Seasoned trial lawyer and expert in complex infringement disputes
Ryan is recognized by clients and colleagues as a skilled strategist and seasoned litigator in all aspects of IP litigation and dispute resolution. With the ability to understand complex technologies and the related legal issues that arise, Ryan has earned a reputation as a razor-sharp advocate with a pragmatic approach.
Whether providing strategic risk-management advice, conducting investigations, or appearing in Court, Ryan is known for deeply understanding his clients’ needs and objectives and being responsive to them. He takes a practical approach, working to streamline proceedings and minimize work on the part of the client, where possible, while ensuring that the best possible case is put forward and that clients understand the impacts of each decision along the way.
IP expertise informed by technical background in the chemical sciences
Ryan is experienced across a broad spectrum of IP matters including patent, trademark copyright and industrial design disputes. He regularly handles complex enforcement and infringement matters for engineering and related companies in the oil and gas industry, as well as retailers and manufacturers in the food and supplements, consumer goods, chemical and petrochemical, and agricultural sciences sectors.
As a Registered Trademark Agent, Ryan also works on anti-counterfeiting and brand enforcement matters, conducts investigations, and assists clients in developing in-house monitoring protocols and best practices. He also deals with opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademarks Opposition Board.
Ryan regularly appears before the Ontario Courts, the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. He has also appeared before the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta and is highly skilled in mediation and arbitration.
Prior to joining Smart & Biggar, Ryan’s case work includes:
- Bombardier Recreational Products Inc v Arctic Cat Inc et al, 2017 FC 207 and 2018 FCA 172 - Defended Arctic Cat (now Textron) in a patent infringement action concerning several patents related to rider position and a sub-frame assembly for snowmobiles. Ryan’s work on this matter was cited in his listing on the IAM Patent 1000 (Litigation) rankings.
- Arctic Cat Inc et al v Bombardier Recreational Products Inc, 2016 FC 1047 and 2018 FCA 125 - Asserted patent infringement concerning an engine (ignition timing) control system
- GEMAK Trust v Jempak Corporation et al, 2020 FC 644 - Successfully obtained summary judgment, dismissing an allegation of patent infringement against Jempak concerning dishwasher detergent tabs.
- Specialized Desanders Inc v Enercorp Inc et al, T-598-15 - Defended Progress Energy (now Petronas Canada) in a patent infringement action concerning de-sanding equipment used in its Canadian natural gas operations. The action against Progress was settled. Post-settlement, Ryan successfully defended a claim of privilege contested by the non-settling co-defendant, related to the work pertaining to the development of a field test intended for use at trial.
- Gray Manufacturing v Service de Freins de Montréal and SEFAC S.A., T-391-16 - Defended a third-party claim brought against a foreign manufacturer of wireless industrial mobile column lifts at issue in a patent infringement dispute. Ryan successfully obtained an order striking the claim against the client on several grounds, and an award for increased costs.
- FGF Brands v TWI Foods et al, T-533-16|T-66-12|T-252-11 - Asserted patent infringement concerning a patented ‘tandoor style’ commercial oven for producing naan and other flatbread products. The case was settled just prior to the start of trial.
- The Dow Chemical Company et al v Nova Chemicals - Obtained judgment for patent infringement concerning film grade polyethylene compositions (2014 FC 844 | 2016 FCA 216). Awarded approx. $650 million disgorgement of infringing profits — the largest patent infringement award in Canadian history (2017 FC 350 | 2017 FC 637|decision on appeal reserved). Also obtained $6.5 million costs award for the liability phase of the proceeding the largest costs award by the Federal Court in an intellectual property matter (2016 FC 91 | 2017 FCA 25).
- Patent dispute between a component supplier for lithium ion battery manufacturers and a chemical company - Obtained judgment for patent infringement, including an injunction, concerning the production of lithium-ion battery cathode material.
Recognized for excellence in litigation and community engagement
Ryan has been recognized by leading peer-reviewed publications including Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars, IAM Patent 1000 and The Legal 500 Canada, which named him a “Next Generation Lawyer.” In IAM Patent 1000, he was praised by peers as “devastating” and “only going to get better in the years to come.”
Ryan is an active member of the Canadian IP community and regularly speaks at industry events including in-house client training seminars and before the Ontario Bar Association. He writes and edits for various legal publications and has made substantial contributions to submissions to the Canadian government. He has also testified before a Senate Standing Committee concerning amendments to Canada’s IP regime and its administration.
- Industry Involvement
- In the Media
- "Improving Your Remote/Hybrid Experience to Improve Client Satisfaction", panellist, LegalTech Summit, June 15, 2022
- "Experts – A Comparison of Different Jurisdictions and What Works Best", panellist, Global Series Spring Session, Washington DC, April 26, 2022
- Panelist, The 14th Annual Harold G. Fox IP Moot, Toronto, ON, February 25-26, 2022
- "Strategies for mitigation IP risks", presenter, In-house Lawyers Summit Canada, October 5, 2021
- "IP Risk Management", in-house client training seminar, Toronto, ON, December 17, 2018
- "A practical guide for preparing your case for trial", Junior Litigation Core Skills Training Program Series, Toronto, ON, March 2018
- "Introduction to IP Licensing", in-house client training seminar, Toronto, ON, September 22, 2017
- "Changes to pharma/biopharma patent litigation in Canada: What you need to know", Life Science Webinar Series, September 2017
- "Appealing to the Federal Court of Appeal", OBA’s Intellectual Property Litigation program, Toronto, ON, November 22, 2016
- "Innovation and the Law: Trial Law Technology and Third-Party Litigation Financing", OBA’s TECHxpo 2016 program panel, Toronto, ON, November 9, 2016
- "Technology, Litigation and the Law", panellist, OBA’s Innovation in Litigation: Responding to Changes in the Legal Industry program, Toronto, ON, May 9, 2016
- "Anti-counterfeiting - The combating Counterfeit Products Act, one year later", moderator, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada 89th Annual Meeting, Banff, AB, October 2015
- Fellow, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC); Member, Litigation committee; Past-chair, Anti-counterfeiting committee
- Member, The Advocates’ Society
- Member, Canadian Bar Association/Ontario Bar Association; Member, Litigation Committee, Intellectual Property Committee, and Young Lawyers Committee
- Group Leader, Advanced IP Law, Western University, Faculty of Law, (biennially) 2012-2023
- Guest Lecturer, "Counterfeits, Piracy & Parallel Imports," Trademarks and Unfair Competition, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law
- Guest Lecturer, "Introduction to IP Licensing," M.Eng., employee program offered in collaboration with Univ. of Toronto MAGNA/Stronach Centre For Innovation (SCFI)
- Editor and co-contributor, IntellProp. L. Nws – IP Source (Westlaw newsletter), February 2016-2019
- "Case Summary: 'The Slippery Slope of Notice Letters - Excalibre Oil Tools Ltd. Et al. v. Advantage Products Inc. et al., 2016 FC 1279'," Intellectual Property Institute of Canada Bulletin, Vol. 341, January/February 2017
- "Part XIX - Intellectual Property" (co-contributor), chapter in Bullen & Leake & Jacob's Canadian Precedents of Pleadings, Third Edition (Carswell), December 2017
- "'Everything will be alright in the end': Appeals to the Federal Court of Appeal" (co-author) chapter in Intellectual Property Litigation – Forms and Precedents (Lexis Nexis), 2016
- "Some answers, more questions on free trade" (co-author), The Lawyers Weekly, January 23, 2015
- "Protecting both generic and brand name drugs," The Lawyers Weekly, January 2014