Canada

The Canadian patent regime was overhauled in 2019 with the entry into force of the new Patent Rules and amendments to the Patent Act on 30 October. The revisions have streamlined the country’s laws and aligned them with the Patent Law Treaty, as well as allowing for international harmonisation. Key changes include reduced direct filing requirements; shortened deadlines for examination requests; and the possibility for the restoration of priority. The nation’s practitioners are now hard at work bringing clients up to speed on the legislative shake-up, to help them avail of new opportunities and ensure that operations are not impeded in any way. Meanwhile, Canada’s booming cannabis industry has been up and running for a year, and several firms have expanded their practices to cater for new instructions from that direction. Other sectors running hot right now include biologics, fintech and artificial intelligence (AI): practitioners report increased activity across all three.

Firms: litigation

Firms: prosecution

Firms: transactions

Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP

Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP houses an accomplished team of agents and lawyers who work in tandem to deliver an A-to-Z service to start-ups and multinationals alike. Life sciences players have instant access to a wealth of resources with Erica Lowthers, Kitt Sinden, Kimberley McManus and Lola Bartoszewicz on board. An avid drafter, Lowthers holds a PhD in pharmacology and always secures protection in the most time and cost-effective way. Fellow pharmacologist Sinden familiarises himself with clients’ businesses to give him an edge when taking applications through to grant. McManus understands the value of intellectual assets and works hard to ensure patrons have strong portfolios and even stronger market positions; while due diligence and freedom to operate opinions are Bartoszewicz’s speciality. The pair have PhDs in chemistry and biochemistry respectively. On the contentious side, seasoned advocate Timothy Lowman has four decades of contentious experience and possesses finely honed licensing skills too. A go-to for all things technological, “Trent Horne is second to none”; he frequently writes for the Supreme Court Law Review.

Aitken Klee LLP

The phalanx of battle-hardened litigators at Aitken Klee are renowned for their unwavering focus on protecting and enforcing rights across Canada and internationally. A favourite of industry heavyweights in the pharmaceutical and high-tech spaces, it recently showcased its prowess on behalf of Teva and Celgene. Founders David Aitken and Marcus Klee lead the charge. “An extremely skilled advocate, Aitken is one of the best cross-examiners in the country”; while Klee fights hammer and tongs for clients and has notched up an impressive track record as a result. Bill Mayo handles everything from validity opinions to strategic advice and dispute resolution; his keen insight into regulatory law is a real value-add. Armed with a neuroscience and biomedical engineering degree, “and finely attuned to the needs of in-house counsel as well as their wider business concerns, Bryan Norrie has tremendous experience. You can confidently rely on him to take care of matters diligently and effectively”. Parallel proceedings are deftly coordinated by Michael Crinson, “a persuasive orator and excellent litigator” who comes up with uniquely creative solutions. Sharpshooter Jonathan Stainsby is a great port of call when infringement headaches loom. He maintains a broad practice which includes IP and commercial disputes.

Baker McKenzie

Full-service titan Baker McKenzie dishes out top-level patent services and its Toronto-based division is no exception. The recent merger of its IP and technology practices, coupled with the firm’s sweeping international reach, equips the litigation team with the knowledge it needs to tackle even the most technically elaborate cases – for instance, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company recently engaged William Richardson and Kamleh Nicola to take the lead on an infringement suit concerning three patents relating to e-commerce tools. Frequently seen on high-stakes matters, Richardson performs impeccably under pressure, but always seeks ways to reach win-win settlements wherever possible. Nicola melds deep pharmaceutical and regulatory expertise to achieve optimum outcomes for businesses, whether they are launching the next great innovation or facing down troublesome skirmishes.

BCF Business Law 

A new addition to the IAM Patent 1000 this year, BCF Business Law has a lot to offer. It works around the clock drafting meticulous applications and prosecuting with aplomb to ensure that inventions receive cast-iron protection. It is also committed to giving back to the community, and has set up BCF Imagine and BCF Invest to give start-ups a leg-up in the form of legal advice and investment during their seed and series A stages. Ilya Kalnish, Dominic Goudreault, Julien Lachere, Andréanne Auger and Tuba Yamaç facilitate the ensemble’s smooth operation in true collegial style. The commercially minded Kalnish is a fine choice for companies looking to build up their portfolios and fine-tune their strategies. His forte lies in AI and IT, and notable clients include Yandex Europe and Huawei. Mechanical engineer Goudreault draws on his time in-house at Bombardier Recreational Products to evaluate new technologies and manage dossiers with finesse. Previously responsible for patent filing strategy at Bombardier Aerospace, Lachere knows how to pave the ground for fledgling enterprises seeking their big break and is actively involved with the Imagine initiative. Cellular and molecular biology PhD Auger is a life sciences guru whose sage counsel is sought after by an impressive roster of R&D institutions. A registered patent agent in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe Yamaç has a résumé replete with highlights, including a PhD in biomedical materials and a stint as IP director at a leading medical device company.

Belmore Neidrauer LLP

“A nimble IP boutique that really packs a punch”, Belmore Neidrauer guarantees first-rate practitioners who are well-informed on patent law and policy developments; adopting a considered, inventive approach to disputes. While its true strength lies in pharmaceutical litigation, it also has a flair for brokering lucrative licensing deals. Hotshot advocate Peter Wilcox counts household names Bayer, Eli Lilly and Pfizer among his clients, and recently represented the latter in a blockbuster infringement case concerning its EpiPen product. A crucial cog in this slick machine, Marian Wolanski makes her debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year on the back of her impressive performance for Janssen, intimate knowledge of Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) proceedings and refined grasp of biotechnology.

