Marketing and Branding

Marketing plan

We have extensive experience assisting companies and service providers in the marketing and branding area.  For example, one key area within which we can assist and which is very important to marketing and branding companies as well as to the marketing and branding functions within commercial businesses is the clearance of trademarks. Before a significant investment of resources and money is made into commercializing a particular brand, it is important to conduct a search to ascertain whether or not there are any clearance or infringement problems in the markets of interest for that trademark on the products or services in question, to minimize the possibility that the brand investment which is made might be defaulted if a move has to later be made to avoid problems in the marketplace.

Another area of interest is assisting clients with various copyright issues which arise from time to time in the creation of creative content including advertising or marketing collateral, websites or the like.  Contracting with third parties for the creation of content is also a concern from time to time, for businesses wanting to ensure that they obtain all of the necessary rights to fully exploit the creative properties created for them by service providers, and/or alternatively it is also important for service providers to understand and properly bargain for the basket of rights which they are expected to deliver up in the completion of their work.

In situations where there is a marketing decision which has gone sideways in terms of brand adoption, it may be necessary to rebrand. We can assist clients to minimize the disruption from a legal perspective in the development of rebranding strategies.

We have significant experience in international and cross-border enforcement protection of brands as well, including advising clients around the development and execution of product line extension or geographic market extension strategies.

Get in touch with your marketing and branding questions and we will see what we can do to help.

Computer Software

Closeup of programming code and language

Companies wishing to develop or exploit computer software, or e-commerce methods and the like, typically find themselves protected by copyright in their software code as well as by the possibility of filing one or more patent applications directed to their methods.  I have assisted clients with the development of protection strategies around a large number of e-commerce and other types of computer software methods in the past.  The patentability of computer software and business methods varies from country to country – in Canada and the United States there is some scope of protection available for many types of software and business methods in terms of patents, whereas in many other corners of the world this is not the case.  We have experience in assisting clients with the creation of protection strategies for software and business methods across a variety of markets where different types of intellectual property protection is available.

Issues such as the intellectual property ownership of data and data structures also arise from time to time.  For example, where a database company creates a new database software tool, do they necessarily also own the rights to the underlying dataset which is used.  Other issues which arise quite often in the context of the computer software industry include issues of ownership around copyright and other intellectual property asset classes – since many times companies use contractors or other third parties to outsource parts of projects and that is important for all the parties to a particular transaction to understand what kind of ownership structure or restrictions might exist on work product which is created. Default statutory ownership provisions vary from country to country and intellectual property type and it is important for software companies to understand this and to capture any necessary information or documentation as projects are developed to ensure that they have whatever is necessary in the long term to enable their forward progress with their intellectual property intensive projects or assets.

Beyond ownership and asset types, other issues which can exist and a rise in the computer software context include trademark and copyright issues around website content. Websites or other computer software platforms or projects often include the creation of a large amount of copyright or trademark content and it is important to again have a proper framework and protective strategy in place for these assets. Conflicts between trade marks and domain names are sometimes encountered in the website development and design process as well and this is another aspect of emotional property legal advice with which we can assist clients as required.

We have assisted software companies with the creation of both locally hosted as well as ASP or SaaS business models and licensing arrangements and the implementation of IP strategies around these different client delivery approaches.

Let us know if you would like to learn more about IP protection for your software.

Mining & Oilfield

Huge mining machine

We also from our prairie roots have experience in intellectual property issues related to primary resources, mining and oilfield technologies.  Potash and uranium mining are two key industries in Saskatchewan, and in Western Canada we also see a large amount of oil and gas exploration and recovery work which is constantly generating new and innovative products and ideas, and recovery methods.  We have experience in the strategic planning and execution of intellectual property plans in both the mining and oilfield industries, from the development of protection strategies through to the drafting and prosecution of patent or other applications.

Our experience in the patent litigation realm is also relevant to this area, in light of the similarity in technologies and technology subject matter between this area and others in which I have conducted litigation in the past.  Aggressive exclusive enforcement of patent rights is often the norm in this industry and my past experience in this regard is of assistance for clients.

Get in touch today to learn more about intellectual property concerns in the mining and oilfield industries.