PhD Candidate Nael Thaher Returns from Brazil with Unique Experience and Case Study Research in Hand

Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015

Written by Helen Hambly

PhD in Rural Studies Candidate Nael Thaher Returns from Brazil With Unique Experience and Case Study Research in Hand

SEDRD Student Nael Thaher says that the opportunity for collaboration with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) Headquarters in Brasilia and Embrapa-Soybean in Londrina, Brazil provided him with an unique learning experience. “I had also a pleasure meeting with Monsanto-Brazil in Sao Paulo to discuss their technology transfer in crop biotechnology and specifically the case of Roundup Ready (RR) soybean. This case is important because it is a major technology to come off-patent recently in three countries (Canada, US and Brazil).” Nael’s PhD research examines the differences between the perspectives of researchers and research managers within these agricultural innovation systems in relation to intellectual property rights (IPR) and their management. His work has involved attaining a clear grasp of IPR management through patent and plant variety protection.  During his visit to Brazil, he also attended the 2015 International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) annual conference held in Rio de Janeiro.

“One of my favorite experiences of this trip was the people. Brazilians are very great and I am inspired by them. This is the beginning of fruitful partnership between institutions and it could open the doors for me as a graduate student and professional.”

Nael’s experience in Brazil builds on other unique learning opportunities that he gained in his PhD in Rural Studies program. In July 2014, Nael attended the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)-University of Geneva Summer School on IP, Geneva, Switzerland. He was selected as one of 58 participants from 300 applicants to participate in the summer academy in Geneva. Nael explains, “I had successfully completed the WIPO distance learning course entitled “General Course on IP” and the UPOV course “Introduction to the UPOV System”. The curriculum of the WIPO Summer School was comprised of valuable and creative ideas and the latest developments of the IP system. It facilitated my understanding of how to develop IPR instruments (patents, copyrights, trademarks, PBR, trade secrets, industrial design, geographical indications…) and grasp general thoughts about IP issues.”

Nael Thaher works with his Advisory Committee Members in SEDRD:  Advisor, Dr. Helen Hambly and Committee Members, Dr. John Fitzsimons as well as IPR management expert Dr. Victoria Henson-Apollonio who is based in Oregon, USA. 

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