Bennett Jones LLP

Making light work of prosecution, bringing the heat in litigation and displaying sharp commercial nous in transactions, Bennett Jones has all bases covered. With a network of seven offices throughout Canada, the United States and China, its advice always comes infused with an international perspective. The combined talents of Edward Yoo, Roseann Caldwell and Irene Bridger make for a potent prosecution unit. Microbiologist Yoo relishes working with inventors from the early stages of ideation through to creation and monetisation; Caldwell’s technical dexterity spans the chemical, biochemical and mechanical fields; and Bridger’s deep well of industry insight informs her work across the patent lifecycle. “If you want something done right, you want Dominque Hussey”: the IP litigation department knows what it takes to prevail in even the most fraught pharmaceutical and biotech disputes. Dispensing pearls of wisdom on the transactional side are Stephen Burns and Michael Whitt QC: smooth negotiator Burns specialises in IT procurement, while the detail-oriented Whitt has asset commercialisation down to a T.

Bereskin & Parr LLP

“The service, quality of work and responsiveness at Bereskin & Parr are consistently at an excellent level. From initial mining sessions to identify patentable inventions and filing applications through to enforcement and commercialisation, you can confidently trust the squad to do the heavy lifting and make the process as painless as possible – all while keeping your best interests in mind.” Managing partner Micheline Gravelle heads the life sciences group and co-heads the patents and cannabis practice groups. With a rich background working at multinationals, government agencies and a hospital laboratory, she is a wise choice for non-contentious instructions. The gold-standard prosecution team also includes chemical group lead and former research scientist Patricia Folkins; mechanical and industrial processes guru Philip Mendes da Costa; and Robert Storey, the industrial designs chair, who has chalked up four decades of patenting experience. The firm also has a robust litigation strike force in the form of Andrew McIntosh, Robert MacFarlane, Adam Bobker, Donald Cameron and Scott MacKendrick. “Exceptional at planning and coordinating disputes, Andrew gets results and effectively deals with opposing counsel.” He teamed up with MacFarlane and Bobker to defend NOVA Chemicals in a 19-day damages trial; the trio persuaded the court to adopt, for the first time ever, a full absorption accounting method in an accounting of profits case which led to a significant reduction in the amount payable by their client. Meanwhile, Cameron and MacKendrick have been duking it out for two GlaxoSmithKline companies. Electrical and computer technology division captain Bhupinder Randhawa loves helping businesses to extract maximum value from their assets, especially in exciting new areas such as AI. High-rolling licensing mandates are all in a day’s work for Victor Krichker – who recently helped the LCG Group to acquire a majority stake in Toronto Research Chemicals – and Noel Courage, a life sciences and regulatory whizz who also lectures widely on his subject of choice.

Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP

“Blake Cassels & Graydon is instrumental in helping companies to achieve their patent objectives. The set’s meticulous attention to detail and incredible organisation are evident across every brief, and it handles every matter with the highest integrity and professionalism.” Sharp-shooting litigators Andrew Skodyn and Melanie Baird have represented industry juggernauts such as Facebook, Instagram and Janssen Biotech over the past year. Although the pair maintain a varied practice, Skodyn shines brightest on pharmaceutical disputes; while Baird tackles new challenges head on and is often seen in precedent-setting cases in emerging sectors such as biosimilars and cannabis. The firm recently welcomed Christopher Hunter to the fold in a move that will bolster its transactional practice. He joins from Borden Ladner Gervais and has assumed captaincy of the IP group.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP 

Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) has stacked up one of the most technically diverse benches in Canada and has the wherewithal to prosecute any application with finesse and precision. Clients in the life sciences have struck gold, as David Nauman, Mark Vickers, Scott Pundsack, Jennifer Raoul, Kathleen Marsman, and Graeme Boocock are all eminent experts in their fields. “When unexpected situations arise, Nauman does not hesitate to jump in and is key to developing a winning strategy”; he recently worked alongside Vickers on two successful Patent Appeal Board hearings for Coopervision International Holding Company. “Vickers has the complete skillset for a strong agent, but one of his key strengths is communication. He facilitates good discussions which then lead to securing optimum asset protection.” Senior counsel Pundsack acquits himself with distinction on re-examination and re-issue applications. “Biotech superstar Raoul deftly handles complex cases”; while Marsman is a favourite among pharmaceutical companies. “Keen, sharp and detail oriented, Graeme can reorganise complex ideas and leaves no stone unturned in his analyses. He is conscious of commercial concerns and goes out of his way to quell any insecurities. His knowledge is up to the minute and he has quickly established himself as a leading light in the fields of biology and chemistry.” On the high-technology front, Louis Allard, Curtis Behmann and Brandon Evenson are the A-listers. A former researcher with several patents to his name, “Allard is a true professional who is consistently dedicated to producing first-class work. His ability to convert technical data into an application and extract all the relevant information is exceptional. To top it off, his track record is superb”. Having worked as a senior examiner at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Behmann is a perceptive strategist with an insider’s view of the patent grant process. “Clever, conscientious and a great guy all around, Evenson always adds value and is more of a partner than external counsel. His knowledge of the subject matter is immense and he can transfer that clearly to provide sound advice to start-ups and multinationals.” Regional managers of Vancouver and Ottawa respectively, Geoffrey de Kleine and Andrew Sojonky are the resident mechanical wizards. Of Sojonky, one client comments: “His natural entrepreneurial mindset makes him extremely personable and he always puts in the extra effort to meet face to face. Everything he does, he does to the highest standard.” The BLG group also has the capability to protect and enforce assets, with polished litigators Kevin LaRoche, Jamie Mills, Chantal Saunders and Beverly Moore actively looking to nip infringements in the bud. La Roche thrives at unravelling the intricacies of high-tech disputes; Mills blends his IP and regulatory know-how to bring life sciences spats to a favourable close; Saunders has a refined understanding of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations and often links up with Mills on pharmaceutical clashes; and IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Moore fights tooth and nail for biotechnology companies.

