The origins of EIPIN can be traced back to the beach of San Juan in Alicante, Spain, in 1994. It was here that Professor Dieter Stauder first formulated his idea – which was later to become an obsession – of bringing together IP students from various European universities.

His idea, simply stated, was that there will be no truly unified Europe unless people from different cultures know one another, understand one another and work with one another. Consequently, it was imperative for intellectual property institutions to create a network offering students the possibility to do precisely that – to meet, to understand, and to work together. He posited that common enrichment would radiate from these “physical contacts,” and correctly so, as EIPIN collaboration has been enhancing the academic experience of countless students and professors for more than a decade.

It took almost six years, however, to realise this vision for the first time. Years during which the relations between the four founding institutions gradually moved from competitive to cooperative. Years in which bilateral contacts and visits among the partners multiplied. Years in which the partners grew to know each other. Years in which the concept was fine-tuned. Years during which the partners all realised that EIPIN could be a win-win for all if the EIPIN dream could be kept alive.

And, thankfully, it was!

Officially founded in 1999, the European Intellectual Property Institutes Network originally comprised the Centre d'Etudes Internationales of the Propriété Industrielle (CEIPI, Strasbourg); Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH, Zürich); Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (University of London); and Magister Lvcentinvs (University of Alicante).The Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) and the Intellectual Property Law and Knowledge Management (Maastricht University) joined EIPIN in 2004 and 2012, respectively.

The success of EIPIN demonstrates just how powerful networking among students from different institutions and cultures can be. More than five hundred “EIPIN Alumni” can testify that participation in an EIPIN Congress represents one of the most outstanding milestones of their professional and academic lives.