Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, IIT Kharagpur
Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (RGSOIPL) is an Indian law school located inside the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. It was set up in collaboration with the George_Washington_University, Washington DC and has the unique distinction of being the only law school within the IIT system. (See IIT Kharagpur gets its own law course, Times of India) It is also the first law school in India imparting full-time Intellectual Property education along with other regular courses prescribed by the Bar Council of India.
RGSOIPL is engaged in the teaching and research in various fields of law including Intellectual Property Law. The school is named after late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India. RGSOIPL is logistically situated contiguous to the technology and invention laboratories of IIT Kharagpur and is in close proximity with the Headquarters of the Indian Patent Office at Kolkata.
Two batches of LLB students have graduated so far, the first in May 2009. In addition to that, two batches of the erstwhile PGDIPL programme have also graduated since 2006.
The School is the brainchild of Mr. Vinod Gupta, CEO of InfoUSA and Life Fellow of IIT Kharagpur, who proposed its setting up on 28 March 2005 and also promised a grant of one million US dollars to that end. The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India accepted the proposal and announced a matching grant to RGSOIPL. The School commenced its academic activities from July 20,2006. (See News Article,The Hindu) The school was formally inaugurated, 3 days after, by Honorable Mr. Justice V.S Sirpurkar (former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court and presently sitting Judge of the Supreme Court of India), at the Kalidas auditorium in IIT Kharagpur on 23 July 2006.
The School started functioning from Vinod Gupta School of Management at IIT Kharagpur in 2006. However, since 2008 the school has been functioning from its state of the art modern building. The structural framework of the Law School, designed by the Department of Architecture, IIT Kharagpur replicates the Greecian style to reflect the impression of the Supreme Court of India. The School building covers covers its own area of 5 acres within the sprawling 2100 acres of IIT Kharapgur. The students enjoy every facility that any other IITian has. Be it the Gymnasium, Swimming pool, basketball, tennis and other sporting facilities. IIT Kgp has the largest technical library in Asia and a continuously growing law library too. The students can stay in any of the hostels each having their separate legacies. The School is completely WiFi enabled and the library can open for long hours according to student's requirements.
RGSOIPL has a technical collaboration with the George Washington University Law School, Washington DC which assists in formulating curriculum and knowledge exchange. The first batch of 8 students from George Washington University visited RGSOIPL for a week during March 2010 under the student exchange programme.
The Law School also has a collaboration with Microsoft for a research center dedicated to IP Law research.
Programmes & Faculty
RGSOIPL presently offers a Three-Year full-time residential LL.B.(Hons.) Programme leading to the Degree of Bachelor of Laws with specialization in Intellectual Property Rights. The school is recognized by Bar Council of India. The graduates acquire skills in Business laws, Intellectual property laws and other regular courses prescribed by the Bar Council of India. The maximum student intake is 50 per batch per year. It also offers a doctorate programme leading to Ph.D. The school earlier offered a three semester Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law (PGDIPL) IPR Programme at IIT Kharagpur, The Hindu]<references/> to two batches but the programme was discontinued from the year 2009.
RGSOIPL has a full time faculty of 10 professors including the dean. The present faculty - student ratio is 1:9, though one of the lowest among Indian law schools but the school has an impressive list of visiting faculty comprising of many eminent personalities in the law and technology field, viz. Justice U.C.Banerjee (Former Judge, Hon'ble Supreme Court of India), Late Justice Anand Mohan Bhattacharya (Former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court), Justice A.K Ganguly (Sitting Judge, Hon'ble Supreme Court of India), Justice Pratap Ray ( Judge of the Calcutta High Court), Justice Chittatosh Mukherjee (Former Chief Justice, Bombay and Calcutta High Courts), Prabuddha Ganguli (IP Expert), Rodney D. Ryder (Eminent technology lawyer), Prof. Madhukar Sinha (IIFT Delhi), Dr. Vidya Sagar (Partner, Remfry & Sagar), Prof. V.Vijaya Kumar (NLSIU Bangalore), Prof. Graham Green Leaf, Prof. Michael Peters (University of New South Wales, Australia) etc.