Brion Raffoul LLP

IP boutique Brion Raffoul lives and breathes innovation. Never afraid to push the envelope, it can translate any invention into an issued patent that is built to last.  Prosecution stars Art Brion and Natalie Raffoul put their heart and soul into every application, and start-ups and multinationals alike are energised by their enthusiasm. Computer engineer Brion has been working with inventors for over two decades and knows how to lay down solid foundations that drive long-term growth. “An expert on patenting software and business methods, Raffoul is an exceptional agent and a tactful negotiator who is widely respected on the world stage.” She has recently been appointed to an expert panel which is advising the Ontario government on intellectual property and commercialisation across government-funded institutions.

CPST Intellectual Property Inc

A fresh face in the IAM Patent 1000 this year, CPST Intellectual Property is incredibly attuned to the commercial needs of its clientele, providing a seamless soup-to-nuts offering that keeps them coming back for more. Firm founders and ex-Blake, Cassels & Graydon men Anthony Prenol, Santosh Chari and Brett Slaney take centre stage. Prenol has an extensive practice: from prosecuting patents to racking up the wins in court, he can do it all. Patent procurement and monetisation come naturally to Chari, “a responsive, organised and technical practitioner who pays great attention to detail”.  For skilful drafting and prosecution in the software, electrical and mechanical fields, Slaney is the first port of call.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper meets and exceeds the needs of innovators of all stripes from five locations across Canada; the firm’s vast international network is a particular boon to those seeking joined-up global support. Despite some recent losses, the practice is as strong as ever – especially with Bruce Stratton at the helm. Stratton’s technical background gives him an extra edge when devising arguments that will carry the day in IT disputes. “Well known and respected, Alan Macek is always up to date on the latest developments in his field.” He knocks it out of the park in cross-border proceedings involving electrical and computer-related technology.

Fasken

“Incredible service quality and super-responsive” is the verdict on business law firm Fasken. One of the largest outfits in the country, it has over 700 lawyers in seven Canadian offices and additional bases in Beijing, Johannesburg and London, delivering holistic patent protection that makes business sense. Julie Desrosiers and Marie Lafleur are the main attractions for those facing pharmaceutical litigation. “Super-smart and always a winner, Desrosiers is the full package”; while Lafleur has quickly cemented her reputation as an expert in biosimilar disputes. Another biologic drugs ace is David Turgeon, who often sits as lead counsel in sprawling disputes and comes up with time and cost-efficient strategies. Transnational clashes are skilfully handled by high-tech whizz Marek Nitoslawski, whose solutions are as innovative as the clients he assists. Fasken recently added to its contentious firepower by welcoming Jason Markwell, who is active in biotechnology, telecommunications as well as oil and gas; his “dedication to excellence” is on show in his every move. Another new name on the team, Alain Leclerc effortlessly traverses the contentious/non-contentious divide and currently sits as president of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. Meanwhile, Fasken’s all-star line-up of Serge Lapointe, Mark Penner, Alexandre Abecassis, Johann Gest and Armand Benitah has prosecution on lock. In the life sciences, Lapointe is the man to call for due diligence investigations. Penner “is a real problem solver who dispenses articulate and succinct advice” in technology-heavy industries. For electrical engineering mind-benders, Abecassis and Gest draw on deep reserves of knowledge to protect innovations and build up portfolios. A lawyer and a patent agent, Benitah has a bird’s-eye view of asset protection and value creation in the mechanical and electromechanical sectors. Transactional maven Jean-Nicolas Delage has an affinity for the fine print of technology transfer agreements and an understanding of standard-essential patents.

Gilbert’s LLP 

The Toronto-based lawyers at Gilbert’s operate adroitly at the confluence of law, science and business, consistently achieving positive outcomes in must-win litigation involving cutting-edge technologies. The firm has a redoubtable leader in Tim Gilbert, who never advises in a vacuum and is always alive to the commercial realities of his clients. Gilbert spends most of his time battling it out in court, but also looks to maximise asset value through lucrative licensing deals. IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Nisha Anand has a doctorate in molecular biology, genetics and cancer, and “can explain complex legal areas clearly and quickly”. Her technical and regulatory nous proves invaluable when unpicking the knots of cross-border pharmaceutical disputes.

