Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm

Smart & Biggar leads the Canadian patent rankings with 21 lawyers and agents listed in IAM 1000

Smart & Biggar is pleased to share our ranking as a ‘gold tier' firm in Canada for patent prosecution and litigation, and as a ‘recommended’ firm for patent transactions in the 2021 IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals guide.

IAM’s coverage recognizes Smart & Biggar as “unanimously hailed by the market as a first-class firm that excels at the technical aspects of patent prosecution. Smart & Bigger is one of Canada’s most prolific filers on behalf of industry giants from all over the world.”

We are also proud to announce 21 of our patent lawyers and agents are featured in the guide across patent litigation, prosecution and transactions, more than any firm in Canada.

This year, seven individuals from the firm feature as new additions to the IAM 1000. Congratulations to counsel Ryan Evans, and partners Sheldon Hamilton, Brigide Mattar, Evan Nuttall, Mark Pidkowich, Elliott Simcoe and Jeremy Want, who joined their Smart & Biggar colleagues in representing our firms’ comprehensive expertise across each stage of the patent lifecycle.

Patent Prosecution

In evaluating Smart & Biggar’s prosecution practice, IAM researchers describe our patent practitioners as being “a cut above” and offering valuable industry experience.

  • Allan Brett (partner) has seen hundreds of originating patent applications through to grant and is a vital resource for those looking to protect electronic or computer-related inventions.
  • John Knox (partner) has prosecuted applications in almost every country in the world and has international procedures on lock.
  • Daphne Lainson (partner, and life science practice chair), as the chair of the firm’s partnership, [she] impresses clients with her [pharmaceuticals] regulatory know-how and ability to distil legal complexities into [concise] readable reports.
  • Brigide Mattar (partner), a professional computer engineer by training, [she] is a font of wisdom when it comes to AI.
  • Mark Pidkowich (partner) brings added value to life science clients by designing strategies that meet their immediate, mid and long-term goals.
  • David Schwartz (partner) is a known thought leader who has the PM(NOC) Regulations down pat.
  • Elliott Simcoe (partner and electrical/mechanical practice chair) is a repository of trust for blue-chip innovators keen to maximise the return on their investments.
  • Matthew Zischka (partner), as firm Managing Partner, [he] sets the tone from the top. With a background as an electrical engineer, he is comfortable acting across a range of technologies and really hits his stride when advising companies on how to make best use of their assets through business-driven strategies.

Patent Litigation

No other firm in Canada can claim a stronger track record of victories in intellectual property litigation and IAM describes Smart & Biggar as ‘a formidable force in enforcement scenarios having chalked up several significant wins over the past year, including those for Dow Chemical, Exaltexx and Canadian National Railway’.

  • Steven Garland (partner) is an “exceptionally strong litigator” who knows how to turn around the trickiest of cases. He recently obtained a rare interlocutory injunction from the Federal Court on behalf of Exaltexx.
  • François Guay (partner) comes in for praise as a “dynamic lawyer” – as his fine work for Canadian National Railway bears out, that comes as no surprise. The case was of utmost importance, and the company’s successful appeal reaffirmed the long-established practice of granting protective orders to parties involved in IP litigation before the Federal Court in Canada and reinforced an important feature of the discovery process.
  • Sheldon Hamilton (partner and national litigation practice chair) has over 25 years of experience and a ‘down-to-earth style’ which make him highly effective and immensely seasoned in trials concerning the quantification of damages.
  • Yoon Kang (partner) is a repository of trust for her clients. She is a clear-thinking counsellor and tactical litigator with an excellent hit rate. 
  • Nancy Pei (partner) is familiar with success on behalf of life sciences innovators. Her wisdom on diverse regulatory and commercial matters informs a sophisticated approach to cases.
  • Jeremy Want (partner) alongside Steven Garland, recently secured a C$650 million damages settlement for Dow Chemical – the largest reported award in a Canadian infringement case.
  • Evan Nuttall (partner) and Ryan Evans (counsel) who each recently joined the firm dish out sophisticated advice and always have the end game in mind when it comes to high stakes patent matters in the energy and petroleum industries.
  • Gunars Gaikis (of counsel) has seen and done it all in high-stakes proceedings and thinks up strategies that get life sciences companies out of tricky situations without a hitch.

Patent Transactions

Known to provide clients with sophisticated and informed advice, IAM celebrates Smart & Biggar’s transactions team as being regularly called upon to broker lucrative global licensing deals.

  • Stephan Georgiev (partner) is hailed as a “renowned and super-experienced strategist”
  • Sanjay Goorachurn and Alistair Simpson (both partners) are known to be innovative in their approach to structuring deals and to work closely with the C-suite to draft licensing agreements that fit like a glove
  • Theodore Sum (partner) comes in for praise as a “top-notch practitioner with an unsurpassed legal mind. He is also extremely diligent and ensures every client – big or small – receives the best advice

Individuals named on the IAM Patent 1000 list are identified as the top patent professionals in key jurisdictions around the world. IAM 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals guide is compiled over five months and 1,800 interviews. Only those individuals identified by market sources for their exceptional skill sets and profound insights into patent matters feature in the IAM Patent 1000.

View the full IAM Patents 1000 2021 results for Canada.

Smart & Biggar is widely recognized as Canada’s leading firm for intellectual property law, with offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and Calgary. We are leaders in intellectual property and technology law and have been serving clients for over a century.