An 18-month diploma will be offered to 50 executives in the first batch from Kolkata and admissions for both courses will begin in March.

Our Bureau

Bangalore, Jan. 30

THE Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur says it is setting up the country's first school of intellectual property (IP) law this year. The IP law school has obtained a generous fund from the celebrity alumnus of IIT-K, Mr Vinod Gupta.

Starting July this year, the Rajiv Gandhi School of IP Law will offer a three-year residential post-graduate bachelor's course for engineers, MBAs and M.Scs.

The school has got a grant of $1 million (about Rs 4.5 crore) from Mr Gupta, US-based millionaire technopreneur who also funded IIT-K's B-school in 1993, top IIT-K officials announced, at the inauguration of CII's two-day IPR summit here on Monday. The Ministry of HRD too has given an equal amount.

An 18-month diploma will be offered to 50 executives in the first batch from Kolkata and admissions for both courses will begin in March.

IIT-K has also signed a technical collaboration agreement with George Washington University for exchange of faculty and students and draft of curriculum through its School of Law. It has taken up a similar exercise in China too.

George Washington University runs the world's oldest, 150-year-old IP law course and is in the fourth year of its India Project - an academic co-operation initiative to promote IP law awareness, including the IPR summit and interactions in three cities. The university's Law School's Dean, Prof Frederick Lawrence, who signed the agreement with IIT-K, said there was scope to expand the co-operation beyond training and curriculum development.

"In recent years, we have witnessed an increasing convergence between IP law and business," said Prof. Probir K. Gupta, Dean of IIT-K's Vinod Gupta School of Management. "The B-school will greatly benefit from the establishment of the law school in IIT-Kharagpur."

IP law is now a small part of the curricula of law schools likethe National School of India, Bangalore.

Prof Kalyan Chakravarti, former dean and project leader of the taskforce on IP law school, told

Business Line

that the school would fill the large gap in technically proficient pool of lawyers who can write patents and fight for IPRs. Many IT and life sciences companies now depend on foreign expertise at enormous cost.

The IP school aims to bring out 800 techno-legal experts with an option to practise after the mandatory three-year legal study or do patent research in the next eight years through integrated courses combining BE or MBA with law. It may inspire a few other IITs to follow suit, Prof Chakravarti said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 31, 2006)
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