This semester, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Intellectual Property Law & Technology Intensive Program at Osgoode Hall Law School. For this program, I attended seminars about IP and technology law for the first two weeks, followed by a full-time internship placement with one of the organizations such as industry and government partners. I had the privilege of being placed with Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST Lab) at Lassonde School of Engineering.
BEST Lab supports entrepreneurial programs and initiatives at Lassonde by providing engineering students with comprehensive start-up support and education to help them develop business skills for launching a successful start-up enterprise. BEST Lab assists with technical elements, such as creating prototypes, to business management and funding elements, such as assisting members in building successful pitches for angel investors and in the creation of a successful business development strategy.
At BEST lab, I was responsible for providing research and information in corporate and intellectual property (IP) law matters to entrepreneurs and start-ups throughout their seed and growth cycles. I have been asked questions regarding corporate structuring, filing patents, inquiries related to IP rights’ inventorship, and such. My BEST Lab supervisor Dr. Terry Sachlos, the Associate Director of BEST Lab, has instructed me to create three deliverables: 1) an intellectual property educational presentation for tech start-ups and entrepreneurs, namely “IP 101”; 2) a weekly drop-in session where I provided legal information over Zoom; and 3) a BEST Practices document to guide start-ups with frequently faced IP issues. As I worked on these deliverables, I had to research and collaborate with other lab members, lawyers, and professors. As a result, I learned a lot about the substantive IP law.
Moreover, I have been taught academic knowledge regarding IP and corporate law very theoretically in law school. Though it is essential to learn the foundational black-letter law, laying the foundations for life in practice requires experimental education, where students gain practical experience by taking part in clinical programs, intensives and mooting workshops. The internship at BEST Lab provided me with the hands-on experience that I needed. Through this internship, I gained invaluable insight into the nuances of the solicitor-client relationship. I truly understood what is required of lawyers including their duty of confidentiality, time- management skills, as well as the interpersonal care and support.
Overall, I had an enlightening and rewarding experience with my placement at BEST Lab. I learned so much about the start-ups from legal and business perspectives. Furthermore, I enjoyed working and networking with many tech entrepreneurs and start-up founders with incredibly cutting-edge concepts and inventions. The IP Intensive Program and BEST Lab placement have been incredible learning opportunities for me, and I recommend it to anyone interested in exploring IP and tech law.
Written by Elif Babaoglu, JD Candidate 2021, enrolled in Professors D’Agostino and Vaver 2020/2021 IP & Technology Law Intensive Program at Osgoode Hall Law School. As part of the course requirements, students were asked to write a reflective blog on their internship experience.