Goodmans LLP

“Widely renowned as best in class for major patent litigation, Goodmans zealously advocates for its clients on every occasion and is extremely savvy in court. The firm garners immense respect for its collaborative nature with opposing counsel to minimise fuss and unnecessary disagreements. Simply put, there is Goodmans and then there is the rest.” The squad is impressive from top to bottom. Inspired leader Harry Radomski “has achieved more success in high-stakes pharmaceutical cases than any other lawyer at the Bar. Intelligent, strategic and extremely hardworking, he has built up an excellent team and a loyal following.” “Excellent cross-examiner and trial lawyer” Andrew Brodkin “has extraordinary advocacy skills. He is really persuasive and is without question, among the top tier of IP litigators in Canada”. Dino Clarizio and Richard Naiberg also perform outstandingly in disputes, while putting in a strong showing on prosecution too: “They are really well respected and provide great strategic advice in complex matters.” Patrons are full of praise for Ben Hackett and IAM Patent 1000 debutant Jordan Scopa, “who are emerging as the next generation of patent litigators. The pair are extremely effective, with a great command of procedural and substantive law”.

Gowling WLG 

Gowling WLG takes a comprehensive approach to intellectual property: with the best and the brightest prosecutors, litigators and transactional specialists on tap, clients sleep soundly knowing their crown-jewel assets are safe. Companies in the life sciences look to Konrad Sechley, Susan Tandan, Brian Kingwell, Daniel Polonenko and Selena Kim for robust patent protection. Sechley has been assisting Medicago with its global portfolio containing over 500 applications and prepares impeccable freedom to operate analyses. With over three decades of experience both in private practice and in-house at a leading research-based biotechnology company behind her, Tandan has walked many miles in her clients’ shoes. For novel innovative products, Kingwell is the man for the job; he receives instructions from the likes of Genentech and Cenovus Energy. Polonenko is a font of biotechnology wisdom, having co-authored 20 scientific publications and several book chapters, and co-invented six issued patent families. The first woman in Canada to have achieved the certified specialist designation for patent law granted by the Law Society of Upper Canada, Kim is widely respected in her field. “She is really impressive, kind and humble. Selena takes the time to patiently guide you through the process and is always on hand to answer any questions while giving practical and informed advice. Working with her made the ride a whole lot smoother.” The side was strengthened with the arrival of Omar Nassif, whose technical prowess takes him all over Canada and beyond. Meticulous drafting and timely filings are also guaranteed by the high-tech bench, comprising Brian Lee, Grant Tisdall, Neil Henderson and James Longwell. Most active in fuel cell technologies, Lee infuses his advice with insight gleaned from a previous in-house position and a stint as director of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. Tisdall specialises in developing bespoke innovation programmes and often works closely with Russian technology companies to help boost their global portfolios. Henderson and Longwell also enjoy an international practice, with a particular focus on the Japanese and Chinese markets respectively. When the going gets tough, Anthony Creber, Michael Crichton, Christopher Van Barr, Patrick Stewart Smith and Ronald Dimock get drafted in to fight the good fight. Seasoned courtroom veteran Creber is a familiar face at the Supreme Court and has chalked up numerous victories over his 35-year career. Lantech, Seedlings and LG Electronics count on IP litigation and strategy division lead Crichton to deliver in convoluted proceedings. Pharmaceutical heavyweights Bayer and Takeda have the ear of Van Barr, a superb first-chair litigator. Spearheading Calgary’s IP group, Smith “is immensely experienced before the courts and has extensive chemistry knowledge. He responds to the needs of his clientele and communicates really well”. The firm also brought on gold-ranked Ronald Dimock from DLA Piper, who knows everything there is to know about patent law after four decades of litigating before the Federal and Supreme Courts.

Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Litigation boutique Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin has had a busy year, going out to bat on behalf of life sciences and tech industry giants. Highlights include staunch representation of Valeant and Pfizer; and of Rovi Guides Inc and TiVo Solutions in their battle with Bell Canada and Telus Corporation. “Tenacious litigator” Sana Halwani takes every challenge in her stride: “Highly respected by the judiciary, she lets her legal, technical and advocacy skills speak for themselves. Sana is equally as comfortable in the boardroom as she is in the courtroom and dispenses practical and timely advice.”

Marks & Clerk Canada

While international outfit Marks & Clerk has a network of offices spanning North America, Europe and Asia, it retains a boutique feel that makes clients feel cared for. Businesses of all shapes and sizes benefit from its proficient prosecution services and personalised portfolio management; it also recently upgraded its case management systems to maximise efficiency and allow for more face-to-face time. “Highly regarded and super-reliable”, Ian Clark capitalises on the knowledge he gained as a research associate at the Institute for Biological Sciences at the National Research Council of Canada; while Hetal Kushwaha is well versed in the art of strategy and mechanical patents courtesy of a past career as a design engineer. From medical imaging and touch-sensitive displays to telecommunications and aerospace questions, David Ruston is the go-to for risk mitigation and due diligence preparations. Working wonders in the high-tech sector, Jean-Charles Grégoire specialises in patent procurement.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

