Manufacturing innovation thrives with intellectual property (IP) protection
Manufacturing’s rich and dynamic history was built on innovation and IP protection.
Historically, the manufacturing, industrial goods, and machinery industries have relied on patents and trade secrets for investors to recoup their substantial expenditures of skill, creativity, time, and money. In the research and development of new products, technologies, and manufacturing processes, patents provide legal protection against competitive activity and help generate interest in investing in a company. For manufacturers, patents are invaluable in preventing copying and misuse by competitors, providing market exclusivity, and expanding market share.
Like many industries, manufacturing, industrial goods, and machinery have faced a period of uncertainty as they evolved from traditional physical entities into the modern digital and technology-focused era. Back on the rise, these industries have undergone a digital transformation and a company’s IP assets, such as product designs, digital blueprints, implementation processes, and source code are sometimes more valuable than tangible assets. In the modern economy, the advent of advanced manufacturing technology and ensuing IP allows companies to cut costs, improve competitiveness and processes, and streamline supply chains.
While benefiting manufacturers, growth and digitization has also brought about challenges in the protection and enforcement of a company’s IP assets. Lack of control over a multifaceted supply chain, counterfeiting of products and processes, and the interconnected IT and tech-based manufacturing infrastructure pose new and complex challenges. As a result, manufacturers need to focus even more on strategic IP for value protection and growth opportunities.
A global focus on Canadian manufacturing
The Canadian manufacturing industry is a leader in the production of high-value components. In North America’s integrated supply chain, the machinery sector, in particular, has seen growing trends in technology and wireless communications in transportation systems, electrical machinery, and optical and medical instruments. Canada’s long history of technological innovation and strong trade deals with economic allies, make it one of the most attractive locations for manufacturing growth and investment.
The landscape for manufacturing, industrial goods, and machinery is constantly evolving and companies must continue to shift their focus to the development of new strategies to successfully manage IP assets. With an interdisciplinary approach and a sophisticated understanding of these vital sectors, we ensure our clients acquire, protect and leverage their IP assets to support their business objectives and corporate vision.
Protecting intellectual property relating to modern manufacturing methods often requires expertise that spans several technology areas. The team at Smart & Biggar possess deep technical expertise, including advanced degrees in computer and material science, physics, biophysics, chemistry, metallurgy, and electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering. And many have worked in industry in product development, engineering and research.
With more than a century of experience, Smart & Biggar develops comprehensive IP strategies to protect our clients’ competitive position in the market. Many forces affect our manufacturing clients’ business goals and we understand the complexity involved in creating and protecting innovation and valuable supply chains.
As the largest firm practising exclusively in intellectual property law in Canada, our experienced and highly specialized team of lawyers and patent agents are experts at protecting valuable manufacturing IP assets, including patents, trademarks, and industrial designs. Smart & Biggar is a leader and a trusted advisor to some of the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector. Our firm has handled a significant share of Canada’s most commercially important and technically complex intellectual property law cases, many of which are leading Canadian precedents. On the litigation side, our lawyers are highly skilled litigators at the top of the Canadian intellectual property field who have appeared at the highest appellate levels of common law and civil law courts, including appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada on more than 50 occasions.
Innovation exists only when protected worldwide
Manufacturing plays a crucial role in producing and supplying essential goods and services across the globe. Global markets and developments in specific jurisdictions and regions greatly affect this vital industry. We understand the complex geographic and jurisdictional challenges facing our clients, and offer focused and precise strategies that align with current political, environmental, and regulatory global trends. Our global list of clients ranges from small- and medium-sized companies to some of the largest innovators and enterprises in the world. We collaborate with IP practitioners around the world to obtain protection for Canadian manufacturing and technology abroad, as well as for the protection of innovation in Canada.
Our depth of knowledge is unmatched
Our combination of extensive expertise and relevant advanced technical training, enable us to offer unparalleled service to the manufacturing, industrial goods, and machinery industries across all aspects of intellectual property, including strategy, procurement, due diligence, acquisition, licensing, and enforcement.
Our Manufacturing, Industrial Goods & Machinery services include:
- Drafting and prosecution of patent, design, utility & trademark applications
- Developing licensing programs
- Due diligence investigations & reviews
- Portfolio management strategies
- IP counseling for government contracting & export rules
- Validity, right-to-use and infringement counsel
- Negotiation and dispute resolution