Become a Client
As a pro bono IP legal clinic committed to improving access to justice for under-resourced inventors and entrepreneurs, the Innovation Clinic operates year-round and has a rolling intake process.
Innovation Clinic staff members will pre-screen potential clients to ensure that they will benefit from Innovation Clinic assistance and do not have the financial resources necessary to hire professional counsel. This process includes the completion of a background questionnaire and pre-intake call with an Innovation Clinic Staff Member.
Following the pre-intake process and the completion of a legal conflict check, selected clients will hold an IP commercialization consultation call. During the consultation intake call, the supervising lawyer and Innovation Clinic Fellow will work with the client to determine an agreed upon work plan. Our team creates tailored work plans for each client based on their needs and stage of business development.
If accepted into the Innovation Clinic following the consultation call, clients will be asked to sign an engagement agreement. The work of our Innovation Clinic Fellows is pro bono aside from a $50 administrative fee, which is due following the client formally engaging the Innovation Clinic.
The Innovation Clinic services may include IP, preliminary freedom-to-operate, and clearance search work within the jurisdiction of Ontario in the following areas:
- Reviewing basic issues in business transactions involving intellectual property;
- Clinic Fellows and the supervising lawyer can provide you with an IP commercialization consultation, which will identify relevant IP and issues facing your business and the next steps needed to protect your assets.
- The IP commercialization consultation may also provide best practice guidelines and information surrounding your freedom to operate.
- Patent searches and prior art searches;
- Clinic Fellows can perform a patent and/or prior art search, which will provide you with information about whether your invention meets the criteria for patentability.
- Trade-mark searches;
- Clinic Fellows can perform a trademark search, which will provide you with information about whether your invention meets the criteria for securing a trademark registration.
- Agreement review (Internal, Contractor, License, etc.);
- At the discretion of the supervising lawyer, Clinic Fellows and the supervising lawyer can review IP-related agreements. For example, we can help review IP assignment agreements between you and outside developers, contractors, etc.
- Application drafting and/or review;
- At the discretion of the supervising lawyer, Clinic Fellows may assist with drafting and/or reviewing IP applications. Please note: this service depends on the complexity of your application and individual circumstances. Further, Innovation Clinic staff and Fellows are not patent or trademark agents and cannot file applications on your behalf.
- Other tasks as assigned and supervised by the supervising lawyer.
- In certain cases the supervising lawyer may assign IP-related tasks to the Clinic Fellows other than those listed above. Please note that this depends on the complexity of your matter(s), whether the Clinic Fellows are able to properly perform the task, and whether the supervising lawyer is able to oversee and review their work.
Note: Innovation Clinic Staff and Fellows do not provide legal advice. Innovation Clinic Fellows work under the supervision of practicing lawyers to provide IP information to our clients. The Innovation Clinic operates in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations of the Law Society of Ontario.