Two of the nation’s top intellectual property (IP) law programs are celebrating their milestone birthdays at the University of Washington School of Law this year. The Center for Advanced Study and Research on Intellectual Property (CASRIP) marks its 20th anniversary since officially joining UW Law’s roster of offerings in 1992. The IP Law and Policy LL.M. (IP LL.M.) program that grew out of CASRIP’s successes in 2002 also celebrates its 10th year.
Originally intended to be a research center for substantive patent harmonization by its founder, Professor Donald Chisum, CASRIP blossomed into an international educational program by the early ‘90s. Its Summer Institute and High Tech Summit attracted students from Japan, China, Korea, India and Europe for an intensive two-week study of U.S. patent law, from procurement to enforcement.
After Professor Toshiko Takenaka took over CASRIP’s reins in 1996, the center grew in scope and visibility. Under her leadership, CASRIP established a strong network of sponsors to fund its programs, including scholarships and seminars, and recruited talented faculty. With the center firmly grounded, Takenaka was ready for a new challenge.
“We [ran a] very successful Summer Institute for 10 years and had enough [funds] and expertise to run a yearlong IP LL.M. Program,” Takenaka explained. “I wanted the program to be the first program on the West Coast. I believed in the potential of the program.”
Together with Patricia Kuszler, then associate dean, Takenaka designed an interdisciplinary IP curriculum relevant to IP lawyers in common Pacific Northwest industries, such as software and biotech. She hired Bob Gomulkiewicz, an Associate General Counsel at Microsoft, to serve as the IP LL.M. program’s first director in 2002. His ample experience in licensing and technology has shaped the courses’ relevance and hands-on application. Like CASRIP, the quality of the IP LL.M. program has attracted students from every continent. Many arrive as experienced IP practitioners, knowing the program can hone their skill set.
“I am very happy and proud of the services provided through CASRIP and the IP LL.M. program,” Takenaka said. “We have educated more than 500 IP professionals. Many of them are playing a very important role in shaping the worldwide IP system.”