McCarthy Tétrault’s tailored patent service has everything needed to assist emerging companies and well-established multinational corporations in their acquisition, enforcement and commercialisation efforts. Chair of the national IP litigation group Steven Mason “impresses with his strategies, courtroom manner and attention to detail”. He recently put in a virtuoso performance for Bell Canada in three ongoing infringement actions, one of which may be making its way to the Supreme Court. Mason often links up with David Tait on bet-the-company pharmaceutical litigation: the pair have taken on several mandates for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Akebia Therapeutics. Life sciences devotee Fiona Legere makes her first appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. Armed with a degree in biochemistry, Legere knows the lie of the land and expertly coordinates multi-jurisdictional suits. Timothy St John Ellam oversees the oil and gas litigation group alongside Steven Tanner. The duo recently did battle for Aux Sable in a matter that received nationwide attention from academics and practitioners. For prosecution and transactions, Alfred Macchione, Lisa Melanson and Vincent Kam-Sun Yip are all superb choices. Macchione is lauded for his “in-depth knowledge, cooperative approach and flexibility. Alfred is really professional, able to work to tight-deadlines and dispenses internationally minded advice. He goes beyond expectations and is truly an extension of the businesses he works with”. Another worldly-wise practitioner, Melanson looks after the firm’s IP strategy initiative and has a fine-grained understanding of the pharmaceutical/regulatory interface. Smooth negotiator Yip can get tricky applications through to grant and is a strong ally for complex licensing agreements. National IT law and fintech co-lead Christine Ing has the technical processing power needed for the most intricate deals.

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Global powerhouse Norton Rose Fulbright keeps them coming back for more with its sterling wall-to-wall patent offering. A major player in life sciences litigation, the ensemble has had a banner year representing the likes of Genentech, Eli Lilly and even the Canadian Innovative Pharmaceutical Trade Association – together with Innovative Medicines Canada and a further 16 pharmaceutical companies – in its attempts to challenge the validity of amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations governing the Patented Medicine Prices Control Board. Its Toronto squad – comprising Jordana Sanft, Allyson Whyte Nowak, Amy Grenon and Mark Davis – always delivers. “A pleasure to work with or against, the practical and detail-oriented Sanft comes up with the most commercially viable solutions.” Hoffmann-La Roche and AstraZeneca have her on speed dial. Resident Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations gurus Nowak and Grenon have been doing some heavy lifting on behalf of Pfizer and Wyeth respectively. “Davis replies quickly, negotiates brilliantly and concocts proposals that are both original and cost effective.” He has recently been engaged by Candu Energy. Over in Montreal, Judith Robinson and Brian Daley hit the ground running from the get-go. Acting as lead counsel for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Servier and Merck, Robinson emerged victorious each time; while Daley is comfortable putting forward measured yet impactful pleadings before courts of every level. The prosecution wing is home to Sébastien Clark, who puts his brilliant scientific mind to great use drafting patents and advising on contentious matters relating to thermodynamics, hydraulics and aeronautics. National IP chair Jung-Kay Chiu runs a tight ship. The versatile operator navigates through every stage of the patent lifecycle with ease and has carved out a niche in biotechnology.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP 

“Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt effectively delivers on the big firm promise – it always has the right person for the job and encourages clients to use its resources to the fullest, with no additional cost. The practitioners are responsive, timely in their responses and offer advice that is always commercially valuable.” Working in the upper echelons of his profession, J Bradley White straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide with poise. “He has the unique ability to break down complex matters into easily understandable chunks and never sugar-coats the truth. Bradley is an excellent advocate before the courts and addresses any concerns or suggestions in real time.” Litigating alongside him on behalf of Teva is the “diligent and smart Vincent M de Grandpré, who has a knack for defining a patent’s position in infringement proceedings.” “Super-thorough and professional, Nathaniel Lipkus is doing some great stuff” in the heavily regulated industries. The transactions practice is flourishing under W Lee Webster: “He ensures that business interests are protected both short and long term through his thorough analyses, negotiation skills and ability to strongly represent the companies he assists.”

PCK Intellectual Property 

“Approachable and responsive, with an all-encompassing knowledge base” is how the professionals at PCK are described. They fuse sharp business acumen with a passion for technology and a love of drafting to perfectly encapsulate the essence of an invention in an application. Co-founders Stephen Perry and Andrew Currier set the tone from the top. Perry helps high-tech and medical device companies to build up their portfolios; while Currier strives to get telecommunications players maximum return on their investments. One client enthuses: “He is my go-to guy in Canada. Pragmatic and very knowledgeable, working with him is a breath of fresh air.”

Ridout & Maybee LLP

Ridout & Maybee has been running its operations since 1893, making it one of the country’s longest-serving IP veterans. With a wealth of resources at its fingertips, the full-service outfit has made influential contributions to the Canadian patent scene over the years and does not plan on stopping any time soon. “With Ken Bousfield, it’s all about client service. He is always all-in and runs a great practice thanks to his refined understanding of Canadian and US law.” Bousfield has spent over two decades dexterously executing instructions in the mechanical and electromechanical fields.

ROBIC LLP

Born and bred in Montreal, ROBIC files with alacrity and injects commercially sound strategies into everything it does. Its deep prosecution bench has the wherewithal to tackle instructions across a myriad of industries, but really lights up the room when dealing with photonics as well as the material and life sciences. A stellar point person for opinion work and portfolio management when it comes to lasers is Isabelle Girard. Also in high-tech, trained engineer Louis-Pierre Gravelle produces applications that are a thing of beauty. In metallurgy, Dominique Pomerleau and Nathalie Jodoin dish out superb due diligence analyses and build up iron-clad protection around inventions; while mechanical engineer David Enciso performs at the highest level in the aeronautical field. The firm also brings out the big guns in litigation in the form of Bob Sotiriadis; and gets deals inked with technology transfer guru François Painchaud anchoring the transactional practice.

