Canadian Lawyer

March 2022

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 33 of 51

32 TOP INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BOUTIQUES Related to how the court system for IP cases will look like going forward is the increasing use of virtual technology for holding hearings and office organization and management systems that are going paperless. The pandemic has shown how in many cases, the increasing use of technology can create more efficiency in dealing with complex, often technical cases. Scott Foster and Patrick Smith, veteran IP lawyers who left Gowling WLG to launch their own boutique firm, Seastone LLP, last year, say that hanging their own shingle meant they could start afresh with the latest technology. The founders of the firm, which is included in the Top 10 list of IP boutiques within months of opening, say that docu- ment management and administration has been plain sailing. Foster, based in Vancouver, notes that when one doesn't have legacy technology to deal with, adapting to new systems is "defi- nitely less frustrating." And Smith, who "There are upwards of 180,000 trademark applications pending. While some of this backlog could be blamed on the pandemic, CIPO is currently processing trademark applications filed in 2019" Gary Daniel, Deeth Williams Wall LLP infringing products sold on Amazon can be a "whack-a-mole" effort where sites or products taken down keep showing up. Greater access to Federal Court trials Ottawa patent lawyer Marcus Klee, with the firm Aitkin Klee LLP, notes that there will likely be greater access to summary trials in patent cases in the Federal Court, a result of a 2021 Federal Court decision in ViiV Healthcare Company v Gilead Sciences Canada Inc. This court decision affirmed one of the first patent infringement actions to be heard by way of summary trial which offered clarity in the law pertaining to motions to quash summary judgment and summary trial motions themselves. The appeal court noted that although in some cases summary proceedings add to the cost and duration of litigation, there are instances where these proceedings can "improve access to speedy, cost-efficient justice." It held that the trial court below had appropriately weighed the evidence before it concluded that patent construction and infringement could be properly adjudi- cated by way of summary judgement. This decision further solidifies the possibility of summary disposition in Canadian patent litigation, Klee says. Singh at Marks & Clerk agrees, saying the use of summary trials fits into a pattern of federal court judges "demonstrating an appetite for hearing complex IP matters, particularly patent infringement proceed- ings by summary trial." She calls this a positive since will likely be less expensive for litigants to participate and should take place more quickly. works in Calgary, points out that starting a firm means one can create systems to fit the lifestyle and culture of those at the firm — including remote work, a hybrid system, or "having a great team of lawyers working in different cities." Emphasis on privacy, data protection Bob Sotiriadis of Quebec-based IP firm ROBIC LLP says that he has noticed an emerging tech- nology practice, and within that practice is a group focused on data and privacy. While in the past, it might have been more about issues such as software licensing, Sotiriadis says that the firm has gone more "hardcore," and has been on a hiring spree for lawyers and patent agents to meet the demand. Trademark pros- ecution has become a part of that practice, but there is also more IP due diligence, more IP audit work, and helping clients monetize their data, letting them know "they own the data, and information is a valuable asset that has to be protected." SPECIAL REPORT

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