Helping you achieve a competitive edge. That's what we mean by a different kind of practice.
Whether they are multinational corporations, small to medium-size businesses, universities or research centres, all our clients face the same challenge: how to constantly innovate to become or remain competitive industry leaders in an increasingly complex legal landscape. In their quest to become or remain industry leaders, our clients need allies to fully capture, manage and optimize the value of their innovations. BCF has always been such an ally. Our team of highly qualified intellectual property lawyers, patent and trade-mark agents has developed a broad legal and scientific expertise in the field of intellectual property.
Patents and Industrial Designs
Our lawyers and patent agents help clients maximize the value of their inventions by properly protecting, defending and managing them, both in Canada and abroad and in a wide variety of sectors, such as chemistry, electricity, electronics, life sciences, mechanics, nanotechnology, optics, software and telecommunications.
Our team participates in the identification of an invention and the drafting and prosecution of the patent application claiming such an invention. It handles the preparation of assignments of rights by employees and consultants as well as the due diligence investigations of patent portfolios and the protection of our clients’ rights in their inventions via the adoption and implementation of the appropriate corporate strategy against infringers. It is also actively involved in the licensing in or out of patented inventions and the implementation of licensing programs as well as of intellectual property management programs.
Our team also prepares patentability, validity, infringement and freedom-to-operate opinions, and will obtain the protection of other intellectual property assets under the Industrial Design Act, the Integrated Circuits Topography Act and the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act.
Besides providing registrability and availability opinion and preparing, filing and prosecuting trade-mark applications in Canada, our team comprised of lawyers and trade-mark agents help clients maximize the value of their trade-marks by properly protecting, defending and managing them abroad. Our team also participates in the drafting and negotiating of trade-mark license agreements and helps clients put in place broad licensing programs which can generate new revenue streams while building the strength of a trade-mark or of a trade-mark portfolio.
Furthermore, our team works closely with our clients’ marketing departments and marketing firms to ensure branding and marketing efforts are in line with current trade-mark law as well as with regulations having an impact on branding and labelling in Canada and the province of Quebec, such as the Food and Drugs Act and the Charte de la langue française.
We assists clients with all copyright issues arising from their operations, ensuring, among other things, that problems related to moral rights or open source software will not prevent clients from marketing or optimizing the value of their copyright protected works. Our copyright team also drafts and negotiates all types of agreements involving copyright protected works, including licences, and sees to it that clients obtain the transfer of copyrights in elements developed by consultants.
Our team works with clients in determining whether an invention should be kept secret rather than be the subject of a patent application. We suggest appropriate measures to help maintain the secrecy of trade secrets and other confidential information, including those provided by third parties under non-disclosure agreements. We protect the rights of our clients contractually, for example by tailoring the non-disclosure agreement necessary for a particular business endeavour, or via litigation, should it become necessary to adopt legal measures against individuals or companies involved in misappropriating the trade secrets of our clients.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Different from civil or commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation has its own subtleties, which are very familiar to our professional teams. BCF also has extensive experience with the distinctive features of Federal Court practise and the main principles of common law that apply to this area.
Often linked to the scientific, technological and IT fields, intellectual property litigation requires knowledge that is above and beyond the legal field. This is why our teams are made up of professionals and lawyers who devote themselves almost entirely to intellectual property and litigation, take special interest in your field of activity and will help you adopt a litigation strategy aligned with your business objectives and minimize the chances of success of a third-party litigation.
Commercial Contracts Related to Intellectual Property, from Franchising to Technology Transfer to Outsourcing
Our professionals, who draw on combined skills and knowledge in the fields of intellectual property, marketing, taxation and finance, have solid expertise in drafting and negotiating all types of contracts involving intellectual property, be it licence agreements or contracts dealing with technology transfers, research and development, distribution, franchising, software development or outsourcing. We lead you every step of the way, from the negotiation of favourable conditions to the drafting and signing of agreements, all the while placing an emphasis on business solutions and taking your commercial reality into account so as to contribute to the conversion of intellectual capital into financial capital. Just like you, we know that even the best idea, the most powerful software or an invention protected by the most secure patent is of very little value if it doesn’t make it to market.
Our team, which includes both lawyers and scientists, also assists clients with the due diligence review of intellectual property assets, a crucial step prior to any transaction.
Regulations, Labelling, Advertizing and Competition
Our intellectual property team advises clients on all matters involving the various rules applicable to the marketing, promotion, advertizing and labelling of their products and services in Canada, be it in the wine and spirits industry, the natural health products industry, the food and drug industry or the cosmetics industry. Our professionals also review our clients’ labels, product packaging and advertising materials, including contests, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Moreover, we advise our clients on the specific language requirements applicable in Quebec, including those arising from the Charter of the French Language and its regulations.
Our team also assists clients in connection with product recalls and in negotiations with the governmental authorities responsible for approving products in Canada. In addition, it handles notices of compliance for patented medicines.
Domain Names and Internet
Market globalization, the phenomenon of social media and the proliferation of domain name extensions, among other things, have given rise to an exponentially increasing number of Internet-related issues. Our team has developed the expertise to help you navigate through the legal maze created by the use of global computer networks. From dealing with the appropriation of domain names to Facebook and Twitter conversations to the use of Google’s AdWords program, our seasoned team of Internet experts will guide you so as to ensure that the Web remains a crucial ally in maintaining your presence on the global virtual stage.