IP at Pierce Law: Cooperative Initiatives
Strategic Partnerships in Intellectual Property Education: Preparing Professionals for the Global Information Age
Franklin Pierce Law Center is at the forefront in establishing relationships with other intellectual property research and educational institutions around the globe. Recognizing early that intellectual property in the new century is going to be increasingly a global phenomenon and that for information technologies, geographical and political boundaries are becoming increasingly inconsequential and problematic, Pierce Law has, in addition to drawing its faculty and students from all corners of the globe, sought out strategic partner institutions and organizations in a number of nations. With these relationships as a foundation, Pierce Law created new curricula in cross-cultural negotiations, mediation, and arbitration, stressing these formats as the preferred vehicles for settling international intellectual property disputes. These activities demonstrate a commitment by Pierce Law to improving the breadth and depth of intellectual property research and education in other academic institutions, both in the United States and abroad.
Another trend is equally important. Intellectual property practice is becoming more and more interdisciplinary. Exploitation of intellectual property assets to create wealth involves not just lawyers, but also business executives managing intellectual property assets, technology directors at the interface between the development of new technologies and their commercialization, economists analyzing the costs and benefits of adjusting intellectual property policies, government administrators tasked with implementing international intellectual property agreements, and non-governmental organizations and activists seeking recognition for new kinds of intellectual property assets for new producers of intellectual properties. Building on the experience of the interdisciplinary Master of Intellectual Property, Commerce and Technology (MIP) program, Pierce Law actively partners with other organizations in education from academic disciplines outside the law and with professional organizations devoted to improving the quality of practice in the intellectual property community.
The following cooperative programs exemplify some of the relationships Pierce Law is expanding on today.
In 1999 Pierce Law was awarded a grant by the United States Department of State’s “College and University Affiliation Program (CUAP)” to establish a partnership in intellectual property education with the new Tsinghua Law School in Beijing. Near the heart of China’s “Silicon Valley” in Zhongguancun, Tsinghua University is the premier science and technology education institution of China. Its new law school has a mission (in common with Pierce Law) to engage in research and education on issues at the interface of law and technology. Faculty and student exchanges are ongoing and, in early summer of 2002, Pierce Law hosted a five-week Intellectual Property Summer Institute program of academic courses at the Tsinghua Law School Beijing campus. The developing relationship between these two academic institutions will benefit both schools and their students, and foster a common understanding of intellectual property issues between the United States and China. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of intellectual property in the development of technology in government-funded and academic research institutions and how such technology can be effectively commercialized through venture investment, licensing, and the establishment of “spin-off” enterprises.
Since 1990 Pierce Law has had a cooperative program with the International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) in Daeduk, Korea. Established by the government of South Korea, students enrolled in courses at IIPTI may transfer up to 13 credits of course work toward the 30 credits needed to earn the MIP degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center.
Beginning in 1995 Pierce Law, in cooperation with the Latin American Asociación Interamericana de la Propriadad Industrial (ASIPI), has conducted a summer scholarship program for students from Latin American law schools. Each year, ASIPI sponsors an essay contest with the winner receiving a full scholarship to the Intellectual Property Summer Institute.
Since 1995 Pierce Law has conducted a Visiting Scholars Program in conjunction with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, a specialized agency of the United Nations. Over the past few years, WIPO scholars from Egypt, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, China, Gambia, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Jordan, Trinidad, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Malawi and Sudan have been in residence at Pierce Law. Faculty members from Pierce Law also serve on the Advisory Board of the WIPO Worldwide Academy, which is intended to become a key institution in international intellectual property education. Discussions on future cooperation are ongoing with other academic institutions in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
Franklin Pierce Law Center has always had in interest in expanding the established understanding, in an academic environment, of not just what intellectual property law is and the subject matter it protects, but how to go about protecting intellectual property assets strategically and how to exploit those assets to create new wealth. The synergy between law, technology, and management is the topic of several innovative courses in Pierce Law’s intellectual property curriculum. Using a broad range of courses in intellectual property management, licensing of technology, valuation of intellectual property, drafting of intellectual property legislation, and intellectual property finance as a spring-board, Pierce Law has at times established small-scale student exchange programs. One recent exchange was with the Tuck School of Business of Dartmouth College. This program allowed students from both institutions to explore the relationship between law and management so that they provided more effective counsel to entrepreneurs and other intellectual property owners. The Pierce advantage is the willingness and flexibility to facilitate such long and short term solutions. This broad “law-business interface”—not just the courtroom—is the future of intellectual property protection. Pierce Law students also participate in the Licensing Executives Society, USA/Canada (LES), an important worldwide organization of over 9,000 licensing professionals. The only student chapter of LES anywhere in the world is located at the Franklin Pierce Law Center.
Public Intellectual Property Resouces for Agriculture
PIPRA is an initiative by universities, foundations and non-profit
research institutions to make agricultural technologies more easily
available for development and distribution of subsistence crops for
humanitarian purposes in the developing world and specialty crops in the
PIPRA collaborates with IP law schools to expand our legal research
capacity. In a pilot program, Washington University School of Law's
Intellectual Property and Business formation Clinic
(http://law.wustl.edu/IPTech/), managed by Charles R. McManis, Scott
Kieff, and David Deal, completed in depth background research to examine
whether enabling tools (promoters) are in the public domain. This
research provides the background for PIPRA's requests for claims
analysis from IP attorneys and furthers our investigation into the FTO
of commonly-used enabling technologies. PIPRA and Washington University
have plans to continue the collaborative FTO research and explore other
synergies. New developments at The Franklin Pierce Law Center (FPLC,
http://www.piercelaw.edu/) will form the basis for continued
collaboration with PIPRA.
FPLC has approved plans to establish an International Development
Intellectual Property Clinical Program (IDIP Clinic), headed by
Professor Peter Wright, Professor Karen Hersey and Dr. Stanley P.
Kowalski. This will be a hands-on, practical educational program,
dedicated to advancing awareness, understanding and practice of IP and
legal acumen pertaining to the transfer of ag-biotech and pharmaceutical
applications from industrialized to developing countries. Program
development and implementation. A potential long-term program goal is
to build institutional capacity in specific developing country
technology-transfer offices. By partnering with institutions in
developing countries, the PIPRA/FPLC initiative will forge a long-term
relationship in cooperative IP legal education and training, so as to
support sustainable ag-biotech transfer, development, innovation and
utilization. This will ultimately contribute to the establishment of
fully functional, independent technology- transfer/IP management offices
in several regions in the developing world.
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