Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm

Smart & Biggar celebrates International Day of Women in Engineering 2023

Today marks the International Day of Women in Engineering and to celebrate we asked Smart & Biggar Principal, Brigide Mattar, what led her to pursue a career in engineering and IP, and what advice she may have to share for women who are considering the fields of engineering, IP or other STEM related industries.

Brigide is a Principal located in our Montréal office. With over 25 years of experience practicing in intellectual property as a patent agent and a sophisticated understanding of patent rules and practice in Canada, Brigide adeptly counsels business leaders on how to best protect and leverage their intellectual property assets to improve their business position, competitive advantage and bottom-line. Her holistic approach to patent law considers her clients’ ultimate business objectives, industry realities and even the sometimes personal component of IP.

What led you to pursue engineering and how does it contribute to your work in IP?

I was always curious about how things worked and in particular how technology can be used to solve problems and make things easier. This curiosity about how things work has been key when working in IP, and in particular when advising clients in patent protection on their innovations.

How have you seen the field of engineering contribute to improved safety and quality of life?

There is so much to say here that a few sentences would not render justice to everything I have seen the field of engineering contribute over the last 25 years of my career. To name only a very few, I saw: cars becoming safer with cameras, driving assist features, self diagnosis and digital connectivity which were quasi-inexistent a few years back; improvements in material composition and manufacturing processes for sheet metal that have allowed obtaining materials having with a greater ability to withstand impact; railroad track inspection system that are helping keep our railways safe; and medical technology/software that has improved the standard of care of patients by leveraging artificial intelligence. There are so many more…

Do you have any advice for women pursuing engineering, IP or other STEM related industries?

I would have three (3) pieces of advice:

  1. surround yourself with people who share your values and who will look out for you to help you achieve your goals; 
  2. make it a point to build your network early on in your career; and
  3. do not underestimate yourself and take all the opportunities you can get to learn new skills, including skills in fields complementary to engineering, such as finance, marketing, and law. 

The more you know, and the more supportive is your network, the better equipped you will be to take on challenges and opportunities.

About Smart & Biggar

Smart & Biggar is widely recognized as Canada’s leading intellectual property firm, with offices in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. We are leaders in intellectual property and have been serving clients for over a century. Smart & Biggar operates as part of the IPH Limited group, under its own brand and independent from other IPH member firms.