IP strategy aligned with the business realities of the technology industry
The tremendous economic potential that software and technology hold make it critical to understand the complex and interdisciplinary nature of the IP rights involved and how to use them effectively to maximize economic value.
Technological advancement in software, IT, and cloud computing has brought significant changes to IP, and the law must answer increasingly difficult questions regarding the protection of technologies.
Developing software requires an immense commitment of time, labour, skill, and capital and in the digital age, it is possible that companies and businesses have only intangible, intellectual property assets. In the software sector, because of the multiple layers of overlapping patents in existence, there are a number of key IP strategies involved, specific to this complex, lucrative, and fiercely competitive industry. Implementing precise strategies using the full scope of intellectual property protection is an increasingly vital part of modern business for technology innovators.
Strategies must be uniquely tailored to each area of technology, since software is considered a creation that may need both patent and copyright protection.
Writing an IP blueprint for continued Canadian technological success
Given its economic significance, legal protection for software concerns developers, consumers and governments. Canadian law has evolved to keep up with the rapid progress in the computer technology arena, and while there is no single statute in Canada covering all aspects of computer software and technology, stringent Canadian IP law covers patents, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets. Protection is also given through regulation and legislation, such as the Integrated Circuit Topography Act, and in some instances, the Criminal Code of Canada may offer added protection for computer software.
As computer technology continues to evolve, so too will Canadian law. The Smart & Biggar team is actively involved in the evolution of Canadian intellectual property policy and legislation and plays an active part in major organizations that develop and promote the strong technology and development capabilities of the Canadian technology industries.
Our highly skilled lawyers and litigators are at the very top of the Canadian intellectual property field and understand the value of practical business and economic solutions for our Canadian and international clients.
With unmatched experience in complex and rapidly evolving technologies, we understand that the unique and distinct challenges of each of our clients require focused and efficient IP strategies.
We have a unique combination of technical training in relevant subspecialties, such as electrical engineering and computer science and real-world experience in diverse technological areas such as data aggregation, telecommunications, augmented and virtual reality, cryptography, voice recognition, data collection and analytics, image processing, and electromechanical systems. The breadth and depth of our experience allow us to provide the best possible technical expertise to software, IT and cloud technology innovators.
The complexity of software, IT and cloud technology make these industries multi-faceted and in need of different types of IP protection. While many of the same strategies that apply to traditional technologies are still applicable, there are key aspects to infringement enforcement and developing patent, trade secret, and copyright protection that are specific to the software and IT sectors.
The Smart & Biggar team stays on the cutting edge of IP law and software innovation. We have a distinguished record across all aspects of intellectual property. Our team of 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.
The pressing issue of global IP theft
It is no secret that powerful technological forces are transforming the global economy. Companies around the world that are developing and using technology and software are facing challenges involving theft and misuse. Protecting technology IP is a complex issue because businesses with valuable IP like software have to focus on both inside and outside threats.
Worldwide investment on software and technology is growing. The proliferation of new technologies and increasingly integrated global markets are making international harmonization and agreement a hot topic as the threats to cybersecurity transform the global technology and software industry.
Our clients range from entrepreneurs, startups and emerging small businesses to global technology leaders. We are regularly called upon by in-house counsel, commercial law firms, investors and companies seeking investment to advise on the IP and technology aspects of commercial projects, collaborations and transactions. With our depth of IP and industry-related experience, our Canadian and international clients have a focused team behind them to develop and implement IP management and strategy that strengthens and protects their business objectives and corporate strategy around the world.
Our services in Software, Information & Cloud Technology include:
- Preparing and enforcing patents for software, IT and cloud technologies
- Registering and enforcing copyright
- Registering domain names and resolving domain name disputes
- Negotiating, preparing and reviewing licensing, disclosure, distribution, service and maintenance, and development agreements
- Clearing rights required to publish software, including providing related opinions
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Regulatory advice
- Strategies for open-source software