May 2021


Can an Intellectual Property Lawyer (IP Lawyer) Protect My Ideas?

Yes, many types of intellectual property, or IP, fall under the protection of an intellectual property lawyer. Toronto creations of the mind or original works of authorship include creative and intellectual works like designs, symbols, and commercial signs. Whether you’re into processes, machines, research and development, or fine arts, an intellectual property lawyer offers significant benefits.

Simple Ideas and Vast IP litigation

It is possible to find copyright protection or apply for a patent protecting a wide range of IP conceptions, from engineering inventions to plant breeders. Intellectual property falls under the definition of an intangible asset—a non-physical item that holds value or is owned and can be bought or sold. There are many IP types, including non-disclosure agreements, patents, trademarks, copyrighted works, and trade secrets.

IP laws aim to protect these intangible assets in much the same way as physical belongings. The legal policies protect Intellectual property from poaching for a period of time, creating an environment that encourages innovative ideas and intellectual rigour. Protecting the work before setting out to offer a product or service is a vital step in a successful venture, but how can you legally safeguard your ideas?

Canada works to protect your legal rights as an author and creator, so there are options for when you are getting sued or need to sue someone for intellectual property infringement. Do you have a new idea or creative work that you want to protect? Contact an intellectual property lawyer in Toronto today!

Is It Essential to Protect Original Work?

We live in a creative world fueled by constant innovation. Your creative works contribute to this environment and help it to thrive. When new ideas enter the market, people have the opportunity to consume these thoughts and products in a new and exciting way. The market is always looking for fresh, compelling designs, work, and ideas, and your original work can blossom in the right creative climate.

The modern economy is knowledge-based, so there is a significant value placed on intellectual property. Legally safeguarding your ideas allows your work to flourish, and original work is just as important as any physical asset. You put thought and effort into creating and developing your work, so why not ensure that it is yours to use and enjoy for a lifetime?

Safeguard Your Intellectual Property: Five Areas to Consider

Canadians can utilize a multitude of options to protect intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and industrial rights. IP rights apply slightly differently in each category, and a competent intellectual property lawyer like Shift Law will be able to offer guidance around the right legal protection options.


Patents grant inventors exclusive rights to their inventions for up to 20 years. It includes the rights to sell, make, distribute, and import these patented works. It is the most common tool for protecting inventions and provides ample incentive for inventors that want to receive recognition for their creativity.

You can leverage an IP patent by licensing it (allowing someone to utilize it for a fee or sell it entirely). It maximizes the profit potential and ensures you make the most of your invention. It is possible to keep an invention a trade secret, but a patent offers a far more competitive advantage and shows investors or shareholders your commitment.

Patenting an invention requires disclosing the full details of the design or work in published patent documents. You must also apply to the patent office detailing your invention (which will become public knowledge).


A copyright is an exclusive right to produce, reproduce, publish, or perform original work, also called the author’s rights. The works eligible for copyright are broad and may include literary, artistic, scientific, and dramatic bodies of work. The presiding copyright law acts in your defence when others try to replicate these works without permission.

In Canada, all original creative work is eligible for copyright. However, it is vital that you utilize this law to guard your ideas early on so that complicating factors do not enter the negotiations. International laws also protect copyrights, encompassing economic and moral rights worldwide.

  • Economic rights refer to the control of distribution.
  • Moral rights refer to the author’s rights and cover alteration of a work that might damage your reputation or acknowledgement as an original creator.


Company or brand identities fall under the protection of trademarks. It distinguishes a particular good from others, keeping in mind that the sign or symbol needs to be distinctive to be trademarked. The trademark might apply to words, letters, numbers, symbols, shapes, symbols, tastes, and smells.

One example of a famous trademark is the logo and brand name of “Coca Cola,” owned by the Coca-Cola Company. The trademark means that no other parties may use or copy Coca-Cola’s name or logo.

The owner of the trademark controls who uses the ‘mark,’ ensuring protection from counterfeiters and maximizing consumer trust in the brand. Trademarks are vital in the business world, with large enterprises often using them to develop a unique brand identity. In Canada, trademarks can be registered for ten years and renewed for another ten years.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets consist of business information that derives value from being kept a secret. For the data to qualify as a trade secret in a legal setting, it must:

  • have commercial value,
  • be a secret, and
  • have been subject to reasonable measures by the company to protect its discovery.

