LL.M. Intellectual Property and Competition Law


Programme Description

Our Programme

The MIPLC provides a truly international and interdisciplinary experience, thanks to the four partners operating the institute, its international faculty, and its students from all over the world.

With just 38 students (maximum) per year, our program is much smaller than others. This guarantees intensive interaction between students, professors, and staff, as well as personalized support. Our courses are designed especially for our program and our students.

Our program is:

  • Specialized and fully-accredited
  • Suitable for law graduates and students with other backgrounds alike
  • Taught entirely in English
  • Multi-jurisdictional: Every subject is taught from the European and from the US perspective
  • Diverse with a wide variety of modules to choose from
  • Interdisciplinary, discussing all aspects of IP from the legal and relevant economic perspectives
  • Hands-on, with the practical aspects of IP covered in simulations, case-studies, and an optional internship
  • Supplemented with study visits to the European Patent Office and other IP organizations and guest lectures and talks throughout the year
  • A member of the EIPIN network
  • Located in Europe's IP Capital Munich

Our Faculty

The MIPLC takes particular pride in its distinguished faculty.

Our about 60 active faculty members are highly respected researchers and practitioners who among them have a wealth of experience. They are at home in a variety of professional environments. The majority are tenured professors and researchers working with one of the four institutions operating the MIPLC or with other renowned universities such as the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics, the University of California, and Columbia University. Others work as attorneys for renowned and internationally active law firms including Bird & Bird or Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; as IP officials for the European Patent Office or the World Intellectual Property Organization; as judges; or as practitioners in the world of corporate IP.

The members of the MIPLC Project Board also teach at least one course per academic year. As part of our continuous curriculum review, we regularly recruit new faculty members from around the world to further increase the diversity of our program.

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is highly comprehensive, covering a wide variety of areas, subject matters, and jurisdictions.

We aim to give our students an extensive selection of courses to allow them to study their preferred area(s) of interest as broadly and deeply as possible. Comprehensive reading and study materials are provided for each course.

Courses and Modules

The courses offered at the MIPLC are split up into four types of modules:

  • The Introductory Module: This is a preparatory, no-credit module. Participation is optional but strongly recommended to all students, especially in classes that cover unfamiliar topics.
  • The Basic Modules: There are four Basic Modules that are mandatory for all students and are completed by one exam per module. These modules cover the core areas of IP - patents, copyright, trademarks, and design - but also basic cross-cutting topics, such as European Law or Jurisdiction and Conflict of Laws.
  • The Elective Modules: 12 specialized Elective Modules allow students to focus their studies on subjects they are particularly interested in. Due to the students' varied interests, class size in the elective courses is usually small.
    While the majority of the Elective Modules work on an exam-per-course basis, three modules are concluded by a single exam per module. This allows students to take into account their preferred studying and examination style when selecting their modules.
  • The Master's Thesis Module: Completing a Master's thesis is a requirement for all students, as the thesis is a central component of the LL.M. program. Its preparation is an excellent opportunity to explore a particular topic in great depth and on a highly sophisticated level. Students start to work on their Master's thesis early on in the program. They may choose their topic freely to correspond to personal interests and career goals. Each student is assigned a thesis supervisor with whom they can discuss issues that come up in the course of their research. The final thesis, due about six weeks after the completion of the summer term, should run to about 55-75 pages.
    In selecting a topic for the Master's thesis, students may benefit from MIPLC's participation in the European University Network set up by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). In the context of this network, students from participating universities can write their Master's thesis on a topic suggested by one of the designated EUIPO "research advisers." The advisers are experienced EUIPO staff members who provide additional guidance and support to the students. A research session takes place at EUIPO's premises in Alicante in July. Attendance of this session is mandatory for participating students, who will give a ten-minute oral presentation on their research.

Degree Requirements

To graduate from the MIPLC, students must acquire 60 credit points (CP):

  • 24 CP from the Basic Modules
  • 18 CP from the Elective Modules
  • 18 CP from the Master's Thesis Module.

Our Students

At the MIPLC, we are proud of our outstanding students!

Our program is truly international and interdisciplinary, and so are our students. They have backgrounds in law, economics, engineering, natural sciences, and other fields. They come to the MIPLC from all over the world to prepare for ambitious careers in the IP sector, especially as attorneys, patent agents, judges, business experts, scientists, engineers, and university faculty members.

Many of our students join the MIPLC relatively soon after completing their primary studies and gaining initial professional experience. However, we also continue to attract professionals with extensive practical IP experience who decide to undertake further studies. We have therefore been able to welcome students aged 21 to 58 to our classroom. The average age of each class of students is about 30 years.

Why Study at the MIPLC?

At the MIPLC, you will find:

  • International faculty of academics, attorneys, judges, and corporate IP practitioners
  • International and highly diverse student body in terms of nationality, age, and background
  • Small classes designed for and taught exclusively to our students
  • Individual tutorial sessions
  • Access to the Max Planck Institute's IP library, comprising more than 200,000 volumes, and to the MIPLC's own library
  • Direct links to the international research community working at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
  • Access to legal databases, such as LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Juris
  • Student floor with shared office space and high-speed internet connections
  • Personalized support from MIPLC Administrative Team
  • Financial assistance

After graduation, you will have:

  • A globally applicable skill set
  • An international network of professional contacts and friends
  • An internationally recognized academic degree (LL.M.)
  • Excellent career perspectives
  • Access to Ph.D. programs, e.g. directly at MIPLC

Besides, you will have had a year of life in Munich, one of the world's most beautiful and amazing cities.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

The Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) is a unique academic institution jointly operated by the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competiton, the University of Augsburg, the Technic ... Read More

The Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) is a unique academic institution jointly operated by the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competiton, the University of Augsburg, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and The George Washington University, Washington DC, USA. At its premises in downtown Munich, it offers the one-year LL.M. program "Intellectual Property and Competition Law" taught entirely in English. Read Less