Rowand LLP

“With Rowand, you get consistently high-quality work that is delivered on time and usually well under budget. There is no firm I would rather work with for my prosecution matters,” rhapsodises one patron. Its dazzling client roster bears testament to its first-class service: BlackBerry, Toronto Dominion Bank and Synaptive Medical are just a few confirmed fans. Partners Fraser Rowand and Jeff Tracey often work shoulder to shoulder and are heavily involved in cutting-edge industries such as autonomous vehicle technology and fintech. “Fraser is exceptional. He is able to draft meticulously, even when time is of the essence, and his technical understanding is astonishing. Jeff never hesitates to put the time in to guide his clients through challenging matters and always looks to keep costs as low as possible.”

Smart & Biggar 

“Gold-standard firm Smart & Biggar definitely lives up to its name.” The outfit maintains its lofty status as one of the country’s top filers, juggling over 5,000 applications each year; it also packs a punch in enforcement scenarios and sews up flawless IP-rich deals. The strength and depth of the unit are reflected in the addition this year of seven individuals across each stage of the patent lifecycle. On the prosecution front, Daphne Lainson, Matthew Zischka and John Knox never cease to amaze. Biotech and pharmaceutical ace “Lainson produces work of impeccable quality and can easily explain the legal nuts and bolts with great clarity”. Electrical engineers Zischka and Knox have over five decades of experience between them. Zischka’s keen strategic sense and instinct for generating revenue make him a trusted adviser on high-value M&A and licensing deals. Knox has invaluable industry experience which he channels both into his work and into guiding the next generation of practitioners. The unit also sees the IAM Patent 1000 debut of Allan Brett and David Schwartz this year. Brett holds a degree in mathematics and electrical engineering and lends his insight to high-tech companies seeking impenetrable protection for their assets. “A class act and a fantastic professional”, Schwartz has a vibrant pharmaceutical and chemistry practice. The prosecution division works seamlessly with a team of contentious heavyweights to secure optimum results in litigation. On the contentious side, managing partner Steven Garland leads by example. “Really bright and diligent, Garland has an excellent grasp of the law and facilitates fair and open discussions. It is always a tough but fair fight with him.” In a similar vein, François Guay “looks to find the most amicable solution for parties in heated disputes. His knowledge of legal issues is most impressive and his collegial style ensures that difficult proceedings are smoothly navigated”. Pre-eminent pharmaceutical litigator “Gunars Gaikis has amassed extensive experience devising strategies and comes up with interesting and unique approaches to the matters he faces”. Alongside IAM Patent 1000 newcomers Nancy Pei and Yoon Kang, “they work efficiently, creatively, responsively and exceed all expectations. To top it off, it’s all done at a reasonable price point too”.  In the words of one client: “Their speciality is life sciences, where Pei is incredibly knowledgeable and gets down to the nitty-gritty of each case; while Kang is highly appreciated for her succinctness and ability to cut to the chase”. Recently joining Smart & Biggar from BLG and DLA Piper respectively are Evan Nuttall and Ryan Evans. Nuttall works with top players in the oil and gas industry; and Evans has an affinity for untangling tricky disputes in a variety of sectors. Alistair Simpson, Sanjay Goorachurn and Theodore Sum are highly sought out for their transactional capabilities. “Flexible, bright and timely” is the consensus on Simpson, who has asset procurement and exploitation down to a fine art. Goorachurn does not see geographical boundaries as an issue – complex multi-jurisdictional deals are his forte. “Sum’s legal mind and clear thinking are unsurpassed. He is extremely hardworking and the agreements he drafts show an appreciation for wider business needs and concerns. He’s a top-notch guy who ensures that every company he works with – big or small – receives the best advice possible.” Stephan Georgiev also makes his debut in the guide this year: the deft negotiator conducts thorough market analyses, keeps calm and collected under pressure, and gets pen to paper on deals for his high-tech patrons.

Torys LLP

“Everyone at Torys is fantastic. From strategic objectives to subject-matter expertise, they never drop the ball. In court, the evidence is carefully drafted and the cross-examinations are dealt with superbly.” Mainstay litigators and department co-heads Andrew Shaughnessy and Andrew Bernstein “stand out for their gentlemanly approach. Shaughnessy is charming in court and really flexible when things need to shift. Bernstein’s arguments are always intellectually on point and his brainpower is the key to his success.” Colleagues Eileen McMahon and IAM Patent 1000 debutant Edward Fan also receive praise for their prosecution work: “The pair are simply the best pharmaceutical patent attorneys you will come across – super-responsive and extremely knowledgeable about complex matters that involve the interplay of Canadian patent and regulatory law.”

Torys LLP

“Everyone at Torys is fantastic. From strategic objectives to subject-matter expertise, they never drop the ball. In court, the evidence is carefully drafted and the cross-examinations are dealt with superbly.” Mainstay litigators and department co-heads Andrew Shaughnessy and Andrew Bernstein “stand out for their gentlemanly approach. Shaughnessy is charming in court and really flexible when things need to shift. Bernstein’s arguments are always intellectually on point and his brainpower is the key to his success.” Colleagues Eileen McMahon and IAM Patent 1000 debutant Edward Fan also receive praise for their prosecution work: “The pair are simply the best pharmaceutical patent attorneys you will come across – super-responsive and extremely knowledgeable about complex matters that involve the interplay of Canadian patent and regulatory law.”

