IPL Studies in Hanken

4/2019 20.12.2019

Vera Sevastianova

Student in Hanken’s IPL Master Program

The IPL Program is a perfect fit for anyone interested in IP! The peculiarity of this graduate program is that it does not attempt to cover different legal fields but focuses on one particular area of law. For me, as a lawyer from St. Petersburg, Russia, the program allowed deepening my knowledge in the foundations of IP law and learning about the EU and even US perspectives on it. Moreover, studying in the country that is well known for the quality of its education and being just 3,5 hours away from home is fantastic.

The obligatory courses in IP law are well structured and planned. Our leading professor Nari Lee and her colleagues are passionate about the subjects they teach, and guest speakers are world-famous IP scholars. Here is an illustration: I read the textbook on the European IP law, and next month the co-author of the book, Prof. Annette Kur from the Max Planck Institute, lectures us together with Prof. Irene Calboli from the Texas A&M University – and both of them almost jump in excitement about the trademark functionality doctrine; or Prof. Christophe Geiger from the University of Strasbourg gives us a series of lectures on the interaction of IP law and human rights; or Prof. Jane Ginsburg from Columbia University travels to Helsinki to teach us U.S. copyright law. Basically, one day you read an article by a renowned IP scholar, and the next day this scholar is in the classroom. After the first semester, one starts recognizing authors’ names in articles and books, and this fact cannot but inspire young professionals.

While there are enough IP-related courses to earn the necessary amount of credits, I am glad to have also taken several economic and business-related disciplines. Hanken is a business school, so it would have been a pity not to use this opportunity, because understanding how business functions is very important for a lawyer to become more client-oriented and practice law in a profound manner. Moreover, at Hanken, students are obliged to take foreign language courses – it is very smart of the school, for this decision makes students challenge themselves once again.

I started the program in September 2018 and now, in December 2019, I am only left with writing the Master’s thesis. I followed the suggested study plan quite strictly, so the past 1,5 years were quite busy, but definitely worth it. At the same time, the program is very flexible, and one can construct his/her semesters the way he/she wants. For example, one of my semesters consisted mostly of online and self-paced courses, so I got significant flexibility for additional readings and other activities.

Hanken offers diverse opportunities for development. For instance, during the summer break, I participated in the summer school on IP law, which was perfectly organized, and did an internship in a Finnish startup company, where I managed to apply knowledge on the EU IP law. In the third semester, my classmates and I took part in the Nordic IP Moot Court Competition during which we were invited to the finals in Denmark on a wild card – there, we earned the prize for the best oral presentation. Hanken is very supportive of such activities, e.g., by offering scholarships and practical advice.

In general, Hanken library resources (with many useful subscriptions), career-related activities and programs (e.g., mentorship program), relations with other institutions (e.g., other universities, IPR University Center, and even EUIPO), and its sustainability focus – all of these make the program experience amazingly unique. I would definitely recommend the program with the advice to be active and join as many different opportunities as possible. Good luck!


Susanna Kallio

Phd Student, Hanken

IP law does not work in a vacuum or in isolation, and the Hanken IPL Programme carefully takes this into account. It teaches about IP law in context – of business, economy, and society. It works in touch with practice, giving perspective on how to use law effectively in different scenarios. It also allows room for flexibility and personal development, as alternative approaches are also encouraged. Whether you want to learn how to apply IP law as part of a successful business strategy, or wish to orient yourself towards philosophical ponderings, be it practice or theory that interests you, the programme and the faculty at Commercial Law can help guide you to achieve your preferred goals. With the additional, varied visiting faculty, you will always find a new, interesting angle to look at the law.

If you wish to challenge yourself and are open-minded, you can even find yourself surprised by the diverse ways to approach IP. Personally, I found myself interested in a topic at the intersection of IP and gender and was then directed towards feminist legal theory and a subfield I did not even know existed at the time I was planning my Master’s thesis, but which has now become my academic home as a doctoral candidate. In general, Hanken offers excellent connections of top international quality, both academically and in practice, with law and business – even with the field of gender studies. This is a programme in which you will find like-minded people if you are enthusiastic about the various possibilities within IP!


Read more and apply to the Master’s in Intellectual Property Law 2020

Application period: 1 November 2019 – 15 January 2020