Established in 2004, The George Washington University Law School’s India Studies initiative uses legal education to help build bridges between the United States and India, two of the world’s largest democracies that share the tradition of Common Law. GW Law's expertise in intellectual property (IP) law, coupled with the recent boom in India’s technology sector, has shaped the initiative’s initial work. In this regard, the principal focus to date has been on the international and domestic dimensions of patent law.
The India Studies initiative has sponsored conferences in major Indian cities. Attracting legal scholars, judges, lawyers, business leaders, and government officials from around the world, the conferences have heightened awareness in India of the benefits of a strong IP law regime. The conferences have also led to a better understanding of the legal and other challenges India faces and of the enormous potential for collaborative work between Indian scholars and their foreign counterparts.
GW Law & India
Even before the establishment of the India Studies initiative, the Law School was involved in activities relating to India. In 2002, the Law School hosted a meeting between the Indian Attorney General and members of the Indian Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Stephen G. Breyer. GW Law Professors Paul Butler and Jeffrey Rosen made presentations and led a discussion on race relations and affirmative action, issues of great concern to both countries. The Indian and U.S. Supreme Court Justices continued their discussions on issues of mutual concern in 2004 by videoconference, which the Law School sponsored. George Washington University law faculty members have been to India many times in the past decade and made presentations at the Indian Society of International Law in New Delhi and the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal, in addition to speaking at a number of Indian law schools. Further, the George Washington University Law School has been a frequent host to Dr. P.S. Rao, a distinguished Indian international lawyer and member of the United Nations International Law Commission.
Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law in Kharagpur
The India Studies initiative has been the driving force for GW Law’s recent agreement with the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur to assist in the development of the new Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law in Kharagpur, India. Under the agreement, the Law School is lending its faculty and administrative resources to help develop a first-class law school alongside one of the world’s premier technology institutions. India’s legal profession is undergoing considerable change due to the influx of foreign investment. The Rajiv Gandhi School intends to use modern classroom technology and dynamic teaching methods to produce lawyers equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle sophisticated legal matters, including complex commercial transactions and cases.
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