In a collaboration with the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, EPICentre startups and community members received a crash course in patents and trademarks from current students in the EPICentre Practicum course, supervised by Professor Myra Tawfik, Professor of Law and EPICentre professor of IP Commercialization and Strategy. Geared towards Canadian entrepreneurs, this project provided a unique opportunity for early stage companies to learn more about the intellectual property aspects of Canadian entrepreneur.
This project included a two-part webinar held on March 12th and March 19th. The first webinar was delivered by law students Corinne Doroszkiewicz and Philip Morais. The two presenters provided EPICentre startups and community members with information and tips on how to protect their invention using patents.
“It is important for start-ups to understand different kinds of patent protection and how they fit into their business model” said Morais “This legal literacy guides innovators to take their first steps to innovation strategically as well as personally providing me with an opportunity to do some of the most fulfilling work I have been able to do as a law student. After all: necessity is not the mother of invention, invention is the mother of necessity”.
Following the webinar, five EPICentre startups had the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one patent clinic with Intellectual Property lawyer, Aaraf Dewan from the firm Own Innovations Inc. Each startup was able to ask questions, gain insight and learn from a legal professional on how to protect their inventions.
“Aaraf Dewan shared considerations for legal protection as it applies to various types of businesses through intellectual property strategy” said Jana Hallam, founder of bKind. “Aaraf was able to break down complex information into insights that were easy to understand. This workshop was a great resource to understand my next steps in determining my intellectual property strategy and I am very grateful to the EPICentre for providing this”.
In the second webinar, attendees had the opportunity to learn about trademarks and how this type of IP can add value to their products or services in the Canadian market. Presented by law student’s Adrin Shojaie and Kevin Szeto, this webinar explored the national trademark landscape and gave attendees the opportunity to ask any questions in a Q&A segment with special guest, Professor Myra Tawfik.
“The Trademarks 101 seminar was an exciting opportunity to provide a snapshot of the trademark landscape in Canada and its implications for start-ups at EPICentre” said webinar presenters Adrin and Kevin “The engagement of participants helped to further bridge the gap between trademark theory and its real-world applications”.
Following the webinar, four EPICentre startups had the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one trademark clinic with lawyers, Joel Berkovitz and Bill Northcote from the firm of Shibley Righton LLP. Participants learned how to protect their product and received information and resources to refer to as they progress in their venture.
“I had done research about trademarking, but I found conflicting information and I was still unsure how we should proceed. So, it was very beneficial to be able to speak with someone who works in that field and ask questions that specifically relate to our business” said Melissa Hopper co-founder of Om Ice.
EPICentre is thrilled to have partnered with the Faculty of Law through the EPICentre Practicum Course to help our startups and community members learn more about the legal landscape of being an entrepreneur in Canada. We look forward to further collaborations to help guide and inform members of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. For more information on our upcoming workshops, please visit our events page.
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