Under the guidance of Prof. N.L Mitra (Advisor to RGSOIPL, Former Director, NLSIU Bangalore and Founder Vice Chancellor, National Law School Jodhpur), RGSOIPL aims to reach the realm of success by linking both technology and law.
To join the 3 year LL.B. (Hons. in IPR) course, one has to have a minimum qualification of a First Class Bachelors Degree in Engineering / Technology / Medicine or First Class Masters Degree in Science or Pharmacy. The School conducts an All India Entrance Test around the month of March followed by a GD/PI.
Research Centres & Collaborations
The RGSOIPL faculty remains deeply involved in research to contribute to the evolution of the subject matter. The Law school has an Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) Hub funded by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The hub will be involved in action research in areas including issues of corporate structure and ownership distribution, finance and security laws, risk management, insolvency and reconstruction of companies as well as contractual issues.
The Microsoft Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Property Research and Technology Policy was established in 2009 (See Centre of Excellence to promote IP research launched at IIT Kharagpur, Microsoft Press Release). Funded by Microsoft, the center represents first of its kind partnership between industry and academia in the field of IP Law in India. In addition to that, Microsoft has also instituted Microsoft IPR Scholarship program for the students and Outstanding Young Faculty Award for the faculty of RGSOIPL (See Microsoft IPR Cell at IIT Kharagpur, Business Standard). The Centre recently organised a workshop on Emerging IP Trends in Information Technology during October 2009.
The School is also an Eastern Zone center for DST-TIFAC Women Scientist Scheme for IPR Training of Women Scientists. Several workshops are conducted under its aegis and it is funded by Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
The Law school has the distinction of being the first among all IITs to hold a technology law moot court in 2007 which saw good participation from law schools across the country. Students of the school have won prestigious essay writing competitions including the prestigious ATRIP Essay competition and VJOLT essay competition. The School came third in the Amity National IP Moot Court Competition in 2010, was a semifinalist in 3rd HNMCC organised by HNLU, Raipur in 2010 and was also a semifinalist in Parliamentary debate organised by CNLU Patna. Many students have been awarded the prestigious Microsoft IPR Scholarship. The students of the school have published many articles in national and international journals in various domains, including an article cited by a Hon'ble Judge in a famous IP judgement (See Bajaj vs.TVS)
The first batch was recruited by Global giants like General Electric, Siemens, Honeywell, Infosys and TVS Motors. Tier-I law firms like Amarchand Mangaldas, IUS Juris & Remfry and Sagar also extended their offers (See IIT-Kharagpur whiz kids beat recession blues, Indian Express). The students have been recruited by Tier-I law firms like Anand and Anand and also Lex Orbis and Law Firm of Naren Thapetta have visited the campus for recruitment. First timers like Wipro, Battelle India and Awesthagen also recruited from the school while Infosys and TVS Motors continued to show their faith in the students.
Despite a grueling academic schedule, the students involve themselves in numerous activities. The School currently has a Fun club, a Wall Journal committee, a Moot Court Society and a Training & Placement Cell (TnP). All of these are managed by students with the help of faculty.
Moot Court Competition
RGSOIPL now becomes an official part of the annual Fest of IIT Kharagpur, Kshitij (which is also Asia's one of the largest college fests) extends its tag of Techno-Management to Law by organizing its debut National Moot Court Competition, The Verdict to be held on 28-29 January, 2012. The Moot Court Society of RGSOIPL has played a key role in making this event a part of Kshitij. The moot problem involves intricate and emerging issues of Trademark Law and the participation is based on qualifying the Memorial Rounds. Prizes upto Rs. 50,000 are up for grabs.
IIT Kharagpur is planning to start an integrated B.Tech.-LL.B. course in the near future. A Masters programme in IPR is also on the cards.