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

Smart & Biggar

Work Department

Patents, Life Sciences




Daphne Lainson is a Principal in Smart & Biggar’s Ottawa office and Chair of the Firm. For almost two decades she has specialized in securing patent protection for chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology related inventions. Daphne advises clients on pharmaceutical regulatory law and provides strategic advice during patent prosecution and following patent grant for pharmaceuticals and biologics. She advises pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies in matters relating to regulatory data exclusivity under the Food and Drug Regulations, supplementary protection under the Certificate of Supplementary Protection Regulations, patent listing under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations and market access issues, including the pricing of patented medicines under the Patented Medicines Regulations. 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 Revie 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 AIPLA Food and Drug Law 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 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

Smart & Biggar is Canada’s leading IP and technology boutique, leveraging over 130 years in the market and five offices nationally. In Toronto, Mark Evans is a star name for trademark protection, management and counselling, also enjoying a track record in precedent setting disputes, whereas Nancy Pei is a market leader for pharmaceutical patents and litigation, as well as operations within the life sciences sector; the duo are based alongside Matthew Zischka, the firm’s managing partner, Sheldon Hamilton, who leads the litigation group, as well as Mark Biernacki, an up-and-coming partner for all-manner of disputes, including trademark, copyright, patent and industrial design proceedings within the higher courts. The Ottawa office is home to firm chair, Daphne Lainson, as well as Elliott Simcoe who leads the patents, electrical and mechanical group, and Steven Garland who has undertaken all-manner of critical disputes for names such as Amazon, McDonald’s and Shell. François Guay serves as chair of the IP strategy group, operating from the Montreal office, and has notably provided representation in over 100 jurisprudence cases including those with patent, industrial design and copyright elements.