IP policy in the Canadian context: My time with Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (IP Intensive Reflection)

When I first heard that I was going to be placed with Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada, I was thrilled. As someone who has mainly been interested in the private side of the law and intellectual property, I knew that I wanted to have more exposure to the public policy side of copyrights and trademarks. While I was nervous about starting an internship in the Covid-era, my anxiety would quickly be calmed by the amazing team at ISED. Throughout my time at ISED I was able to work on a wide variety of policy files and was able to contribute my research to some of the leading-edge policy issues of our time.

While Osgoode’s Intellectual Property Law and Technology Intensive Program 10-week internship was such an amazing and rewarding experience, this was coupled by great presentations held throughout the first two weeks of the program. While I have taken basically every IP course that Osgoode has to offer, the presentations from speakers really enriched my knowledge of IP and helped me engage with legal research on a deeper level. These presentations also sparked my thinking for my paper topic, which was a great boon to starting legal research early.

Throughout the internship I had many opportunities to hone my legal research skills and was able to begin gain expertise in learning the ways in which policy analysis is created. While I was placed with the Marketplace Framework Policy Branch within ISED, I was able to attend meetings with other departments and ministries. I feel that the skills I gained from attending and participating in meetings will be crucial in how I interact with anyone within the legal field, and in life generally. Working with ministries with different mandates, and still being able to find common ground in order to achieve a policy goal was admirable and watching my team do so almost effortlessly made me realize just how amazing the team was, and how I should learn from their example.

When I look back on my experience, I would say that my favourite moments with the team – besides getting an email full of copyright memes every Friday from a senior policy analyst – were the weekly meetings with my team. Just being able to learn about and ponder how important copyright and trademark matters were being pursed was incredible and being able to contribute to these conversations helped me to instill further confidence in my ability to engage with such complex matters. While it is unfortunate that the intensive this year took place remotely due to Covid, and I was not able to spend time and immerse myself in Ottawa, I still felt that I was with the team, which was mostly due to them making such an effort to make me have as similar to an experience remotely as I would if I had been there. I think it was at the end of the internship where it really clicked how lucky I was to be with the ISED team, where they created an infographic highlighting my experience with them during the internship (I definitely did not have to hold back tears!).

To any prospective student at Osgoode who is interested in IP, I eagerly recommend that you apply for the internship. Even if you are unsure if you want to pursue IP in the future, the skills and experience that you can gain from this experience are more than worth spending a semester doing so. I do not believe that you have to have the sole burning passion of practicing IP to take greatly from the internship, as anyone could be able to hone their personal and legal skills in some capacity through this experience. I can honestly say that I wish the intensive was not just one semester, as I would have absolutely loved to continue working on files.

Once again, I would like to thank all of my supervisors and the team at ISED for an amazing semester – especially to Senior Policy Analyst Luc Laforest who was instrumental in my learnings. I would also like to thank Professor Giuseppina D’Agostino, Professor David Vaver, Assistant Director Olha Senyshyn and the rest of the IP Osgoode team for the opportunity.

Written by Daniel Bartolomucci, 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.

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