Interns Contribute Their Expertise At IP-Watch

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Intellectual Property Watch was very pleased to have sponsored Martha Pigott and Nick Duston, college students from the United States, this spring on internships to carry out research, writing and outreach activities.

“We were thrilled to have them working with us,” said Editor William New. “They have laid the groundwork for important work here and contributed useful background material for stories to appear in IP-Watch publications. Not to mention they were cool to have around!”

Martha Pigott is an undergraduate at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, USA but is originally from Buffalo, New York. She came to Geneva, Switzerland on an internship program through her college where EUSA, an organization based in London that specializes in finding internship placements for students abroad, which placed her at Intellectual Property Watch. Majoring in Public Policy, Martha took three courses for college credit in the area of economic globalization, including a course on Swiss Life and Culture, in addition to the internship. Graduating this spring, Martha had already participated in another off-campus program in the fall of 2004 in Washington, DC where she interned on Capitol Hill with Congressman Tom Reynolds of New York.

During her time here, she was given various responsibilities including two research projects. The first deals with advocacy, researching what kind of lobbying on intellectual property policy goes on here in Geneva and how it is done. She attempted to identify some of the people and organizations involved with lobbying, working to prepare a directory of information that can later be referenced. Her other project involves technical assistance, specifically provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), researching what kind of assistance is given, to whom it is being given, and what the effects are. She said she found her research interesting and fulfilling, and strived to produce projects that will later be useful to IP-Watch.

Nick Duston is an undergraduate student at Boston University, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He is originally from Enfield, Connecticut, where he lived for 18 years before moving to Boston for school. Nick is currently finishing his third year at BU, where he is pursuing a degree in Economics and International Relations. After graduating next fall, his current plans are to go directly to law school. Through Boston University and the EUSA placement organization, Nick spent this semester abroad in Geneva, taking courses in international law, the activities of intergovernmental organisations, and Swiss politics. He also worked at Intellectual Property Watch, which deals closely with all three of his academic interests: law, economics, and international relations.

Nick’s work at IP-Watch included the “usual” intern duties as well as a research project. This project focused on the implementation of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) since its inception, with a specific focus on the agreement’s implementation in the francophone West African nations that comprise L’Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI). This research provided Nick with a great deal of insight into a much-forgotten part of the globe, he said, adding that it will hopefully allow him to raise awareness of the situation in the area as well as elsewhere in the developing world.

We wish them both the best of luck in their future endeavours. They may be reached through info@ip-watch.ch.

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