Other recommended experts

At Benoît & Côté, mechanical technology whizz Marc Benoît “opts for a focused, organised and direct approach. He adds great value with his practical advice and friendly nature”. Vanguard IP LLP’s Alaka Chatterjee strategically manages worldwide patent portfolios for clients in an array of sectors, including life sciences, agriculture and mining. “For prosecution, licensing and strategy work, Yuri Chumak is recommended without hesitation. He is intelligent, conscientious and detail oriented, and communicates effectively. The consummate professional” can be found at Dickinson Wright. France Côté of Benoît & Côté is hailed for her technical biochemistry wisdom, which shines through in her prosecution and strategic advice. A founding member of Deeth Williams Wall, Douglas Deeth has deep-rooted pharmaceutical litigation experience accumulated over 30 years of practice. Working out of Adapt IP Law, software engineer Peter Elyjiw understands how inventors think and knows how to effectively overcome complicated situations. Moffat & Co Patent & Trademark Agents’ very own Eduardo Fonseca “has developed a robust prosecution practice”. Born in Brazil and fluent in Portuguese, he has a strong Latin American client base. Flying the flag at his eponymous boutique, Brian Gray draws on four decades of experience in the media and technology industries when fighting clients’ corners in court and shepherding lucrative deals across the line for them. At Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP, James Hatton QC thrives in the biotechnology arena. He holds numerous board positions for companies in the field and is renowned for his work with the life sciences community. In the AI and fintech space, Christopher Heer of Heer Law “takes time to understand how to best serve his clients. He creates multinational strategies with real professionalism and gets great results. Christopher is, hands down, an exceptional business partner”. Over at Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala, Gavin Manning “is one of the best lawyers for the oil and gas and IT industries”. “André Merizzi instantly impresses with his friendly but professional approach. Not only has he the technical capabilities to handle tough matters, but his hands-on approach and insightful recommendations have efficiently secured the grant of numerous patents.” His desk is based at Merizzi Ramsbottom & Forster. Former Gilbert’s lawyer Matthew Powell is a true strategist whose software development know-how is a valuable addition to Dickinson Wright’s prosecution team. Kavita Ramamoorthy at Fineberg Ramamoorthy is a pharmaceutical sage whose boundless experience informs her tenacious approach to litigation. Lavery Lawyers’ Serge Shahinian fights the good fight on behalf of his loyal following in the life sciences. Recently moving to Fogler, Rubinoff, mechanical engineer, patent agent and lawyer Kevin Shipley “takes a pragmatic approach to his work. Bright and pragmatic, he is great at thinking about clients’ business needs and offering them easily applicable solutions”. Operating out of Deeth Williams Wall, Gervas Wall has turned the heads of major players in the chemical industry with his smooth negotiating and stellar transactional capabilities.

Individuals: litigation

  • David W Aitken - Aitken Klee LLP
  • Andrew Brodkin - Goodmans LLP
  • Anthony G Creber - Gowling WLG
  • Ronald E Dimock - Gowling WLG
  • Gunars Gaikis - Smart & Biggar 
  • François Guay - Smart & Biggar 
  • Steven Mason - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Harry B Radomski - Goodmans LLP
  • Judith M Robinson - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Andrew M Shaughnessy - Torys LLP
  • Jonathan Stainsby - Aitken Klee LLP
  • Bruce Stratton - DLA Piper
  • Peter R Wilcox - Belmore Neidrauer LLP
  • Melanie Baird - Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Andrew Bernstein - Torys LLP
  • Donald M Cameron - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Dino Clarizio - Goodmans LLP
  • Michael D Crinson - Aitken Klee LLP
  • Mark Davis - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Vincent M de Grandpré - Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP 
  • Douglas N Deeth - Deeth Williams Wall LLP
  • Julie Desrosiers - Fasken
  • Steven Garland - Smart & Biggar 
  • Sana Halwani - Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP
  • Trent Horne - Aird & Berlis LLP
  • Dominique T Hussey - Bennett Jones LLP
  • Marcus Klee - Aitken Klee LLP
  • Nathaniel Lipkus - Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP 
  • Alan Macek - DLA Piper
  • Robert HC MacFarlane - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • R Scott MacKendrick - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Jason Markwell - Fasken
  • Bill Mayo - Aitken Klee LLP
  • Andrew McIntosh - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Jamie Mills - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Marek Nitoslawski - Fasken
  • Anthony M Prenol - CPST Intellectual Property Inc
  • Jordana Sanft - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Andrew Skodyn - Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • David Tait - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Christopher C Van Barr - Gowling WLG
  • J Bradley White - Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP 
  • Allyson Whyte Nowak - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Nisha Anand - Gilbert’s LLP 
  • Adam Bobker - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Michael Crichton - Gowling WLG
  • Brian R Daley - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Timothy St John Ellam - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Ryan Evans - Smart & Biggar
  • Tim Gilbert - Gilbert’s LLP 
  • Brian W Gray - Brian Gray Law
  • Amy Grenon - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Ben Hackett - Goodmans LLP
  • Yoon Kang - Smart & Biggar 
  • Marie Lafleur - Fasken
  • Kevin L LaRoche - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Fiona Legere - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Beverley Moore - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Richard Naiberg - Goodmans LLP
  • Kamleh J Nicola - Baker McKenzie
  • Bryan Norrie - Aitken Klee LLP
  • Evan Nuttall - Smart & Biggar
  • Nancy Pei - Smart & Biggar 
  • Kavita Ramamoorthy - Fineberg Ramamoorthy
  • William H Richardson - Baker McKenzie
  • Chantal Saunders - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Jordan Scopa - Goodmans LLP
  • Patrick Stewart Smith - Gowling WLG
  • Bob Sotiriadis - ROBIC LLP
  • Steven Tanner - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • David Turgeon - Fasken
  • Marian Wolanski - Belmore Neidrauer LLP

