Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm


IP strategy aligned with the business realities of the telecommunications industry

Telecommunications requires an interdisciplinary intellectual property strategy to effectively maximize economic value and maintain a competitive advantage in a rapidly transforming field that includes wired and wireless voice, data services, broadcast distribution and forms of new media like social networking and online video. 

Innovation requires an immense commitment of time, labour, skill, and capital in the digital age and with the explosion of wireless and new transmission technologies, such as fibre optics and satellite, as well as the multiple layers of overlapping players in existence, there are a number of key IP strategies specific to this complex, lucrative, and competitive industry. 

Implementing precise strategies using the full scope of IP protection is an increasingly vital part of modern business for telecommunication innovators to maintain an advantage in a fiercely contested market.

The telecommunications industry, one of the world’s fastest-growing, has presented challenges for both the creators of applications as well as the companies that own the channels of distribution. In a rapidly changing landscape increasingly dominated by electronic communications and technological advancements, it is vital for telecommunications companies to pursue protective IP strategies. 

Writing an IP blueprint for Canadian telecommunications success

In Canada, the telecommunications industry is a hotbed of investment. It is a multibillion-dollar industry that connects the country, while driving innovation and economic growth. The industry has grown rapidly in Canada due to increased customer participation in data services, new entrants into the market that increase competition, and the rise in wireless communication. While prices for telecommunications services are generally higher than in most countries, Canadian telecommunications is a highly regulated, competitive, quality-driven industry that provides state-of-the-art and efficient wireless and broadband services. 

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) – a tribunal that regulates and supervises the broadcasting and telecommunications industries – strives to protect and encourage competition and innovation in the Canadian telecommunications industry. The government’s focus on competition could steer the telecommunications industry in a direction that allows new providers to enter the Canadian market, while some industry insiders propose that consolidation within the telecommunications sector, similar to the U.S. model, is inevitable.

As telecommunications technology continues to evolve, the Smart & Biggar team is actively involved in Canada’s intellectual property policy and legislation and plays an active part in major organizations that develop and promote the strong technology and development capabilities of Canadian telecommunications. 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 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. 

Technical expertise

With a deep knowledge of the telecommunication industry, including network regulation, wireless technology, and broadband mobile communications, our lawyers are skilled in the management, development, and protection of IP for telecommunications channels and companies. We have extensive experience in complex and rapidly evolving technologies and understand that the unique and distinct challenges that each of our clients face require focused and efficient IP strategies. 

We possess a powerful combination of technical training in relevant subspecialties, such as electrical engineering and computer science, and real-world experience in diverse technological areas. The breadth and depth of our experience allows us to provide the best possible technical expertise to telecommunication technology innovators. 

Legal expertise

The complexity and multi-faceted nature of telecommunications requires 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 and patent, trade secret, and copyright protection that are specific to the telecommunication sector.

The Smart & Biggar team stays on the cutting edge of IP law and 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. 

Global telecommunication investment is an engine of innovation

While technological progress is transforming the global economy, investment in telecommunications is growing. Emerging trends, such as the recent rise of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology, shifts in user behaviour, and consolidation through mergers and acquisitions, are causing fundamental changes in the global telecommunications industry. 

From industry leaders to small, independent companies, a multitude of players take their place in global communications. Companies seeking to engage and retain increasingly connected and technologically sophisticated customers will need to continue to evaluate their strategies. With an ever-increasing demand for features like fast connectivity, better video streaming, and higher resolution, companies will need to a focus on innovation in this dynamic and vital industry.

Given the fast-paced nature of the global telecommunications industry and its social and economic importance, it is vital for companies that make communication possible to acquire and protect IP rights to power investment, monitor and adapt to emerging market trends, and adopt new technologies quickly and efficiently. 

Our depth of experience is unmatched

Our clients range from emerging small businesses to global telecommunication 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 include:                

  • Preparing and enforcing patents
  • Registering and enforcing copyright                 
  • Negotiating, preparing and reviewing licensing, disclosure, distribution, service and maintenance, development agreements
  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Regulatory advice 
  • Mergers & acquisitions counsel 

Client Success