Spotlight

Law Student Invited to Attend US Trade Representative Hearing

Congress mandated that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) review the global state of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement every year. As part of its review, the USTR invites public comments. This year, Dayaar Singla, attending Santa Clara Law on a semester exchange from the Litigation Project at National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University of Law in India, was one of a few students who submitted a comment to the USTR as part of his coursework for International IP Law taught by Professor Robin Gross. The USTR maintains a Priority Watch List (PWL) of countries that do not adequately protect US intellectual property. For many years, India has been included on the PWL. Dayaar proposed that India be removed from the PWL on the basis of the many changes the country has made to improve its protection of intellectual property rights.

Dayaar says he was incredulous when he was invited to attend the USTR’s Special 302 Public Hearing before an interagency panel representing 11 federal government agencies, held in Washington, D.C. in March. “I was surprised and excited to receive the invitation,” said Dayaar. “I was also nervous when I discovered I was the only student who would be testifying.” In the brief five minutes he was allowed to speak, Dayaar described the various changes India has taken to improve its protection of intellectual property rights and answered questions asked by representatives from the USTR, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the United States Department of Justice, challenging his proposal. “Dayaar held his own and was an excellent ambassador for Santa Clara Law,” said Nikki Pope, JD ’04 and managing director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara Law. Watch his testimony before the panel.

Dayaar described his appearance as an excellent networking opportunity as well as an exciting experience for an exchange student. Each semester, NALSAR University of Law sends an exchange student to attend Santa Clara Law. Dayaar applied for the Santa Clara Law exchange program because of the school’s location in Silicon Valley and because of the variety of intellectual property and technology law courses offered by Santa Clara Law. He is also taking a course offered for the first time this semester, “Law and Technology in Silicon Valley.” Dayaar expressed his gratitude to Professor Gross and Dean Lisa Kloppenberg for their encouragement and support, without which he would not have been invited or able to attend the hearing. “We are always looking for ways to support our students and help them pursue their interests,” said Dean Kloppenberg. “Dayaar also brings a different and valued perspective to our Santa Clara Law community. Creating opportunities like this for our students is just one of the many things that make Santa Clara Law one of the top law schools in the country for intellectual property law.”