Intellectual Property

Our intellectual property lawyers come from a variety of practice areas within the firm who together serve a broad spectrum of clients in the information, communications and entertainment industries.

We advise clients on several areas within intellectual property law, including trademarks, sound marks, patents, copyright and entertainment.

Trademarks

  • Preparation of trademark and sound mark applications
  • Prosecuting applications to registration
  • Trademark and sound mark litigation
  • Trademark and sound mark searches nationally and internationally

Our leading edge, in-house computerized trademark search facilities permit us to identify, without delay, whether a proposed trademark already exists in both Canada and the United States.

We can conduct manual searches in Canada (three to four days or expedited to 48 hours), trademark availability searches in the US, preparation and filing of trademark applications in the US, searches and file applications in virtually any country outside of North America through agents, licensing of trademarks and other intellectual property, and action on behalf of franchisors and franchisees.

Patents & Industrial Designs

  • Patent and industrial design searches in the US & Canada
  • Advice on the prospect of obtaining a patent of an invention
  • Possible infringement of patents and industrial designs
  • Patent and industrial design rights
  • Preparation of documentation relating to commercial transactions involving patents and industrial designs
  • Litigation to enforce patent and industrial design rights

Entertainment

  • Negotiation of recording agreements, publishing agreements and artist management contracts
  • Advice on regulatory applications
  • Advice on production and acquisition of programming the purchase and sale of stations
  • Personnel concerns
  • Libel suits
  • Finance structuring assistance
  • Preparation and review of the necessary production and distribution contracts

Copyright

Whether you work in film, TV, music, theatre, technology, games or publishing, our copyright law lawyers have the knowledge you need to control and exploit your copyright in Canada – and right across the world.

Influential

Our leading-edge lawyers don’t just advise on copyright law – they help shape it. We’ve been involved in nearly every major copyright reform case in Canada during the past five years. For example, our team acted as lead counsel in:

  • the CSI Online Music Services Tariff case – the first case in the world to establish royalties owed to songwriters and music publishers for Internet reproduction of musical works by services such as iTunes
  • the largest copyright-related class action in Canadian history
  • the five high-profile Supreme Court of Canada copyright cases that collectively reshaped this country’s copyright landscape

Solving Your Problem

We add value to our copyright clients in many different ways, including:

  • advising TV and film producers, musicians, authors and other artists on the Canadian Copyright Act and international copyright law
  • handling copyright infringement litigation for individual copyright holders and for collectives
  • negotiating license agreements
  • registering and protecting copyrights for merchandisers
  • working with artists’ insurers to advise on and defend claims of copyright infringement

Music-related Specialties

Our specialist music-related advice ranges from helping clients comply with Copyright Board tariffs to negotiating and preparing recording and publishing agreements, production and distribution contracts, artist management contracts, and business and licensing arrangements with music publishers and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).

During the past few years, our copyright experts have successfully acted for, among others:

  • Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and CMRRA-SODRAC Inc. (CSI) in the historic CSI Online Music Services Tariff proceeding before the Copyright Board of Canada, the first proceeding anywhere in the world to establish the royalties payable to songwriters and music publishers for the right to reproduce songs for distribution via the Internet, and in subsequent proceedings to recertify and enforce that tariff
  • Musicians Rights Organization Canada (MROC), a copyright collective representing the rights of performers, in a number of significant litigation matters
  • A number of copyright collectives and rightsholder groups in relation to Canadian copyright reform initiatives, including Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act (2010)
  • EMI Music Publishing in Redwood Music v. EMI Mills Music et al., an Ontario proceeding involving the ownership of reversionary and substituted copyright in musical works