Students Present Research to World Health Organization, WTO, WIPO in Geneva
University of New Hampshire School of Law Professor Stanley P. Kowalski and five students recently returned from Geneva, Switzerland, where they presented research on patent information for accelerating access to lifesaving medicines to the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The group represented the International Technology Transfer Institute (ITTI) at UNH Law's Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property – the only law school participating in the Feb. 18 joint symposium at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. The event focused on global access to medicines, patent information, and freedom to operate. In attendance were the directors-general of the three organizations: Margaret Chan of WHO, Francis Gurry of WIPO and Pascal Lamy of WTO.
In addition to presenting their research to the global organizations, students Kevin Clark, Amrita Chiluwal, Ian Mullet, Spoorthy Gudavalli, and Matt Preiss contributed to the only workshop connected with the symposium, on “Patent Searches and Freedom to Operate.” The workshop took place on Feb. 17 and involved instruction and hands-on training.
"Understanding the role that medicine patents play in providing affordable drugs throughout the world is an important goal, and I'm glad that we could make a contribution toward that goal," said second-year UNH Law student Ian Mullet.
Kowalski, who directs the International Technology Transfer Institute, said the event – and his students' participation – illustrates "how this school can combine theory and practice in a tangible way."
Third-year student Matthew Preiss added, "It truly shows the worldwide reputation we have developed in Tech Transfer and Intellectual Property analysis."
The students spent the prior semester working with Kowalski and Professor Jon R. Cavicchi, the school's intellectual property librarian, on research for the symposium. They presented their findings alongside other prominent participants at the symposium, including Antony Taubman of the WTO, Gitanjali Sakhuja of UNICEF, and Richard Mahoney of the International Vaccines Institute.
"The students actively participated in all programs and activities, and they demonstrated the sophisticated level of confidence, competence, communication and credibility that is the hallmark of our student body at UNH Law – that's what sets us apart," Kowalski said.
WIPO funded the trip for Kowalski and his students.