“Why Ottawa?” Prior to starting my placement at the Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) as part of Osgoode’s Intellectual Property Law & Technology Intensive Program (“IP Intensive”), I consistently found myself asking this question. The root of this question was the concern that a relocation to Ottawa for a short period of ten weeks would not be beneficial for my learning. Turns out, my concerns were completely unwarranted. Once my placement begun, I quickly realized that I love living in Ottawa, and was given an incredible opportunity to not only work with, but also to learn from, individuals that are, in my opinion, experts in IP law.
Throughout the duration of my placement, I worked in the CTPD department with an extremely supportive set of colleagues and primarily dealt with trademarks law. Now, I had never taken a course on trade-mark law, but my placement provided me with far greater knowledge than I could have attained in a lecture style theoretical course. Due to the secrecy of my work, I am unable to share the specifics, but can state that my work involved the research of trademark policy of multiple jurisdictions, IP enforcement policies in general, and certain aspects of trade-secret law.
At my placement, my work was not limited to sole research. In fact, on the first day, my supervisor invited me to attend two meetings at the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) building. The first meeting involved a discussion of their most recent trademark policy draft, while the second meeting consisted of a de-brief of a round of international negotiations. During the second meeting, there were multiple governmental departments present, such as: Canadian Heritage, CIPO, etc. and the discussion involved far more than IP. The meeting allowed me to appreciate the importance of international negotiations and the priorities for Canada.
While I assumed that the first day of my work would become the highlight of my placement, I was quickly proven wrong. Only a few days later, on September 15, 2017, I was once again invited for a meeting at GAC where the Chinese delegation was present. This meeting involved a discussion on the IP enforcement policies of Canada and China. The meeting provided me a greater appreciation for policy development, international relations, and the importance of IP discussions. And I was extremely thankful to be able to not only sit in, but also to be able to introduce myself as a student intern for ISED.
My experiential learning did not end with the meetings at GAC. Rather, in the following weeks, I was continually being exposed to one of many roles that my supervisor, a senior policy analyst, performs at ISED. A notable experience was when I received the privilege of attending a policy drafting meeting. The meeting was held at the Department of Justice (DOJ) building and consisted of myself, my supervisor, a legal counsel for the DOJ, an Anglophone drafter, and a Francophone drafter. This was the first time I was in a drafting room, and once my excitement calmed, I began to appreciate the art of policy drafting. I found it immensely interesting to discover that the research my supervisor had me conducting was being referred to during the policy drafting meeting.
All in all, I am extremely thankful for being able to complete my placement at ISED. I could not have asked for better placement experience.
Ankit Sareen is a JD Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School and was enrolled in Osgoode’s Intellectual Property Law and Technology Intensive Program. As part of the program requirements, students were asked to write a reflective blog on their internship experience.