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Intellectual Property

Have you developed a new product? Do you have a growing brand you want to protect? Is someone reproducing your work without permission? Are you looking to attract funding from investors?

These are just some of the many reasons you may want to consult an intellectual property lawyer. At Heer Law, we practice all areas of intellectual property law and have the specialized knowledge and experience to help businesses and individuals capitalize on their intellectual property and protect their exclusive rights. We also assist businesses and individuals facing allegations of intellectual property infringement.

Maximize the Value of and Protect Your Greatest Assets

Gone are the days when our most valuable assets were those we could physically hold in our hands. If you are a business owner, some of your greatest assets are likely ideas. For example, the name you call your business, or the product you sell; your innovative new method for e-transferring currency, or your much-needed improvement on the relic that is the showerhead coffee maker; or maybe your greatest asset is a story you’ve published about a young wizard, or a photograph you took after the Raptors’ monumental win in 2019.

Intellectual property is the area of law which deals with patents, trademarks, copyright and industrial designs. These are intellectual property assets which protect your innovative devices and methods, your brand, and your creative expression. A patent, for example, would protect a new, useful, and non-obvious improvement on that showerhead coffee maker by providing, in exchange for its disclosure, a time-limited monopoly on the product. The owner of a patent can exclude everyone else in Canada from making, using or selling the invention claimed in the patent.

You probably also have a name for the business which sells this and other products, and as the public learns of this revolutionary new tool to jump start their mornings, it will start to associate your business name with smart, functional products and great-tasting coffee. That is where trademark law steps in. Trademark law protects the name, logo and other brand elements you associate with your business and product, so that another company cannot legally use those elements on their own products with the goal of diverting your customers their way and capturing some of your sales.

Furthermore, your logo, a clever design of a coffee cup glowing like the morning sun, is likely also protected by the law of copyright. Copyright law protects artistic, literary and other works, giving the owner of copyright in the work the exclusive right to produce or reproduce, perform, or publish the work or any substantial part of it in any material form. This means that even if your logo is not used in association with a competitor’s product, its reproduction may still be infringement.

Finally, if your coffeemaker is not only functionally innovative but has an attractive and highly marketable visual design, you might like to protect its visual features with an industrial design. Industrial designs are unlike patents which protect the functional elements of a product. Industrial designs protect the way the product looks. Common examples of industrial designs are designs for clothing, footwear, and furniture.

The exclusive rights that flow from patents, trademarks, copyright and industrial designs make these very valuable assets for any business. Investing in your intellectual property early on can help you grow your business without fear of being undercut by competitors or losing control of your brand and the reputation it acquires. You can also extract value from these assets by assigning or licensing them, or even selling them. The market value of each of these assets can vary dramatically, but studies suggest that the average sale value of a US Patent exceeds $500,000 Canadian dollars.

At Heer Law, we provide comprehensive patent, trademark, copyright and industrial design application services, as well as related services including registrability opinions and trademark availability searches. These additional services can help applicants for patents and trademarks gain a better understanding of the likelihood of them being granted a patent or trademark in advance of applying and investing in the prosecution of their applications.

If you are based in Canada and looking to patent an invention in Canada and the United States, Heer Law can prepare, file and prosecute both applications from start to finish as your agent. No need to look to a U.S. practitioner. We have years of experience as registered agents before the United States Patent and Trademark Office successfully obtaining patents for our Canadian clients.

If you have questions about our intellectual property services or you are ready to start working with us, please contact us for a complimentary and confidential initial telephone appointment.

Enforce Your Rights

Perhaps you are already cognizant of the value of your intellectual property rights and believe you have discovered someone infringing one or more of those rights. At Heer Law, we have experience in all areas of intellectual property litigation and dispute resolution and help clients achieve cost-effective and timely enforcement of their rights. Whether you need a cease and desist letter, a settlement or licensing agreement, or you are looking to initiate legal action, our team is well-equipped to work with you toward your desired resolution.

Defend Allegations of Infringement

Our IP litigation lawyers also regularly represent clients alleged to have infringed or to be infringing the intellectual property rights of third parties. Whether you’ve received a cease and desist letter, or a notice from your Internet service provider, or have been served with a court document, our lawyers can offer strategic advise and analysis of your legal position as well as prepare responses, settlement agreements and provide full representation before the court.

Trust the Team Specializing in Intellectual Property

At Heer Law, we specialize in intellectual property law. Patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs and the agreements and disputes arising out of these areas of the law are what we do every day.

Our intellectual property professionals have years of experience supporting businesses in the protection and enforcement of their intellectual property rights. Equipped with degrees and experience in everything from computer engineering to laboratory medicine and pathobiology, our team is able to provide tailored advice to businesses across all industries.

Our team of IP lawyers is led by Christopher Heer, certified as a specialist in patent law by the Law Society of Ontario and recognized as a leading patent professional in Canada in IAM Patent 1000’s 2020 rankings and a leading trademark professional in the WTR 1000's 2020 rankings.

It should come as no surprise then that our intelletual property lawyers have been featured as authorities on television, radio, in print and in person by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the National Post, Bloomberg Law, the Government of Canada, the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Bar Association, Artscape, LexisNexis, Osgoode Professional Development, Law Times, CKTB Radio, The Waterloo Region Record, Federated Press, IncentiveWorks, and The Commons Institute.

We represent over 1100 clients in a broad array of intellectual property matters including the University of Toronto, Sanjel Energy Services, Burnbrae Farms, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and EHP Labs.

If you are ready to be our newest client, or have questions about our intellectual property services, please contact us for a complimentary and confidential initial telephone appointment.

Ready to get started? Contact us for a complimentary and confidential initial telephone appointment.

Our intellectual property services include:

Patentability assessments and searches

Preparing patent, trademark, copyright and industrial design applications

Filing and prosecuting patent applications in Canada, including national phase entries

Filing and prosecuting patent applications in the United States (for Canadian applicants only)

Filing international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

Overall portfolio management and counseling

Preparing and filing protests to patent applications

Freedom to operate opinions

Negotiating and drafting licences, assignments, and security interests

Intellectual property due diligence and portfolio evaluation in commercial transactions

Infringement and validity opinions

Preparing and responding to cease and desist letters

Intellectual property litigation

Conducting Canadian and US trademark searches

Preparing, filing and prosecuting trademark applications in Canada

Arranging for and instructing the filing and prosecution of US trademark applications

Trademark opposition proceedings

Trademark cancellation proceedings

Consultations on copyright infringement notices received from your Internet service provider

Responding to self-audit requests from the Business Software Alliance

Preparing, filing and prosecuting Canadian industrial design applications to registration

Preparing, filing and prosecuting design patent applications to issuance in the United States (representation before the United States Patent and Trademark Office available to Canadian applicants only)