taxes.

These different background fields give the programme an interesting edge and, if combined, can be very advantageous when helping hopeful entrepreneurs to solve legal issues and ultimately succeed. This is where the platform of Hoppa IP becomes relevant, as the group gives an opportunity to the students of the programme to hone their legal and business skills while participating in the boiling innovation scene of Helsinki.

Our Mission and Business Model

Our mission is twofold: providing independent legal services for startups in Helsinki, and at the same time serving as a platform for the integration of IP Law students in the business world. We believe that a complete academic experience goes beyond book learning and is only acquired with the complement of solid practical experience.

The planned business model is to assign a team of students with different backgrounds to a startup, for which they will be responsible along the way. The services will be tailored mainly around IP assets strategy, but can also encompass business law needs, contracts and incorporation.

The group has already attracted interesting clients and partnerships.

As an example, our clients have included:

  • A startup in Metropolia UAS, which developed an application for mobile phones. We advised them on the best way to deal with the intellectual property issues connected to their application. The startup has since adapted its business model and is now attempting to find funding partners.
  • Another startup founded by students and operating in the marketing field (promotions and sales). We advised them on the drafting of their shareholder’s agreement for a limited liability company.

On another level we have been encouraged and supported at Hanken by the Commercial Law Department. We have also been in close contact with the Management and Organisation Department and with Hanken Entrepreneurship Society (HankenES). Outside of Hanken, our group is in contact with many actors from other universities and organizations, and we plan on establishing stable partnerships.

José Godinho
LL.B. from the New University of Lisbon

Mikko Järvinen
LL.M. in IP Law from the University of Edinburgh

Philippe Pépin
LL.L. and B.Soc.Sc. from the University of Ottawa

www.hoppaip.wordpress.com