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In memoriam: Nicola Coppola

The faculty of the Law Department mourns the loss of Nicola Coppola, who passed away last April. For nearly ten years, “Nic” has been part of the academic community of Bournemouth University, first as a student and then as a PhD researcher and lecturer in law. He was an active member of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, a caring and supportive colleague who soon became one of the pillar of the academic life of our Centre. All of the students, researchers and visitors involved in the  Centre and  Law Department in those years have appreciated his personality, and have an indelible memory of his enthusiasm, generosity and deep humanity.

Nic’s research focused on a crucial (although relatively neglected in the UK) area of contemporary intellectual property law, namely the law of geographical indications of origin and its relation with the EU agricultural and food policy. For him this was more than just a research topic.  He saw it as a matter of human well-being in its fullest meaning, and hence an essential constituent of European citizenship. His talent as a junior researcher in this field did not go unnoticed in the academic community in the UK and internationally. In September 2015, he organized the international symposium on Geographical Indications in the EU which brought together a range of renowned scholars and experts in this field. It turned out to be a very constructive event and, as Nic proudly maintained, the very first academic conference on this subject in the UK. His dedication to his research theme was inexhaustible. Even during his illness, which kept him away from Bournemouth University in the last year, he published an article on the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice on a decision of the European Court on geographical indications. The article shows all the rigour and originality that has characterized his approach to legal research over these years. His contribution and presence in our academic lives will be sorely missed.

Maurizio Borghi (Director of CIPPM, Bournemouth University)

On 7 November 2017 Nicola Coppola received the posthumous award of Doctor of Philosophy from Bournemouth University for his research project on “Geographical Indications in the European Union. Critical assessment of Regulation (EU) 1151/2012″.  


Nicola, you will be sorely missed and fondly remembered. I will remember you in many different ways: from your knowledge of IP and GIs to your knowledge of good restaurants and auctions … The conversations we had, touched upon such diverse topics and were forever entertaining. Always with a smile, your love for life was infectious and you certainly lived life to the full. The positive and courageous attitude you maintained throughout your illness, apparent through all our e-mail correspondence, was inspirational. I consider myself fortunate to have known you. So, as we grieve your loss, we will always remember you with much fondness; and your memory will forever live with us at CIPPM/BU. May you rest in peace.

Dinusha Mendis (Co-Director of CIPPM, Bournemouth University)

Nicola was a very bright scholar and a courteous, delightful colleague who made an excellent contribution to CIPPM and the Law Department.

Sally Weston (Senior Principal Academic, Bournemouth University)

I met Nicola many years ago when I was an IP Prof at Bournemouth University, and he studied for an LLM. Nicola, always looking dapper, had a real thirst for knowledge and an enormous enthusiasm that persuaded many of his fellow students to aspire to more. He quickly was elected as a student representative, joined many societies, and contributed to the activities of our research centre CIPPM.

That’s how he began his path to a PhD bursary (where I was one of his supervisors) and as a lecturer in the Law Department. Nicola was a natural communicator and teacher, and his research on Geographical Indications in the European Union was much more to him than an academic matter. He cared about the shift from quantity to quality. If people and food make life worthwhile, the EU’s agricultural policy had to respond too.

I shall remember Nicola as an academic of great potential and as a very good person.

Martin Kretschmer (Professor of Intellectual Property Law, University of Glasgow)

Nicola was a positive, generous and kind person. I have vivid memories of the enthusiasm with which he undertook his doctoral research project. His passion was infectious. His contribution to academia and the community of scholars studying the law of Geographical Indications will be sorely missed

Andrea Tosato (Assistant Professor in Law, University of Nottingham)

Nicola was a dear friend of mine and it is hard to express how much I miss him. He was the first person I met when I arrived in Bournemouth in 2011, and since the first moment he has been genuinely keen to help me with whatever I needed. I have always admired Nicola for his passion, courage, enthusiasm, generosity, intelligence, altruism, integrity, and thirst for knowledge. It was a talented scholar and a great colleague. I miss our interesting chats and his positive attitude. It is rare to meet people like Nicola and I find it really difficult to accept his departure. I miss you my friend, and I will always remember you as an exceptional person

Bartolomeo Meletti (Copyright Education Creative Director, University of Glasgow)

Nicola was an amazing person, full of life and curiosity. His departure met me with a feeling of disbelief, emptiness, and injustice. He will live in my memory as enthusiastic colleague and considerate friend.

