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Intellectual property law brought to life for students in collaborative project

Students from the Business School and School of Design, Engineering and Computing (DEC) will work together on a project that aims to bring intellectual property to life.

Final year Law students, from the Business School, will advise final year DEC students from across product design and creative technology-based courses, while they create a product or innovation to bring to market.

Intellectual property law – such as copyright, trademarks, designs and patents – is particularly important for design students as it provides a means of protecting the products they create.

Dr Dinusha Mendis, Senior Lecturer in Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management (CIPPM) at BU said: “This project provides for real-life scenarios and brings intellectual property to life. It is a very practical project which allows the law students to act as lawyers for the DEC students who are their clients.”

The project will last until March, and kicked off with an Intellectual Property Masterclass, where students from across the two schools learned more about the law and how it can be used.

Donal O’Connell, from Chawton Innovation Services spoke to the students about what Intellectual Property is, and how it can benefit businesses.

He welcomed the idea of the student project.

“It seems to be quite unique – I haven’t come across it before,” he said.

“Having this sort of collaboration helps breaks down barriers – the engineers understand that there is more to life than just creating a product.

“The fact that they are doing it at university, before they even get into industry, is absolutely great.”

Matthew Schrader, Head of Intellectual Property Law, at Kiteleys Solicitors in Bournemouth, also spoke to the students.

He agreed that the collaboration would be great experience for the students.

“From a law point of view, it is a good opportunity to find out what it is like to work with real clients,” he said. “It’s a very good idea.”

The students will work in teams to put the theory they have learnt into practice.

There will also be prizes for the best Law student, best DEC student and the best group, sponsored by Paul Turner, a retired Patent Attorney.