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The University of Washington offers an intellectual property education from a truly global perspective. UW’s international expertise is a result of its diverse faculty and worldwide collaborations. The following 5 IP stories highlight some of these ongoing partnerships.

INDIA: Jane Winn

UW Law IP faculty recently completed the third year of a Microsoft-sponsored initiative designed to build a cross-border collaborative community of IP teaching and research faculty in the U.S., India, and China. UW is now setting its sights on the next phase, which will explore education options with legal educators in India. Professors Jane Winn, Toshiko Takenaka, and Dongsheng Zang, along with LTA Program Manager Anna Bahkmetyeva have spearheaded the programs.

The initiative has been divided into five parts: (1) hosting Visiting Scholars from India and China; (2) running IP Teaching and Research Workshops and Colloquia in India and China; (3) engaging an IP Emerging Issues Expert Dialogue; (4) providing an IP LL.M. Scholarship program for Tsinghua University students; and (5) presenting an Asia Pacific IP Research Consortium Annual Student-Faculty Conference at UW. 

The short visits were designed to build collaborative relationships with colleagues in India, to promote interaction with UW faculty members, and to observe teaching methods.  After their Seattle visits, the Indian IP faculty members then prepared to take leadership roles in planning and executing IP teaching workshops in India. The first workshop was organized by Winn in 2012 at National Law University, Delhi. 

Participants of the workshops included more than 30 IP teaching faculty from various top law schools and law faculties around India, Ph.D. students from NLU-Delhi, government representatives, and Microsoft representatives.  The workshops lasted 2-3 days and focused on peer-to-peer collaboration and “training the trainers” role-play exercises, simulations of new teaching methods, including techniques for increasing “active learning” in the classroom, and IP clinical education.


GERMANY: Toshiko Takenaka

UW Law students spent spring break in Dresden with their counterparts from UW partner schools Technical University of Dresden, CEIPI, Roma Tre, Queen Mary, Alicante, and the Russian State Academy of IP. Former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader presided over a U.S. mock trial on contributory patent infringement while Justice Klaus Grabinski, Federal Supreme Court of Germany, presided over a German trial. An appellate team then argued before Rader, Grabinski and Dr. Gabriella Muscolo, Rome IP Court Federal Court of Justice, Italy.

The students love the program because they get a real world experience with future international colleagues and competitors. They learn what it is like to have a license negotiation and participate in a mock trial where not only the goals, but even the cultural styles, may be in conflict.

Students from La Sapienza, Technische Universitat Munchen, Shandong University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Charles University of Prague, and Palacky University Olomouc contributed to the diversity of this year’s program.

This is the eighth year UW students have teamed up with their international counterparts for the week of comparative law lectures, license negotiation, and mock trial. Next year’s Transnational IP Seminar will be hosted by CEIPI in Strasbourg, France.


China: Dongsheng Zang, Toshiko Takenaka

CASRIP and the Supreme People’s Court of China (SPCC) hosted the third annual judicial conference in China with great success. Speakers included Judge Paul Grewal from the District Court, Northern District of California, Justice Peter Meier-Beck from the IP Tribunal of the Supreme Court of Germany, and Justice Annabelle Bennett from the Federal Court of Australia. Fifty Chinese judges from the SPCC and regional high courts and CASRIP speakers engaged in in-depth policy discussions to develop an IP-specialized court in China. During the conference, the Shanghai High Court announced the establishment of an international judicial center.

The SPCC selected the University of Washington as a partner because it was able to provide a variety of speakers and perspectives, extending beyond a solely U.S.-centric approach. The conferences have included viewpoints from Europe and Japan, as well as the U.S., for a frank discussion of what may or may not be most beneficial for the progress of IP protection and enforcement in China.

CASRIP faculty previously visited Chinese IP judges in Nanjing with former Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit, Randall R. Rader, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, Margaret M. McKeown, and former Chief Judge of Japan’s IP High Court, Toshiaki Iimura, for the first conference. During that weeklong conference, the discussion focused on trademark and copyright contributory liability as well as patent remedies. The following summer six Chinese judges attended the CASRIP Summer Institute and High Technology Protection Summit in Seattle.

The second conference, held in Shanghai, focused on patent claim interpretation and the doctrine of equivalents. Speakers included Judge James Robart from the Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington and Justice Klaus Grabinski from the Supreme Court of Germany.


Korea: Sean O’Connor

Professor Sean O’Connor recently completed teaching at both the Law and Medical Schools for Seoul National University, in addition to discussing partnerships with them and the Convergence School. As part of the Law School teaching O’Connor performed his guitar music copyright demonstration. He then met with several alumni as part of UW Law Korea Alumni Group dinner. Cheolsoo Ahn, leader of the minority party in the Korean legislature attended O’Connor’s Medical School talk, along with Ahn’s wife and UW alumna Mikyung Kim.


HONG KONG: Signe Naeve

Law Lecturer Signe Naeve recently chaired the fifth annual International Trademark Association’s Trademark Scholarship Symposium in Hong Kong. Scholars presented works-in-progress papers discussing the first sale doctrine, initial interest confusion, indirect infringement, and dilution.

Naeve has been credited with increasing the prominence and impact of the symposium, which brings together both academics and practitioners to comment on trademark scholarship.

Naeve became involved with INTA when she presented a paper on trade dress protection for pharmaceuticals at the first symposium in Boston. This led to her becoming a member of the Professor Membership Committee of INTA. She has been chairing the Trademark Scholarship Symposium ever since.