Trade secret examples include new technology development, original product designs, a perfect recipe, and customer data. In Canada, trade secret law is based on the common law framework.

Industrial Rights

Industrial intellectual property falls under an umbrella term in IP. It might include patents for inventions, industrial designs, trademarks, commercial names, geographical indications, and much more. A design must be original, new, and suitable for industrial production to qualify for protection by industrial rights.

For example, a well-designed product that’s visually pleasing is a vital offering in a competitive marketplace. Consumers enjoy appealing aesthetics, and industrial design rights offer a way to protect the elements that distinguish your product’s look and feel from similar items.

Wielding Intellectual Property as a Tool for Success

Many businesses are unaware that they have intellectual property. It’s crucial to speak to an IP lawyer as soon as possible about understanding the company’s IP assets and developing a robust strategy to protect them. A proactive approach is the best intellectual property strategy, no matter your company’s position within the business cycle.

An intellectual property strategy should be prepared well and ready to take your business to its highest potential. An effective IP strategy also involves monitoring competitors’ patents and trademark activities. These approaches optimize the impact of intellectual property on revenue, reputation, and relevance and equip you with an effective way to demonstrate your vision to investors, stockholders, and management teams.

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Tips for Hiring the Right Trust Litigation Attorney

If faced with any issues related to a trust, you might want to seek advice and legal representation from a reputable trust litigation attorney. Such a professional will guide you through varying legal matrices and help you get a victory from your case.

In this post, we discuss the varying types of trust funds, the time to consider hiring a trust litigation attorney, and the tips that will help you settle for the right professional.

Types of trust funds

Before we proceed, a trust is an agreement where a single party holds the other party’s property legal title for a third party’s advantage. The relationship involves:

  • The grantor- This is the person responsible for creating a trust and transfers their property’s title to the trustee.
  • The trustee- This is the entity or person who receives the legal titles, manages, and administers the trust
  • The beneficiaries – These are the people who gain from the property in the trust. Beneficiaries can be the trustee, his/her dependents, or the grantor.

There are varying types of trust funds categorized as funded or unfunded, revocable, or irrevocable. And living or testamentary.

In the case of a revocable trust, the person creating the trust (grantor) has control over the assets and can choose to alter them at any time. With an irrevocable trust, change cannot prevail once created.

 A funded trust gets funding from a grantor, while on the other hand, an unfunded trust is made up of the agreement, meaning funds can start coming once the grantor passes on. A living trust provides for the grantor until they pass on, which then goes to his/her beneficiaries.

There are varying reasons why people create trust. Some include: providing legal protection over the grantor’s assets to ensure they are allocated according to their wishes, maintaining privacy by purchasing a property through a trust, saving time, reducing paperwork, avoiding probate, and avoiding or paying less estate tax.

When to consider hiring a trust litigation attorney

Hiring a trust litigation attorney is essential when disputes spring during the distribution of property from one person to another. Despite the trust having been constructed clearly, legal issues may arise at some point requiring the services of a reputable trust litigation attorney.

Some of the reasons why a legal challenge could happen include

  • Document forgery

Some documents are forged, meaning that a civil and criminal challenge is inevitable.

  • If the creator of the trust got coerced

In some instances, a person creating a trust may get lured to distribute assets questionably, denying them free will to have the document as they would like.

  • Breach of fiduciary responsibilities

A fiduciary has a responsibility to follow the directions outlined in the trust. If this is unfollowed, a fiduciary could get rendered in breach of a trust. And this is open to a legal challenge.

  • If the individual who created the trust did not have the legal authority to do so

That could challenge the validity of the entire document. A person may also not be in the right headspace to execute a trust agreement. To win in a court of law, you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt regarding the executor’s state of mind.

Hiring the right litigation attorney

When hiring a trust litigation attorney, there are several tips that you need to consider. Some of these include:

  • Confirm how many cases the trust litigation attorney has won

When you ask this particular query, bear in mind that the attorney may not define winning as you do. You might think of winning in terms of the attorney securing a judgment from a jury trial. However, an attorney can think of wins according to all the favorable settlements he has necessitated, mixed judgments and extracting concessions just before trial.

