Spotlight on the IP Innovation Clinic and Call for Student Fellows

At Osgoode Hall Law School, one of the ways we strive to foster innovation is through our Innovation Clinic, a student-focused initiative that assists start-up companies, entrepreneurs and inventors with IP-related business issues.

Launched in 2010, the Osgoode Innovation Clinic was the first student-staffed IP legal clinic of its kind in Canada. Osgoode students, who are supervised and mentored by lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright LLP and Bereskin & Parr LLP, offer pro bono legal assistance to start-ups. By providing our students with the opportunity to help start-ups with real-world IP-related business issues, the Innovation Clinic not only helps educate our next generation of legal thinkers and practitioners on how to commercialize IP but it also minimizes some of the access to justice barriers that can so often choke a start-up company in its nascent stages.

In its ten years of operation, the Innovation Clinic has attracted a broad range of clients including walk-ins from the general public, referrals from a number of external organizations, such as the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), ventureLAB, OCADU, and the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute, and through formal collaborations between York University’s Innovation York and the Lassonde School of Engineering’s Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology (BEST) Program.

Since 2019, clinic fellows are able to receive credits in recognition for their volunteer work at the clinic by enrolling in the directed reading course called “IP Innovation Program”. The IP Innovation Program, was made available for enrollment for the 2019/2020 academic year, as a one year pilot program to support the work of the Innovation Clinic. The one year pilot IP Innovation Program has now been extended and has been made available for enrollment for the 2020/2021 academic year for upper-year JD students. Enrolled students will receive 4 credits. Throughout the academic year, the students meet with me every month to discuss topics related to intellectual property law and hear from experts in the IP industry, share their experiences, and participate in a cross-pollination of ideas.

Through ongoing collaborations with Innovation York and the Lassonde School of Engineering’s BEST Program, the Innovation Clinic continues to advance innovation and entrepreneurship within York University and the local community.

Whether you are a student, legal practitioner, entrepreneur or inventor, there are many ways for you to get involved with the Innovation Clinic or benefit from its services and resources. Click here to learn more about the Innovation Clinic or contact us at iposgoode@osgoode.yorku.ca.

Giuseppina D’Agostino is the Founder & Director of IP Osgoode, the IP Intensive Program, and the Innovation Clinic, the Editor-in-Chief for the IPilogue and the Intellectual Property Journal, and an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.

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