The Patent 1000 focuses exclusively on patent practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal patent expertise.
Recommended - Individuals: transactions
Unanimously hailed by the market as “a first-class firm that excels at the technical aspects of patent prosecution”, Smart & Bigger is one of Canada’s most prolific filers on behalf of industry giants from all over the world. It is also a formidable force in enforcement scenarios and has chalked up several significant wins over the past year; while its transactions crew is regularly called upon to broker lucrative global licensing deals. On the non-contentious side, managing partner Matthew Zischka sets the tone from the top. The electronic engineer is comfortable acting across a range of technologies and really hits his stride when advising companies on how to make best use of their assets through business-driven strategies. Operating within the same field, John Knox and Allan Brett bring valuable industry experience to the mix. Knox has prosecuted applications in almost every country in the world and has international procedures on lock; while Brett has seen hundreds of originating patent applications through to grant and is a vital resource for those looking to protect electronic or computer-related inventions. Joining them in the guide this year are Elliott Simcoe and Brigide Mattar. Electrical and mechanical practice group leader Simcoe is a repository of trust for blue-chip innovators keen to maximise the return on their investments; while trained computer engineer Mattar is a font of wisdom when it comes to AI. In the life sciences, Daphne Lainson, David Schwartz and Mark Pidkowich are a cut above. Firm chair Lainson impresses with her regulatory know-how and ability to distil legal complexities into readable reports; Schwartz is a known thought leader who has the PM(NOC) Regulations down pat; and Pidkowich brings added value by designing strategies that meet clients’ immediate, mid and long-term goals. The litigation squad also sees some new additions to the rankings this year, in the form of Sheldon Hamilton and Jeremy Want. A compelling advocate, Hamilton has over 25 years of experience and a down-to-earth style which make him highly effective. Immensely seasoned in trials concerning the quantification of damages, Want recently secured a C$650 million damages settlement for Dow Chemical – the largest reported award in a Canadian infringement case. For this, he teamed up with Steven Garland, an “exceptionally strong litigator” who knows how to turn around the trickiest of cases. He recently obtained a rare interlocutory injunction from the Federal Court on behalf of Exaltexx. Similarly, François Guay also comes in for praise as a “dynamic lawyer” – as his fine work for Canadian National Railway bears out, that comes as no surprise. The case was of utmost importance, and the company’s successful appeal reaffirmed the long-established practice of granting protective orders to parties involved in IP litigation before the Federal Court in Canada and reinforced an important feature of the discovery process. Yoon Kang, Nancy Pei and Gunars Gaikis are the names to note for skirmishes in the pharmaceutical sector. A repository of trust for her clients, Kang is a clear-thinking counsellor and tactical litigator with an excellent hit rate. Success on behalf of life sciences innovators is also a daily thing for Pei, whose wisdom on diverse regulatory and commercial matters informs a sophisticated approach to cases. A pre-eminent lawyer, Gaikis has seen and done it all in high-stakes proceedings and thinks up strategies that get life sciences companies out of tricky situations without a hitch. The energy and petroleum industries are happy hunting grounds for Evan Nuttall and Ryan Evans, who dish out sophisticated advice and always have the end game in mind. The same is true of the ensemble’s transactions unit – home to Alistair Simpson, Sanjay Goorachurn, Stephan Georgiev and Theodore Sum. Simpson and Goorachurn are innovative in their approach to structuring deals and work closely with the C-suite to draft licensing agreements that fit like a glove. Georgiev is hailed as a “renowned and super-experienced strategist”; while Sum comes in for praise as a “top-notch practitioner with an unsurpassed legal mind. He is also extremely diligent and ensures every client – big or small – receives the best advice”.