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On September 30, 1996, nineteen lawyers, law professors and judges from the People's Republic of China began a six-week program of classroom study, practical experience, and scholarly exchange that focused on the American system of protecting intellectual property rights through civil litigation. The program was funded by a $107,000 grant from the United States Information Agency's Office of Citizen Exchange Programs to the University of Baltimore's Center for International and Comparative Law, in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The initial, two-week phase of the program included field trips to the U.S. Copyright Office, the Patent and Trademark Office, three federal courts, and one congressional committee involved in intellectual property rights. Participants were introduced to the American case method approach to legal education and given the opportunity to meet with American practitioners in copyright, patent, and trademark law. In the second, three-week phase of the program, each of the Chinese participants was placed with an American law firm or other intellectual property-related organization to gain some first-hand exposure to the practice of intellectual property law in this country. The final, week-long symposium phase of the program gave Chinese and American participants the opportunity to share their views on various aspects of intellectual property law.



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