Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, will be setting up a separate unit for imparting studies in Intellectual Property law the first of its kind in the IIT system in the country. Called the Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, it is to start functioning in July.

The requirement for a separate unit for such studies has been increasingly felt with the growing role of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (an agency of the United Nations) and the need "to go along with the rest of the world in this era of globalisation and with more multinationals finding a presence in the country," D. Gunasekaran, Registrar, IIT Kharagpur, told The Hindu on Monday.

The importance of patenting, copyrighting and trade-marking cannot be overestimated, he said.

The school will provide a three-year post-graduate course and an 18-month diploma course in legal studies on intellectual property rights. A memorandum of understanding has been signed recently with the George Washington University, Washington DC, for both faculty and student exchange, according to K. Guin, associate Dean of the Vinod Gupta School of Management a unit of the IIT.

Elective subject

"In most of the IITs, intellectual property rights is an elective subject. This is for the first time that a separate unit is being set up in an institute for such studies," Dr. Guin said.

Emphasis will be laid on the applicant's background in science or engineering studies at the time of admission, according to Dr. Gunasekaran.

Though the IIT senate will be finalising the size of the centre's student body within a week it is expected that the number of students for the post-graduate degree course will be between 50 and 60 and for the diploma course half that number, he said.