Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm


Smarter IP strategies for the modern automotive industry

The extraordinary transformation and unique challenges facing the automotive industry require progressive and innovative IP strategies.

Large multinational automakers are witnessing the arrival of new players and disruption. As small-scale innovators, entrepreneurs, software developers and tech firms — specializing in coding, automation and robotics — join technology giants to drive big changes in the traditional automotive industry, intellectual property concerns make their way to the top of business priorities.

The convergence of automotive and technology is forcing a shift to more collaboration within the auto industry. The questions and challenges around the ownership and control of technology, software and data will make forward-looking and innovative IP strategies vital to a company’s success. Harnessing the benefits of IP for co-development, licensing, joint venture and other types of agreements will be central to staying competitive in the global marketplace.

Canada is at the forefront of automotive innovation

Constant innovation is at the forefront of the automotive industry, and Canada is uniquely positioned to shape its future. A committed and engaged Canadian government, combined with high-tech superclusters, a strong manufacturing base and a highly skilled workforce, make Canada a leader in emerging automotive technologies.

With our vast network of world-class universities, innovative startups and suppliers, global companies in the tech and automotive sectors have established their research and development centres for autonomous vehicles in Canada.

As new innovations and technologies rapidly emerge, our integration of legal expertise and technical depth allows us to develop and implement precise and focused IP solutions.

Technical expertise

For more than a century, Smart & Biggar has been on the leading edge of innovation and change relating to all aspects of automotive innovation. As the automotive industry moves into a new era, we remain at the forefront of emerging technologies, and our depth of technical expertise continues to be unrivalled.

We are the largest firm in Canada specializing in intellectual property law and our experienced and highly skilled lawyers and agents possess unmatched technical expertise in a variety of technical disciplines, including electrical and electronics, industrial and mechanical and chemical and industrial biotechnology. We understand complex technologies and provide effective and efficient IP counsel leveraging our combined strengths and technical depth in the automotive industry and our IP expertise to deliver integrated and forward-thinking solutions.

Our automotive clients look to us for counsel on all aspects of intellectual property from patent and industrial design protection to IP strategy and portfolio management. Our lawyers and agents have deep experience with emerging technologies, such as collision-avoidance systems, high-precision navigation technology and sensors, operating and security software, electronic stability systems, remote controls, advanced braking systems and innovative energy storage. We also advise on protection of IP rights involving lightweight materials, advanced safety systems, software and cybersecurity, connected and autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, alternative powertrains like electric vehicles and fuel cells, vehicle safety and testing, and cleantech technology.

Legal expertise

Smart & Biggar is committed to protecting automotive innovation through precise and focused intellectual property enforcement and litigation where required to maximize business opportunity and market share.

Our award winning team of leading IP litigators has appeared at the highest appellate levels of common law and civil law courts, representing clients in both of Canada’s official languages. Having appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada on more than 50 occasions, we have handled a significant share of Canada’s most commercially important and technically complex intellectual property law cases, many of which are leading Canadian precedents.

Our combination of legal expertise and advanced technical training in relevant subspecialties enable us to offer unparalleled IP protection. We are leading experts in patent drafting and prosecution, litigation proceedings, transactions involving the acquisition and licensing of new technologies and strategic management of international and domestic patent and industrial design portfolios.

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