Marcella​ Favale (Senior Researcher, CIPPM, Bournemouth University)

3 years ago exactly I received an e-mail from a PhD candidate who was studying Geographical Indications. However, this particular researcher was not asking me to send him an article that I had recently written; he was actually analysing the paper and discussing it as he was the one that wrote it. The e-mail was 5 paragraphs long and I was kept totally engaged in reading his ideas and interests. A month later we were having coffee together. Not only was his interest for the topic  a personal goal but actually he made you engross in it. Nick was an Italian spark that crossed in our ways; his modesty was palpable and his understanding of the GI and the way he dominated the topic was spot on. Projects were on the table, and we tried to refine hypothesis and theories which were so easy to digest and disentangle for him. Most of our correspondence I have kept because surely somewhere between the lines there was a theory and hypothesis to be investigated: was he researching GI or was GI using him? Indeed, he appeared to be a step forward. Every time he said something about a chapter in his PhD, I always told him with a big smile ‘that book is going straight into my basket!’. 3 years have passed, not long to say that I got to know him but enough to say that his spark will always shine. Nick’s knowledge and charismatic behaviour is leaving a spark in us all.

Patricia Covarrubia (Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Buckingham)

I was deeply saddened to learn of Nicola’s passing. He was a kind and generous colleague and friend. I am sure he will be much missed by his colleagues at Bournemouth University and everyone that knew him. My sympathy goes out to his family.

Stavroula Karapapa (Associate Professor in Law, University of Reading)

It has been with deep sadness that I heard the news about Nicola passing away. Nicola was a lovely colleague with whom I enjoyed talking about his research which he felt most passionate about. Nicola was always interested to talk about Burgundy, the region of France I come from and I was always full of admiration for his knowledge of wine production and appellation d’origine contrôlée.

I will always remember Nicola for his genuine warmth, friendliness and professionalism as a colleague and his expertise and ability as a researcher.

Martine Hardwick (Law Lecturer, Bournemouth University)

It is said that ‘the memory of a good person is a blessing.’ Nicola was a good person and will stay in our memory. For me personally, this will be particularly so when eating the lovely Italian chocolates ‘Gianduiotto’ which Nicola shared with us in the office.

Melanie Klinkner (Senior Lecturer in Law, Bournemouth University)

I was very sorry to hear this news. Nicola was a lovely fellow whose enthusiasm for his subject and support for the activities of the department and the university was impressive. I always enjoyed and was interested by his presentations on Geographical Indications which he always delivered with a combination of intelligence and humour (as well as free samples!). His friendly engagement with his subject and his colleagues will be very much missed.

Howard Davis (Reader in Public Law, Bournemouth University)

You will be sadly missed, my condolences to the family

Max Lowenstein (Senior Lecturer in Law, Bournemouth University)

I am very saddened by Nicola’s passing. He was very welcoming when I visited CIPPM in 2015. Nicola was a very nice person, willing to help if necessary. I remember how incredibly enthusiastic he was about his research. My deepest condolences to his family.

Rafael García Pérez (Professor of Commercial Law, A Coruña University, Spain)

We met a couple of years ago when I visited CIPPM for a semester. You were very kind to me: a truly welcoming and charming person.  I recall how passionate about your research you were, with a genuine and special interest in the subject. Above all, however, I shall always remember the way you spoke about the world, including your own personal world, with humour and tenderness. I wish I had the chance to say goodbye, Nicola. Rest in Peace.

Giulia Dore (Research Assistant, CREATe, University of Glasgow)

I met Nic in 2011 and I still remember our first conversation about geographical indications, economic analysis and Italian food. We realised that we had something in common. We both loved IP law and Italian pasta, so we decided to meet in different Italian restaurants during my stay in Bournemouth. Very soon I saw Nic not only as a very talented researcher but especially as a very good friend who would help me every time I needed it.
You will be in my prayers my dear friend.

Jesús Iván Mora González (Lecturer in Law,Valencian International University)

Nicola was a good friend, a much appreciated colleague and an international lawyer. He was always courageous and, even in the most difficult moments of his life, he was serene, planning new articles, conferences or little everyday things that showed his deep humanity. In short, he loved life, his job and the future! So he preceded us also in this!
May the earth be light upon you, Nick! We will keep you in our memory as a very precious friend and a model for our lives

Vito Rubino (University of Eastern Piedmont, Alessandria, Italy)

It’s still hard for me to believe that Nicola has passed away.He was a good person, with a great talent, competence and professionalism. I am sure that everybody who had the chance to get to know him was struck by his politeness, his kindness and his great humanity. Ciao Nicola. We will greatly miss you. RIP.

Alessandro Chiarini (Legal Department Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio GRANA PADANO, Desenzano del Garda, Italy)