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Kyle Smith & Patrick Laycock

BEx 2024 Keynote

Kyle Smith & Patrick Laycock
Parlee McLaws

IP Armour: Safeguarding Your Business Innovations 

Protecting intellectual property is essential for safeguarding the investments, innovations, and reputation of your business, while also fostering a conducive environment for future growth and competitiveness. 

 This session will provide insight into the steps businesses should take to protect their ideas. Attendees will learn strategies for building an effective Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and how to avoid inadvertent loss of IP rights. We will cover the basic forms of IP rights, including patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets, steps for securing those IP rights and practical tips for enforcing your rights. We will also discuss common IP myths, and recent trends in IP such as Artificial Intelligence. 

Kyle is a problem-solver, who has often been called on as a “fixer” for litigation files that have gone off the rails.

Prior to joining Parlee, Kyle had a busy litigation practice in Toronto, where he ran numerous trials and appeared at all levels of Ontario Court, including several appearances at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Kyle’s trial experience includes being counsel for one of the longest civil trials in Canadian history, clocking in at 106 trial days over 2.5 years.  His expertise in litigation was officially recognized in Ontario, as he was named a Certified Specialist (C.S.) for his work in Civil Litigation. At the time of receiving this honour, which is the equivalent of Alberta’s King’s Counsel designation, Kyle was the youngest lawyer in Ontario to hold the designation.

Kyle now concentrates his practice in Alberta, as well as in Federal Court, while continuing to handle cross-provincial matters involving Ontario. His practice focusses on Intellectual Property Law, Commercial Litigation, and Insurance Litigation.

In addition to his litigation expertise, Kyle has extensive expertise in negotiation theory, including numerous published papers and speaking engagements on topics such as behavioural decision-making, cognitive biases, heuristics and non-verbal communication. Kyle leverages this knowledge in his mediation practice, where he acts as a Private Mediator to assist parties in reaching negotiated resolutions to matters through Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Whether as a litigator, negotiator or mediator, Kyle’s practice is dedicated to finding solutions to the problems of his clients when disputes occur. With a versatile set of options at his disposal, Kyle’s practice focuses on finding the right tool for the job in order to bring disputes to a resolution in a favourable and efficient manner that serves the best interests of his clients.

Patrick’s practice focuses on drafting and prosecution of patents, particularly in the fields of electronic, computer, software, optics and mechanical related inventions. He also regularly advises clients on issues relating to patent eligibility, validity and infringement. Patrick is a registered Canadian and U.S. Patent Agent and a registered Canadian Trademark Agent. He also has experience with industrial design prosecution.

Patrick has over a decade of experience assisting clients from around the world with procuring patent protection. He regularly works with companies of all sizes including large, high-tech companies. Patrick also assists foreign associate firms seeking to obtain Canadian patent protection for foreign clients.

Outside of work, Patrick enjoys camping, hiking and wildlife photography. He also picks up a guitar from time to time.

Patrick is Co-Leader of the Intellectual Property & Innovation Group for the Edmonton office.