Meet: Maria – Bucerius Summer Program student from Peru

Each summer, people from all over the world come to Hamburg to take part in the Bucerius Summer Programs. Here, they share their experiences.

Education & Study |

Where did you study before coming to Bucerius Law School?

Before coming to Bucerius Law School I studied law at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru where I obtained my bachelor degree. Afterwards, I took postgraduate studies in Consumer Law at Escuela de Postgrado de la Universidad del Pacífico (UP) in Peru and attended a Professional Summer Program related to Understanding U.S. Intellectual Property Law at Stanford Law School.

Finally, from August 2021 to August 2022, I studied my Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Intellectual Property jointly organized by Università degli Studi di Torino (UNITO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITCILO).


What is your profession at the moment?

I am a lawyer (LL.M.), specialized in Intellectual Property, Unfair Competition and Consumer Protection law.


What makes the subject of intellectual property interesting to you?

IP has always been interesting to me since it's involved with human creativity; and IP laws are all about protecting such creations and fostering new creations so societies can thrive. Also, IP is a dynamic subject that is constantly under debate since new technologies make us wonder how new creations can be effectively protected and how current IP laws can be adequate to such scenarios or update if necessary.

I also like that IP has many subjects to deal with like trademarks, copyright, designs, patents, geographical indications, trade secrets, etc. All these subjects are interesting and special, and working in their protection and enforcement has been a very fun journey since the first IP dispute I was involved in.


How did you hear about the Bucerius summer program in Hamburg?

The first time I heard about the Bucerius Summer Program was at the end of 2019, when I was searching through Google international IP courses or Summer Programs to study abroad before adventuring myself into an international LL.M.

I actually applied and was accepted to the Bucerius IP Summer Program in 2020 but the pandemic started in March 2020 and the Summer Program was, unfortunately, cancelled. Nevertheless, I always kept an eye to the reactivation of the IP Summer Program since the Course Content was really interesting and of an advanced level related to new technologies.


Where do you see the benefit in studying abroad?

Studying abroad is the most incredible and rewarding experience that students and professionals should do at least once in their life. The benefits are countless, among them, the multicultural exchange while meeting students and colleagues from different places of the world with interesting backgrounds and different professional experiences.

Also, studying IP courses abroad gives you a wider perspective of IP laws around the world, particular IP offices criteria to solve IP disputes as well as different strategies to approach an IP issue through cross border contracts. You also have the privilege to get to know and to learn from experienced professionals in the IP field from different jurisdictions from private practice, multinational companies, academics, and researchers.

They will give you different and interesting insights to extend your knowledge in international IP and improve your professional skills. Additionally, you can make long-lasting international friendships that will enrich your life with amazing adventures throughout the world.


How did you manage working and taking part in the program?

The benefits of working as an independent lawyer is that I can freely manage my own time to work. The only issue was, perhaps, the time difference between Hamburg and Lima (7 hours ahead). Nevertheless, before coming to Hamburg I assured to advance and organize the pending work so I could dedicate most of my time to the Summer Program, visit Hamburg and share nice moments with friends from the Summer Program.


Which site visit did you participate in? What did you learn from it?

The IP Summer Program included 2 site workshops. One to HomePort and one to Google Hamburg. My favorite workshop was the one made at Google, where we practiced our legal skills in a simulated negotiation in cloud services agreements, which was a very competitive and challenging experience.


Was the work environment there different there?

Yes, definitely. During our visit to Google Hamburg we had a glance of how a normal day would be for a Google Counsel negotiating cloud service agreements, as well as the difficulties and the rewards involved in such activity on a large scale. We also had the chance to visit the offices and the different areas and facilities among the Google building, which showed us the importance of having a good work environment to have a balance between work, wellness, and personal life.

In HomePort the work environment was very good as well, since we met dedicated professionals who are always looking for innovation to contribute to society and that are very open to collaborate among them and share their knowledge.


What new experience are you  going to put into practice?

The IP Summer Program has been incredibly helpful to improve my negotiation and drafting skills, which are necessary in my profession in order to protect the interests and IP assets of clients in case of potential IP transactions. Since my professional experience so far has been more focused on IP litigation, now I feel more prepared to work on national and international IP transactions as well, in all their stages.


Where do you see the biggest chances in working together in an international group?

During my professional experience working for an international law firm in Peru I gave counseling, representation and defense to many national and multinational companies mainly in IP litigations. Although I had the opportunity to review and modify some complex IP contracts, usually the negotiation process is mostly handled directly by in-house lawyers.

Therefore, I knew that, although during my professional experience I had not yet had the opportunity to be involved in the beginnings of an IP transaction, I needed to strengthen my negotiation skills just to be prepared when this situation may occur whether as an associate lawyer at a law firm, as an in-house or independent lawyer.
Working for an international law firm might, of course, give you the possibility to be involved in the negotiation stage of an international IP transaction, nevertheless, usually in-house lawyers of multinational companies are the ones who have a complete exposure in such stage.


What did you gain from the summer program?

Although in my LL.M. program there were a couple of sessions of Transfer of Technology and Negotiation, the Course Content of the IP Summer Program at Bucerius is a three week course only focused on International IP licensing transactions. There you can have in-depth insights of IP emerging issues related to new technologies such as AI, algorithms, blockchain, smart contracts, NFTs, biotech, cloud projects,etc., and where you are exposed to many practical exercises, where you can perfection your negotiation skills at classes and in site workshops.

So while the LL.M. is more focused to IP litigation with many moot court activities, the Bucerius IP Summer Program perfectly complemented all my LL.M. studies. Thanks to the Summer Program I learned, among other things, what are the best practices to start a collaborative negotiation and the strategies to reach an agreement in difficult or tense situations in order to obtain or protect IP assets such as trademarks, copyright, patents, trade secrets, etc.


Who would you recommend the program to?

I would recommend the IP Summer Program mainly to IP professionals that are seeking to gain skills in IP negotiations and drafting agreements and that are also looking to have in-depth international studies in IP issues related to new technologies such as AI, algorithms, blockchain, smart contracts, NFTs, biotech, cloud projects, etc.

Although I learnt about the IP Summer Program at the end of 2019, one of the reasons that encouraged me to take the Summer Program in 2023 after taking my LL.M. is that it is constantly updating its Course Content according to the new technologies and the emerging issues that are involved to IP.


How did you like Hamburg?

Hamburg is a beautiful city and I would definitely love to visit again! One of the biggest differences compared to living in Peru is that Hamburg, a city from a developed country, has an amazing integrated public transport service, which Peru doesn't have.

Although I was living quite far from Campus, I had no problem arriving to classes on time by taking the bus and the metro with a monthly ticket, in a very comfortable journey. Also, unlike Peru, walking in Hamburg or taking the public transport at any time feels safe. There's a lot of respect for pedestrians and cyclists and the streets are quite quiet with no traffic jams.

The other big difference would be the weather. Hamburg has a very cold weather even during summer, so my recommendation would be to always bring a couple of cozy coats to Hamburg! Even in a sunny day, you might feel cold at some point (specially us, latinos, who are not used to very low temperature weathers)


Maria, thanks for the interview!