Black History Month IPIC Member Spotlight - Rama Panford-Walsh
In celebration of Black History Month in February, IPIC has developed a spotlight series featuring BIPOC leaders within the IP profession. These spotlights help to highlight the significant contributions BIPOC professionals have made to the IP industry and to inspire the next generation of IP leaders. The following spotlight features IPIC member Rama Panford-Walsh, Associate, Intellectual Property, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt.
Rama practices intellectual property law with a focus on patent litigation. Rama obtained her JD from the University of Ottawa. Prior to law school, Rama obtained her doctorate in biology from the University of Tübingen in Germany and subsequently engaged in postdoctoral work in the ﬁeld of molecular neurobiology. Rama also spent several years in the biotechnology industry as a product development scientist. Over the course of her scientiﬁc career, Rama has advised on scientific and product risks, coordinated regulatory approvals and contributed to numerous peer-reviewed publications.
Why is equality, diversity, and inclusion important to the IP profession?
In our society, as in our profession, equality, diversity and inclusion are important for ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and has equal opportunities. Having a diversity of views and talent will only enrich the IP profession and ensure that the profession is not overlooking sources of talent.
Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of deciding to go to Germany for graduate school, and later deciding to switch career paths. Both decisions carried some level of risk, but the rewards were many: new friends, a new language, a new career, and an example for my children that you can overcome your fears and achieve your goals through hard work and perseverance.
What advice would you give to those who are just joining our association as they look to advance their careers?
The best advice I can give is to focus on learning as much as you can and to say “yes” to those projects that challenge you. It is also important to seek out and cultivate relationships with mentors and champions whose career you admire.
How has your background/influences brought you to this position, and what made you want to volunteer for IPIC?
My exposure to IP as a scientist led directly to my interest in pursuing a career in IP law. I’m happy to volunteer for IPIC because it is a fantastic professional community - I received excellent advice and support from IPIC members when I was considering pursuing a career in IP and I hope to pay it forward.