MSU College of Law



April 13, 2010


MSU Law Student Wins Intellectual Property Law Writing Competition

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law student Susan Fyan won a 2009 Intellectual Property Law Writing Competition for her paper highlighting a unique provision of India's patent laws that has major implications for innovator pharmaceutical companies doing business in the country.

The competition, co-sponsored by global intellectual property (IP) consulting firm Altacit Global and The Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, was open to students from law schools in both the United States and India. Participants were challenged to submit a scholarly analysis related to the topic, "The Varying Treatment of Patentable Subject Matter." The competition is aimed at generating greater awareness of intellectual property issues among scholars and students.

Fyan's paper, entitled "Pharmaceutical Patent Protection and Section 3(D): A comparative look at India and the U.S.," was initially conceived to meet her MSU College of Law upper level writing requirement (ULWR), and was written under the guidance of Adam Candeub, acting director of the Intellectual Property and Communications Law Program (IPCLP). Karen Kimble, adjunct professor, served as co-advisor. In addition to winning a $500 cash prize and a certificate, Fyan's paper will be considered for publication in the sponsoring journal.

A part-time IPCLP student with 19 years of work experience as a chemist in the pharmaceutical sector, Fyan lived in India for a period of time and has both a personal and a professional interest in the country's pharmaceutical industry. She was well into her project when the writing competition topic was released. "It was eerie—a perfect fit," she said. "The fact that I was working on a paper that compared that aspect of IP law and that the opportunity came about at that time was just great."

Fyan credits her ULWR advisor and her MSU Law education with contributing to her success. "Professor Candeub has been so responsive; he has a deeply-felt commitment to making the IP program strong," she said. Citing the program's thoroughness and the opportunities it opened to her at MSU Law, she remarked, "It certainly supports my transition from the scientific side to the legal side of the industry."

Fyan plans to channel her science background and IP law training into a career in patent law after graduating this spring. "I am a big fan of the MSU Law program, and am really thankful that I had a chance to be there and take advantage of the IP concentration," she stated. "I plan to put it to good use."

Michigan State University College of Law is a leading institution of legal education with a long history of creating practice-ready attorneys. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent Law College, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


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