Students interested in expanding their knowledge of IP law have a new option. Osgoode Hall Law School has launched IP Osgoode — a new initiative aimed at filling what they see as a void in public policy debates on intellectual property issues in Canada.
“We believe that there is a need for a much more robust public policy debate on IP and related technology law issues in Canada,” says Patrick Monahan, dean of Osgoode Hall. He recently celebrated the opening of the center at a reception in downtown Toronto coinciding with the 82 nd annual meeting of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada.
The center’s founder and director is Professor Giuseppina D’Agostino. “We need to see a more balanced, objective approach to the IP debate and IP Osgoode will fill that niche,” she said. “In particular, the new IP Osgoode web site will be the go-to place on IP matters. It is a new source of information and inspiration, not just for our students, but for anyone who is interested in IP.”
Along with her involvement with IP Osgoode, D’Agostino is an assistant professor at the law school. She received her LLB from Osgoode, and later went on to study at Oxford under David Vaver, a well-known figure in the IP world, before returning to York in her teaching role. Prior to her time at Oxford, she practiced corporate and technology law with a Toronto law firm.
As D’Agostino pointed out, of particular interest to students will be the interactive IP blog, available at www.ipilogue.ca, where readers can voice opinions on the emerging issues in the field. The blog has student editors from the law school, as well as postings by high-profile experts in the field (both D’Agostino and Vaver have posted several comments on the site).
The blog gives students a chance to comment on the latest issues in the IP field. For example, blogger Justin Lim made a recent post on the media’s use of photographs taken from Facebook, in which he states that the use of such information does not constitute fair dealing. Editor Anna Shahid posted an analysis of the use of the apple logo by the Victoria School of Business and Technology, and the response by Apple Inc. Both are issues that made headlines in the mainstream media, and deserving of further public commentary from the legal field.
While the posts made by the student editors may be criticized at certain times, there is no doubt the blog offers an opportunity to delve more deeply into important developments in the field. Student readers will be exposed to a wide range of commentary from readers and experts in the field, whose insight may prove valuable in future endeavors.
The advisory board of IP Osgoode will no doubt be watching the postings, which includes Supreme Court of Canada Justice Marshall Rothstein, along with two federal court judges, and several IP practitioners.
The faculty at Osgoode will see an additional member next year, giving another valuable resource for IP hungry students. It was announced at the opening reception that Vaver will be returning from Oxford to Osgoode in 2009 to teach intellectual property law at the school, so students will be able to take advantage of his experience and expertise as he continues to post his commentary to the site.
The IP Osgoode program will also be offering students the chance to gain practical experience in IP work. The program is currently working on finding clinical opportunities with various organizations in the IP sector.
Five law firms have partnered with Osgoode in order to make the program possible — Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Ogilvy Renault LLP, and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.