Be sure to trust different litigation attorneys on the number of cases they have won and what that may mean for your case.

  • Ensure that you will get updated throughout your case

Sometimes trust litigation cases can be complex to understand, so you will need to work with an attorney who keeps you involved and informed. Ensure that both your communication lines and channels are open to facilitate good communication.

Whether they prefer to communicate through emails, phone calls, or texts, they must meet their end of the bargain by ensuring that they communicate with you regarding the progress of your case every step of the way.

You may also want to ask the person handling your case since sometimes a legal secretary or paralegal may act as your contact person. Knowing that you have someone to keep you updated with your case gives you peace of mind.

  • Verify the modes of payment

Another tip to think about is how the litigation attorney handles their payments. Ask if they work on contingency or charge on an hourly basis. See if they expect a retainer and how much that would be.

Also, think about the billable rate and how long they take. If the trust litigation attorney works on contingency, they will not charge you for their service. However, the law firm will ask for payment if you win the case. And this varies in terms of percentage.

It is worthy to note that the amount of money you pay is dependent on the dispute involved, type of trust, and distribution types available.

  • Find out the frequency with which the litigation attorney settles cases

Finally, several litigation attorneys opt for jury trials and do not endorse settlements. Other attorneys handle cases many times and never take the same to trial. You want to consider an attorney who is transparent about your odds of winning in your case. And one who can prepare you mentally for any outcome that may prevail.

You want to choose a trust litigation attorney who has your best interest at heart and will guide you at the right time to take a fair settlement. Always go for a trustworthy professional who is not out here to extort their clients’ money.

One way to ensure that you settle for a reliable trust litigation attorney is by looking at different sites for reviews. Consider researching their social media pages, Google, and website to assess how customers perceive their services.  Steer away from legal firms with negative comments because that is a red flag that their services are unreliable.

Bear in mind that these tips are not exhaustive. Do thorough research so that you can make the right choice.

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Why You Should Hire a Divorce Lawyer

Nobody expects to get divorced after marriage, but sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan and you unfortunately end up with no other option. The divorce process is stressful and involves a lot of emotions – especially when there are children, shared properties, and a whole host of other issues. With the help of an experienced family lawyer, however, you can make this process much less tiresome.

You will need to make a lot of decisions at this point that will impact your life and that of your children. So, it will be of critical importance to get a divorce lawyer who understands family law well. Discover below the important reasons for why you need to take hiring a divorce lawyer seriously.

A Lawyer Reduces Emotional Stress

Filing for a divorce and dealing with the process can be one of the most stressful and emotional times of your life. A divorce lawyer will help you deal with this stress and represent you in all court processes, such that you have ample time to deal with other familial matters throughout the duration of the case. The court process can also be extremely complicated – combining this with your current situation could take a heavy toll on your health. A lawyer is therefore critical to reducing your stress burden.

To Get Objective Opinion 

This is an emotionally sensitive period and you will be experiencing all kinds of feelings from betrayal, sadness, confusion, depression, and many others. Sometimes these emotions are too strong such that it can be hard to view your case in an objective manner. The emotions will hinder your productivity both in court and in your general life. You may also be unable to make wise decisions that could ultimately harm your case. So, to ensure these emotions do not overwhelm you, you need a neutral party to represent you. A divorce lawyer is able to remain objective towards your case and help you make rational decisions.

The Lawyer Will Handle the Paperwork

Divorce cases involve a lot of paperwork and unless you are familiar with family law, you might not know what to include or how to fill out your paperwork properly. Knowing the documents to file for your case and all the information can be a bit challenging. Submitting the wrong details could also be harmful to your case. This is why you need an experienced professional to handle the paperwork. Experienced divorce lawyers have been doing this for a long time. They know every document that will be necessary to facilitate your case. They know how to fill the documents in a precise and persuasive way to help give you the victory you need.

The Attorney Can Give You Options You Didn’t Know

Sometimes there are other better options that you might not be aware of. Some may be better than what you may be currently focusing on. Your lawyer can help you understand all of these options. In some cases, you and your spouse may not need to go to court to settle your divorce. A lawyer can provide you with alternatives should you wish not to go this route.

