Firm Profile > Smart & Biggar > Ottawa, Canada

Smart & Biggar

Canada > Intellectual property Tier 1

Smart & Biggar, a market leading IP boutique, leverages a vast domestic network which is spread across its offices in Ottawa, Montréal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver; it supports clients on the full suite of IP and technology services, with particularly formidable expertise in patent and trademark application filings, as well as IP litigation. François Guay chairs the firm’s IP strategies group from its Montréal office and has broad, high-level experience across patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyrights and trade secrets. Sheldon Hamilton is a leading patent litigator, particularly noted in the pharmaceuticals industry, and heads the contentious offering. Life sciences is the focus for Nancy Pei, while Graham Hood is a standout name for trademark prosecution, notably sitting on the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Networks Steering Committee. Recent highlights have included several high-profile cases at the Federal Court of Appeal, most notably the successful defence of Pampered Chef in the precedent-setting trademark infringement case of Loblaws Inc v Columbia Insurance Company, a matter co-led by Mark Evans, Mark Biernacki and Ottawa-based Steven Garland. Named lawyers operate from Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Key clients

Dow Chemicals Company


Canadian National Railway Company

Dr. Luc Bessette

Pampered Chef

Grupo Bimbo


Bauer Hockey

Bell Media

Groupe TVA

Rogers Media

Nintendo of America

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Amazon Content Services

Columbia Pictures Industries

Disney Enterprises


Paramount Pictures

Sony Pictures Television

Universal City Studios Productions

Canada > Cannabis Tier 4

Boutique IP firm Smart & Biggar maintains a broad cannabis regulatory practice, working with both cannabis industry clients as well as those seeking to enter the market. Of particular note is its broad understanding of Health Canada’s rules regarding licensure, importing/exporting and marketing, in addition to its expertise in brand protection and trademarks in the young industry. Alice Tseng leads the team from Toronto, offering broad expertise across the life sciences industry. The firm also fields experienced attorneys in Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Aurora Cannabis

Smart & Biggar is Canada’s largest and leading firm practising exclusively in intellectual property and technology law with offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

The firm offers a sophisticated level of technical depth and expertise – virtually every member of the firm has an engineering or scientific educational background, with over one third having graduate degrees in their area of specialization, and many of their lawyers are also registered patent and trademark agents. Smart & Biggar has prepared, filed and prosecuted more patent and trademark applications than any other firm in Canada and their services are consistently lauded in leading international surveys.

The firm offers clients technology-specific experience in many sectors, including: Life sciences and pharmaceutical, chemical, industrial and mechanical, electrical and electronic, software, information technology and internet, consumer products, media and broadcasting, financial services, aerospace and defence, transportation, consulting services, energy and utilities, food, beverage and tobacco, luxury goods and apparel, metals and mining, retail, telecommunications and cleantech.

Smart & Biggar is also a dominant force in intellectual property litigation. The firm has efficient and highly effective trial lawyers, and no other Canadian firm can claim a more distinguished and successful record. The firm routinely handles Canada’s most commercially important and technically complex intellectual property cases involving high stakes. Many of their victories on behalf of our clients are leading Canadian precedents, and they have represented clients in the Supreme Court of Canada on more than 50 occasions, and in 2017 alone included: obtaining patent damages of $645 million (Dow); abolishing the “Promise Doctrine” for patents in the Supreme Court of Canada (AstraZeneca); preventing the use of confusing “trade dress” to block competitors (Diageo); obtaining a precedent setting copyright decision, and damages of $12 million (Nintendo); and, enforcing copyright as an “architectural work” for a building structure (Lainco)..

Smart & Biggar is recognized as Canada’s leading IP litigation firm, and their formidable team of litigators provides clients with the unparalleled protection they need. They litigate across Canada — in both the Common Law and Civil Law Courts, at the highest appellate levels and in both official languages.

The firm has been recognized as Canada’s “Intellectual Property Firm of the Year” by Chambers & Partners in 2018, “IP Litigation Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Canada for seven consecutive years, Canada’s “Trademark Contentious Firm of the Year” by Managing Intellectual Property’s North America Awards, and Canada’s “Go-to firm for IP litigation” by The Legal 500 Canada.

Intellectual property rights are only valuable if they can be protected and exploited intelligently. Smart & Biggar offers a full complement of patent and trademark agency services to associate firms and in-house counsel seeking to protect, exploit or litigate intellectual property rights in Canada. The firm provides unparalleled IP counsel by safeguarding the competitive position of their clients and maximising the value of their IP assets.

Whether your innovations are the product of a moment’s inspiration or the result of years of investment in research and development, let Smart & Biggar demonstrate the many ways in which they can help you to leverage the full potential of your efforts.

Department Name Email Telephone
Firm Managing Partner Matthew Zischka
Life Sciences (Patents & Regulatory Compliance) Daphne Lainson
Patents (Electrical & Mechanical) Elliott Simcoe
Trademarks Kohji Suzuki
IP Litigation Sheldon Hamilton
IP Strategy François Guay
Photo Name Position Profile
 Steven Garland photo Steven Garland Partner
  Daphne Lainson photo  Daphne Lainson Partner
 Elliott Simcoe photo Elliott Simcoe Partner
 Kohji Suzuki photo Kohji Suzuki Partner
Number of Partners (Lawyers) : 31
Number of Partners (Patent Agents) : 10