Individuals: prosecution

  • Santosh Chari - CPST Intellectual Property Inc
  • Yuri Chumak - Dickinson Wright
  • Brandon Evenson - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • John Knox - Smart & Biggar 
  • Daphne Lainson - Smart & Biggar 
  • Eileen M McMahon - Torys LLP
  • David Nauman - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Natalie Raffoul - Brion Raffoul LLP 
  • Fraser Rowand - Rowand LLP
  • Konrad A Sechley - Gowling WLG
  • Andrew Sojonky - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Susan Tandan - Gowling WLG
  • Edward Yoo - Bennett Jones LLP
  • Matthew Zischka - Smart & Biggar 
  • Alexandre Abecassis - Fasken
  • Louis Allard - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Andréanne Auger - BCF Business Law 
  • Lola Bartoszewicz - Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP
  • Curtis Behmann - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Armand Benitah - Fasken
  • Marc Benoît - Benoît & Côté
  • Graeme Boocock - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Ken Bousfield - Ridout & Maybee LLP
  • Allan Brett - Smart & Biggar 
  • Irene T Bridger - Bennett Jones LLP
  • Art Brion - Brion Raffoul LLP
  • Roseann Caldwell - Bennett Jones LLP
  • Alaka Chatterjee - Vanguard IP LLP
  • Jung-Kay Chiu - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Ian Clark - Marks & Clerk Canada
  • Sébastien Clark - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • France Côté - Benoît & Côté
  • Andrew Currier - PCK Intellectual Property 
  • Geoffrey de Kleine - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Peter Elyjiw - Adapt IP Law
  • David Enciso - ROBIC LLP
  • Edward Fan - Torys LLP
  • Patricia Folkins - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Eduardo Fonseca - Moffat & Co Patent & Trademark Agents
  • Johann Gest - Fasken
  • Isabelle Girard - ROBIC LLP
  • Dominic Goudreault - BCF Business Law 
  • Louis-Pierre Gravelle - ROBIC LLP
  • Micheline Gravelle - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Jean-Charles Grégoire - Marks & Clerk Canada
  • Christopher D Heer - Heer Law
  • Neil Henderson - Gowling WLG
  • Nathalie Jodoin - ROBIC LLP
  • Ilya Kalnish - BCF Business Law 
  • Selena Kim - Gowling WLG
  • Brian Kingwell - Gowling WLG
  • Hetal Kushwaha - Marks & Clerk Canada
  • Julien Lachere - BCF Business Law 
  • Serge Lapointe - Fasken
  • Alain M Leclerc - Fasken
  • Brian Lee - Gowling WLG
  • James E Longwell - Gowling WLG
  • Erica Lowthers - Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP
  • Alfred A Macchione - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Gavin N Manning - Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP
  • Kathleen E Marsman - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Kimberly McManus - Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP
  • Lisa Melanson - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Philip C Mendes da Costa - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • André Merizzi - Merizzi Ramsbottom & Forster 
  • Jason Mueller-Neuhaus - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Omar A Nassif - Gowling WLG
  • Mark D Penner - Fasken
  • Stephen Perry - PCK Intellectual Property 
  • Daniel R Polonenko - Gowling WLG
  • Dominique Pomerleau - ROBIC LLP
  • Matthew D Powell - Dickinson Wright
  • Scott Pundsack - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Bhupinder Randhawa - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Jennifer Raoul - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • David A Ruston - Marks & Clerk Canada
  • David Schwartz - Smart & Biggar 
  • Serge Shahinian - Lavery Lawyers
  • Kevin Shipley - Fogler, Rubinoff LLP
  • Kitt Sinden - Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP
  • Brett Slaney - CPST Intellectual Property Inc
  • Robert Storey - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Grant Tisdall - Gowling WLG
  • Jeff Tracey - Rowand LLP
  • Mark Vickers - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • J Bradley White - Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP 
  • Tuba Yamaç - BCF Business Law 
  • Vincent Kam-Sun Yip - McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Individuals: transactions

  • Jean-Nicolas Delage - Fasken
  • Alfred A Macchione - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Eileen M McMahon - Torys LLP
  • W Lee Webster - Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP 
  • Stephen D Burns - Bennett Jones LLP
  • Jung-Kay Chiu - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Noel A Courage - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Edward Fan - Torys LLP
  • Stephan Georgiev - Smart & Biggar 
  • Sanjay Goorachurn - Smart & Biggar 
  • James P Hatton QC - Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP
  • Christopher Hunter - Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Christine Ing - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Victor Krichker - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Timothy M Lowman - Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP
  • Gavin N Manning - Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP
  • Lisa Melanson - McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • François Painchaud - ROBIC LLP
  • Bhupinder Randhawa - Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Alistair Simpson - Smart & Biggar 
  • Theodore Sum - Smart & Biggar 
  • Gervas W Wall - Deeth Williams Wall LLP
  • Michael R Whitt QC - Bennett Jones LLP
  • Vincent Kam-Sun Yip - McCarthy Tétrault LLP