In Conclusion 

These are important reasons why hiring a good divorce lawyer should be taken very seriously. The lawyer will support you through the whole process by representing you in court, handling paperwork, helping you cope with stress, and making the necessary negotiations on your behalf. So, in conclusion, if you are getting a divorce, strongly consider hiring a reputable divorce lawyer.

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Dealing with harassment or discrimination at work can cause unimaginable damage to one’s mental health. When dealing with harassment at the workplace, getting even the simplest of tasks done can become very difficult. Many people face harassment at work. Though there are laws to protect the employees, such harassment and discrimination go unnoticed more often than not. If you feel that the workplace has become a toxic environment for you, you aren’t sure if you are a victim, then read on.

How to know that you are a victim of workplace harassment?

If you know that you are being sexualized or made fun of, you know that you are dealing with office harassment. Speaking up about it can be challenging and even embarrassing. Many victims of workplace harassment don’t speak up due to the fear that will make the harassment only worse. This fear becomes stronger when the harasser knows your secrets or is close to your supervisor. When you start considering whether you should speak up or not, you might doubt whether you would be protected or not and be taken seriously.

A lot of organizations do have policies in place concerning harassment and discrimination. Speaking up about the harassment that you have faced takes a lot of courage. Even after having spoken up, you don’t feel that your concerns were addressed. In such a situation, it is best to reach out to a law firm like HTW Law specializing in such laws. When you have experienced lawyers by your side, you know that they won’t stop till you win the case. Such lawyers function on the solid belief that you deserve a pleasant, safe, and hassle-free workspace. If you are being harassed despite bringing it to notice, then taking a legal step is the right way to go about it. It is a crucial step to take as it is not just about you but also about the people in the organization and the future. It is also about the company treating its employees in the right way.

How to know that you are dealing with discrimination at work?

There are many types of discrimination that can take place. Though racial discrimination is prevalent, the other types include discrimination based on sex, age, religion, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage/partnership, pregnancy/motherhood, just to name a few. Discrimination can be hard to spot if it is happening for the first time.

For example, a pregnant woman informs the employer about taking maternity leave. As the due date approaches, her duties are lessened. During the maternity leave, her job position is dissolved. Another example could be a woman who is in her 50 wants to apply for a job position, but she is told that the position will go to someone younger. These are all examples of discrimination. Suppose you think you have been discriminated against. In that case, you must reach out to experienced lawyers like HTW Law who will work with you and help you hold your ground against the employer.

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Should I File a Personal Injury Claim or a Product Liability Claim?

Faulty products can cause serious injury. In the last few years, many stories circulated about e-cigarettes causing explosions. The truth is, any product can cause harm.

When injured by a product, you will be faced with the decision to either file a personal injury claim or a product liability claim. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia will help you decide which is better for your case. But we are going to cover some of the basics.

Both personal injury claims and product liability claims are designed to protect the right of the injured party so they can receive compensation to help pay for medical bills and other bills caused by the injury.

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims are very common as they are filed when an injury occurs to the body, which includes the mind and emotions as well. These claims are often filed after someone has been injured due to a slip and fall or a vehicle accident.

If a product causes injury, a personal injury claim can be filed as well, but it might be best to instead file a product liability claim.

What is a Product Liability Claim?

To seek compensation for an injury caused by a product, you can file a product liability claim. But be aware that the product needs to be proven to be defective.


Product Design Defect

When a product is found to be a danger due to the design, then it would be a product design defect claim. An example would be a chair that only has 3 legs. Obviously, it can tip easily, causing injury, so from the start of the design, the product is deemed dangerous.

Product Manufacturing Defect

The most common product liability claim is a product manufacturing defect. This is when a product fails to perform safely, even though it says it is safe. Something usually happens in the manufacturing process to defect the product, making it unsafe. An example is a set of tires that are supposed to be safe on the road, but a defective tire ends up causing an accident.

Warning Label Defects

Most dangerous products come with a warning label. But if a product fails to produce one on a product and it does end up causing injury, you could file a warning label defects claim.

Keep in mind that it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to produce a safe product and if they do have any suspicion that a product is unsafe, they are responsible for putting a warning label on the product.

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