The Blog written by our alumni Conrado Machado, the first Vice-President in 2017 and 2018.
As time goes by, coupled with the annual renewal of the LLM students, there is the risk of forgetting the origin of certain things. For this reason, in this short text I would like to tell about the foundation of the Glasgow University Intellectual Property Society (GUIPS), in which I got actively involved as a founder and its first Vice-President in 2017 and 2018.
But, before addressing the proposed subject, I call your attention to the post’s headline: “A history of the GUIPS”. You can notice that this is “a” history and not “the” history of the GUIPS. That difference is relevant because I intend to expose some facts under the point of view of a 33 years old Brazillian legal counsel, married, father of two sons (one was born in Glasgow three days before my last exam and the other is on his way, due to the first week of May of 2020), editor of a legal blog in Brazil and an early riser (babies do not let you sleep until late…). Hopefully, the other founders, among who you will find Germans, Chinese, Greeks, Thai, Malteses, Scots and Azerbaijans, will share their own perspectives of that common experience, whether in the comments below or in a new blog post.
Having said that, let us get down to business.
In a Wednesday afternoon, in October or November 2017, at the end of a seminar for which everyone, as usual, had done the mandatory readings for Copyright in the Digital Environment Seminar, Dr Thomas Margoni suggested the foundation of an IP society in order to promote cultural and social events alongside with the magnificent ones already promoted by CREATe. It was certainly not an easy mission to start something from ground zero and working with people from all over the world that barely met each other, while dealing with the LLM obligations and adapting to a new life in a foreign country.
Challenge accepted, the first meetings of the students who joined the project were mainly to define the executive board, to vote the statute and, definitely not the easiest task, choose the society’s name. After that measures, others needed to be taken, like creating a website (I am sure you remember that, Zihao!) and social media accounts, as well as organizing the inaugural event. I also suggested a few times, inspired by Create’s example, the creation of a GUIPS tartan, but my proposals were democratically rejected (the next generations, however, are free to accept the suggestion). Conveniently, the encounters used to take place after the CopyrightX classes, in order to optimise time, a scarce asset for LLM candidates, as you might agree with me.
Concerning the inaugural event, which for us would be the coronation of all our effort, we thought in bringing someone with practical experience in IP, thus complementing the more academic approach offered by the outstanding speakers of CREATe’s events. On that account, we invited the Director of the Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization, Mr Anthony Taubman. The event date could not be more appropriate, the 28th November of 2018, the day before the graduation ceremony of the 2018 class, which made it possible to put together at the audience students from the 2018 and the 2019 classes.
In fairness, all the hard work endeavoured by the founders of the GUIPS had the objective to allow the future students to go even further in projects, events, integration, professional networking and all sort of initiatives, benefitting from the society’s structure and making the most of their time in the LLM IP and the Digital Economy of the University of Glasgow. By the way, a quick glance at the very active GUIPS’ website allows us to conclude that the original purpose of the society is being successfully reached and the 2019 students made their part in strengthening the project.
Obviously, the GUIPS will not consolidate overnight, being paramount the commitment of every year’s LLM students, using part of their precious time of readings, distillery tours on weekends, partying with friends and other personal affairs to give their contribution for this promising project. But, trust me when I say it: You will not regret the time spent on behalf of the GUIPS and it will definitely enrich your experience at the University of Glasgow!