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WIPO-University of Geneva Alumni: Where Are They Now?

September 20, 2021

The WIPO–University of Geneva (UNIGE) Summer School is one of the WIPO Academy’s longest running summer schools, having started in 2011. In recent years, the WIPO-UNIGE Summer School program began to include a session for participants to meet and interact with alumni to further build their network and share experiences.

The WIPO Academy is catching up with two alumni of the WIPO–UNIGE Summer School who were present at the latest alumni session to see what they have been up to since their participation in the program.

Luiza Tangari Coelho

Luiza Tangari Coelho, is a Brazilian lawyer based in São Paulo currently working as the Senior Attorney at Fialho Salles law firm and is the Vice Chair of the Trademark Law Subcommittee at the International Bar Association. She participated in the WIPO-UNIGE Summer School in 2014 and has successfully completed seven WIPO Academy Distance Learning Courses since then. She credits the WIPO-UNIGE Summer School for introducing her to the WIPO Academy offerings and to an approach to intellectual property (IP) that is practical and accessible. She has also benefitted from other WIPO Academy courses such as the year-long Joint WIPO-University of South Africa IP Specialization Program (via distance learning) in 2016.

(Photo: Henrique Gualtieri)

The Academy courses are helpful to have on one’s CV to showcase your IP specialization knowledge. The courses really help to broaden one’s IP knowledge, particularly when it comes to the “hot topics” of IP.

Luiza Tangari Coelho, Senior Attorney at Fialho Salles and Vice Chair of the Trademark Law Subcommittee at the International Bar Association

Luiza graduated from the Law School of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2010 with an undergraduate degree in law, and later pursued an LL.M. at the University of Cambridge in 2012 where she focused on IP, writing her master’s thesis on trademarks in particular. She has worked for Fialho Salles since 2012, starting out as a Junior Associate, covering client needs pertaining to IP. Luiza hopes to become a partner at Fialho Salles and to support women leadership initiatives at the law firm which are growing in momentum.

Young female lawyers often reach out to her on LinkedIn, telling her that it is inspiring to see successful women in the field from a developing country, proving that there are opportunities out there for them. Luiza encourages them and others considering a career in IP to participate in the WIPO Summer Schools.

Make the most of every minute as you have the unique chance to learn and talk to people who handle IP on a daily basis, and you can learn from them all about the different career options in the field. Go to all the events and interact with fellow participants and speakers, it is a valuable learning and networking opportunity. Don’t forget to keep in touch with everyone afterwards.

Luiza Tangari Coelho, Senior Attorney at Fialho Salles and Vice Chair of the Trademark Law Subcommittee at the International Bar Association

Eventually, Luiza hopes to also pursue a PhD in IP to further build her international experience. In her free time, Luiza likes to travel the world, usually resorting to courses abroad as an excuse to explore new places, and she is an avid supporter of the arts, dedicating a lot of her time to museum visits.

(Photo: Luiza Tangari Coelho)

Piotr Łuczak

Piotr Łuczak is currently an IP attorney-at-law at Hasik Rheims & Partners, based in his home country of Poland. Piotr was part of the 2016 cohort of the WIPO-UNIGE Summer School and has had an illustrious and growing career in the IP law field ever since. In 2012, he graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Silesia in Katowice in law, and shortly afterwards started working as a general lawyer in Poland. Driven by his passion for music and design, he decided to focus on IP law and pursued postgraduate studies at University of Warsaw in this area.

Piotr credits the WIPO-UNIGE Summer School experience for helping him decide to specialize in trademark law. Given his passion for music, he had originally planned to focus on copyright but after being exposed to the different areas of IP during the summer school he realized that specializing in trademarks and brand-related IP issues appealed more to him. He started his first job as an IP lawyer shortly before the summer school and was then offered a position as an IP (trademarks) lawyer at Baker McKenzie in Poland.

(Photo: Radosław Polak)

He found the WIPO-UNIGE Summer School program to be well-balanced, and he particularly recalls the lectures on “Sale and Licensing of Content Online” by Mr. Chris Bavitz, Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and the practical “IP Licensing Exercise” by Mr. Theo Stamatiadis, Senior Legal Counsel at General Electric, for changing his view of what a law career could be like.

The WIPO Summer School experience offers a number of social and networking opportunities as well, with many participants developing lasting friendships from each program. Piotr is thankful for the valuable contacts and friends he gained from the WIPO-UNIGE Summer School which encouraged him to enroll in other international training courses such as the Chongqing University of Technology Training Program on Innovation and IP Protection for Personnel from Belt and Road Countries (2019), and the European Union IP Office Trademark and Design Education Program (2019 - 2020). In fact, he only found out about the program at Chongqing University through a friend he met at the WIPO-UNIGE Summer School, who accompanied him at the training afterwards

He strongly encourages fellow lawyers who are unsure of what career specialization to pursue, to enroll in a WIPO Summer School as it offers a wide and practical taster of the different IP fields. His career as an IP lawyer was not always a smooth journey. He mentioned that his biggest challenges were the formalities connected to practicing law, such as passing the bar exam, which he managed on a second attempt.

Start practicing law as early as possible. Studies are one thing, and practical experience is something else. This way you can quickly find out whether your idea of the job actually matches reality. Don’t get discouraged with failure either. With enough perseverance and efforts, you will make it in the end.

Piotr Łuczak, IP Attorney-at-Law at Hasik Rheims & Partners

As a life-long learner, Piotr hopes to pursue an LL.M. in IP Law at Queen Mary University of London. He eventually plans to practice as trademark attorney in Asia, ideally based in China, as he is very impressed by the fast-pace and direction of the IP environment in the Asia and the Pacific Region. When he is not learning about IP or working as an IP lawyer, Piotr is nursing his interest in design and traveling. He has a passion project in mind of someday launching his own brand.

Considering a career in IP?

The WIPO Academy offers a range of opportunities for those interested in learning more about the different fields of IP. The WIPO Summer Schools are two-week long programs for young professionals, students, and academics that offer participants an exciting learning opportunity through workshops and practical simulation exercises. The Distance Learning Program offers a range of courses covering basics and theory, management and policy, and IP skills-building, in up to 10 languages.

To connect to our growing alumni community, please join the WIPO Academy’s official “Academy Community” group on LinkedIn.

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