If you are starting a business, there are TONS of things you need to think about – business license, bank account, create website! But don’t neglect Intellectual Property (or IP for short). IP is broadly defined as being any ‘creations of the mind’… like new inventions, a unique logo, or a creative design. IP can be quite an important and valuable asset in your operations. You will want to educate yourself on how you can best use intellectual property to maximize your profits and also to protect your business and its assets. Do I own any IP?
- Types of Intellectual Property – when to consider patent, trademark, copyright or design protection
- What IP types might apply – Business name, logo, slogans, domain names
- Trademark Protection – what are trademarks and how to protect them and how to avoid disputes over trademarks
- Copyright Protection – what is copyright and how to avoid common pitfalls
I started my own IP law firm, which became the Furman & Kallio firm, in 1995. I practiced in that firm until joining MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP in 2008 and founding Furman IP in 2013. Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of working with a broad spectrum of clients, from individuals through to multinational corporations in varied industries, which has enabled me to gain and in turn provide to clients a broad and varied perspective to the creation or defense of value in IP. What I enjoy in my practice is helping businesses to identify and unlock value in their invisible IP assets. I also love international portfolio planning and helping clients to mesh their international market expansion and entry plans with their IP strategy.
I am a registered patent and trademark agent before the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. I have prosecuted patent, trademark, copyright and design applications in the CIPO in many technical fields. My litigation track record includes working as a part of the counsel team in the seminal case of Dutch Industries v. Commissioner of Patents, a case where on behalf of the applicant we were in first instance successful in overturning a patent on the basis of the entity status of a patentee and which resulted in the realignment of the entire entity status regime in patent law in Canada.
I am a member of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and the International Trademark Association (INTA). Since joining INTA in 1997I have served in numerous committee membership and leadership roles. I have been honored to be listed in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers in Canada (Trademarks) and the Who’s Who Legal in Canada – Trademarks Law directories for Canada for the last number of years.
I hold my Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation from the Directors College at McMaster University – I believe that one of the most important things in giving business-centric IP advice is to be connected with the business community, and I have worked in many volunteer capacities in our community over the years including as a board member of the Regina Children’s Festival and the Saskatchewan Angel Investment Network. I served a five year term on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership, including acting as Vice-Chair and Governance Committee Chair, as well as 6 years on the Board of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce culminating in the Chair in 2012. I am currently the Board Chair of Creative Saskatchewan, a provincial government related entity responsible for catalyzing the creative industries in the province of Saskatchewan. These governance engagements gave me a great opportunity to interact with the local business community and give back.