Bonnie Hassanzadeh is an IP Intensive student and 3L JD Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School. As part of the IP Innovation Clinic’s involvement in the inaugural year of Mitacs’ Business Strategy Internship program, Bonnie completed an internship at Bereskin & Parr LLP under the direct supervision of Reshika Dhir. As Principal Investigator, Prof. Pina D’Agostino secured three $10,000 grants from Mitacs, one of which was used to fund this internship.
This past summer, I completed an internship with Bereskin & Parr LLP as part of the Mitacs Business Strategy program’s collaboration with IP Osgoode. I was tasked with creating business and marketing materials for the Engineering and Technology practice group, focusing mainly on topics pertaining to patent prosecution. Over the course of my internship, I conducted extensive research into the patenting process, the value of patents for a business, as well as issues related to patent infringement and available remedies in Canada.
One of the skills I sharpened over the course of my internship was effective and accessible legal writing. Early on, I realized that I needed to strike a balance between communicating dense legal concepts that are crucial to the everyday practice of patent professionals with accessibility of that content for existing and prospective clients. Many clients who seek the services of patent professionals have extensive knowledge in technical fields, such as science or engineering, but often do not have much experience with intellectual property law. Therefore, it was crucial for me to adjust my writing to the needs of clients. I was grateful to receive constructive feedback from my mentor, Reshika Dhir, on a regular basis and improve on my work each week.
My experience of working at a law firm was also unique in that not only did I get to collaborate with the lawyers and patent professionals at Bereskin & Parr, but I also got a glimpse into the creative and marketing side of running a successful firm. As a law student with a background in the life sciences, I did not have much experience with the creative process of developing business materials going into the program, and through collaborating with a talented team of marketing professionals, I learned a lot about the importance of effective presentation of information.
I also had several opportunities to collaborate with the professionals at Bereskin & Parr to write and publish articles about recent topics in intellectual property law and examine those topics not only from a theoretical perspective but also from the lens of practitioners in the field. Writing articles and going through the process of editing with the professionals provided great opportunities for me to clarify my understanding of key legal doctrines and how they apply to the practice of law in a boutique IP law firm.
Overall, my experience with the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship program and their collaboration with IP Osgoode and Bereskin & Parr LLP was a very rewarding one and I took many lessons from my summer term that I know I will utilize in the future.