Daphne Lainson > Smart & Biggar > Ottawa, Canada > Lawyer Profile

Smart & Biggar

Work Department

Patents, Life Sciences




Daphne Lainson is a Principal in our Ottawa office and serves as the National Practice Chair for our Life Sciences and Chem/Bio Patent groups. With almost 25 years in specialized IP practice, Daphne focuses on securing patent protection and safeguarding intellectual property rights for a wide range of clients’ chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology related inventions, including new drugs, biologics, medical devices, consumer products, agrochemicals, specialty chemicals, industrial chemical processes, oil, gas and petrochemicals.

Within the area of pharmaceutical regulatory law, Daphne is a recognized leader in the field who provides strategic advice to clients during patent prosecution and following patent grant for both pharmaceuticals and biologics. She is regularly called upon by clients to advise innovative pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies in matters relating to regulatory data exclusivity under the Food and Drug Regulations, patent listing and enforcement under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations, Certificates of Supplementary Protection (CSPs) under the CSP Regulations and market access issues, including those relating to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. She has been particularly sought out for her expertise and thought leadership around changes to the regime governing the price of patented medicines.

She is listed annually in The Best Lawyers in Canada, Chambers, Euromoney Expert Guides, IAM, LMG Life Sciences, Lexpert, Who’s Who Legal, World IP Review Leaders and Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars Handbook: Patents, and in 2022 was named “Ottawa Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers and “Canadian Patent Strategy Practitioner of the Year” by Euromoney LMG Life Sciences. Daphne is an AIPLA Fellow, Chair of the Fellows Committee. BSc Hons (Chemistry); MSc (Chemistry); LLB. Registered Patent and Trademark Agent. Called to the Ontario Bar in 2001.


  • Member, The Canadian Association for Healthcare Reimbursement
  • Member, Canadian Association of Professionals in Regulatory Affairs
  • Member, Drug Information Association
  • Fellow, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
  • Fellow, American Intellectual Property Law Association; Chair of the Fellows Committee, past Chair of the Food and Drug Law Committee; past co-Chair of the Japan Practice Committee; past Chair of the Mentoring Committee; and past Chair of the Women in Intellectual Property Law Committee
  • Member, Chemical Institute of Canada, Canadian Society for Chemistry
  • Member, The Women’s Business Network of Ottawa
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association; member of the Patent Committee


  • Ontario Bar, 2001
  • Registered Patent Agent, 2002
  • Registered Trademark Agent, 2001
  • University of Windsor, LL.B., 1999
  • Queen’s University, M.Sc. (Chemistry), 1996;thesis titled A computational study of lithium cation and sodium cation interaction with sulfuryl and phosphoryl species
  • Queen’s University, B.Sc. Hons. (Chemistry), 1994
  • Registered to practise before the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Lawyer Rankings

Canada > Intellectual property

The leading intellectual property boutique in Canada, Smart & Biggar focuses exclusively on IP law from its five offices across the country. The team’s generous national footprint was further boosted in September 2023 following its combination with fellow Canadian IP boutique, Ridout & Maybee, which added an additional 30 lawyers to the group. It also plugs into a significant international platform through its recent membership of the IPH Limited Group, which brings together a network of six firms across nine jurisdictions. In Toronto, Mark Evans is a go-to specialist for contentious and non-contentious trademark matters, while IP litigator Mark Biernacki contributes strong experience in an array of patents, trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs. The Toronto team also includes IP disputes expert Sheldon Hamilton; Yoon Kang, who specializes in life sciences patent litigation and prosecution; life sciences expert Nancy Pei; managing director Matthew ZischkaGraham Hood, who was appointed trademarks practice group leader in August 2023, and Urszula Wojtyra. In Ottawa, key figures include Steven Garland, a 30-year veteran in IP litigation; life sciences patents and chemicals/bio practice group leader Daphne Lainson, who was also appointed in August 2023; Elliott Simcoe, who draws on over two decades of experience in electrical and computer-related matters; and Kohji Suzuki, who utilizes a mastery of strategic IP enforcement. Montreal-based litigator François Guay is also highly regarded. Also in August 2023, Jean-Sébastien Dupont in Montreal was promoted to IP litigation practice group leader and Jonas Gifford was appointed patents engineering and ICT (EICT) head.