Very few people are truly able to leave an indelible impression on others, not only by the virtue of their work but also by their generosity. One such person is Professor Karl F. Jorda, a name that probably needs no introduction and one whose achievements cannot be summed up in this article alone. Yesterday we received the tragic news that Professor Jorda had passed away at the age of 87. Professor is revered not only by the alumni and faculty of University of New Hampshire School of Law, but also by anyone who is a part of the IP profession.

Professor Jorda’s illustrious career began in 1953 at the University of Great Falls where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He then went onto pursue his MA from the University of Notre Dame followed by a JD from the same University. He then worked as a patent and trademark lawyer at Miles Laboratories, which is now known as Bayer. Following his stint at Bayer he held the key position of Chief IP Counsel at CIBA-GEIGY Corporation known to us today as Novartis, for 26 years.

Besides the aforementioned achievements Professor Jorda also held several significant positions including the membership of the Board of Directors, Council, or Executive Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section etc. He also served as the US Representative to the Confidentiality Commission (Commission on the Settlement of Disputes Relating to Confidentiality) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) , situated in The Hague, Holland.

Professor Jorda was also the recipient of several accolades and honours befitting his stature. He was inducted into the Global Intellectual Property Hall of Fame in October 2007 for his “outstanding contribution to the development of intellectual property law and practice, thereby helping to establish intellectual property as one of the key business assets of the 21st century.” In 1996 he was presented with the highest honor in intellectual property in the United States, the Jefferson Medal of the NJIPLA for “extraordinary contributions to the U.S. intellectual property law system.”

Although Professor accomplished a great many things during his lifetime, nothing can trump the impact he has had on his students as a teacher, as a guide, as a friend and as a mentor. Fondly remembering the late professor as ‘Jorda the Great’ Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala said “Professor Jorda was not only immensely accomplished but one of the humblest and nicest human beings I had the good fortune of knowing. He will be missed greatly”. Another alumnus of Franklin Pierce and a student of the late Professor Mr. Sanjeeth Hegde, remembers him as greatly influencing his life and career in IP. “My first elective that I took as a part of my IP course at Franklin Pierce was taught by Prof. Jorda. He was my favourite professor and his presence will be deeply missed.” Similar emotions resonated with Mr. Somashekar Ramakrishna as well, who holds Professor in high regards for being a wonderful person and a man of truly unmatched caliber.

Image Source/Attribution here, image in the public domain.