R. Nelson Godfrey: Lawyer with Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh

R. Nelson Godfrey

Barrister and Solicitor, Trade-mark Agent
Vancouver,  BC  Canada

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Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Licensing & IP Transactions
  • Litigation
  • Trademarks
  • Patents
  • Software/Internet/Information Technologies
  • Copyright & Media
  • Life Sciences
  • Energy
  • Chemical & Industrial Biotechnology
  • IP Management & Strategic Counselling
  • Industrial Designs
  • IP Crime
University University of Saskatchewan, B.Sc. Biochemistry, with High Honours, 2007
Law SchoolUniversity of British Columbia, J.D., 2011
Admitted2015, Alberta Bar; 2013, British Columbia Bar


•Member, Vancouver Enterprise Forum
•Affiliate, UBC Intellectual Property & Policy Research Group
•Mentor, Student Biotechnology Network
•Member, Canadian Bar Association

•Mentor, Futurpreneur Canada

Speaking engagements

• Protecting Privacy and Exploiting Genomics: Existing Legal Regimes as Tools to Monitor, Guide, and Regulate the Collection, Use, and Disclosure of Personal Genomics Data, Moving Genomics from Bench to Bedside, Vancouver, BC, May 24, 2013
• Socially Beneficial Agricultural Genomics: Regulatory and Intellectual Property Regimes in Canada and Abroad, Student Biotechnology Network: Research Exchange, Vancouver, BC, March 26, 2011

Teaching activities

•Guest Lecturer, LAW 426C: Biotechnology and the Law, Intellectual Property in Biotechnology, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, September 19, 2013.


Nelson Godfrey's practice focusses on all aspects and areas of intellectual property, with particular emphasis on patent and trademark prosecution, licensing, commercialization and strategy, privacy matters and intellectual property litigation.

Nelson has extensive experience drafting a wide array of contractual documents, including licensing and IP transfer agreements, non-disclosure agreements and IP development agreements. He also regularly prepares and prosecutes trademark and patent applications, and has been involved in all aspects of litigation matters including trademark oppositions, infringement of various forms of intellectual property, and privacy and confidential information disputes. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Federal Court of Canada. As well, Nelson has been involved in researching regulatory and IP regimes around the development and delivery of biotechnology products through a Genome Canada-funded research project.

Nelson works with clients ranging from small local entities to multinational corporations located throughout Western Canada, the United States and internationally. Nelson has a unique understanding and comprehension of client needs, having held in-house IP and regulatory roles with two mid-sized biotechnology companies prior to joining the firm. He is committed to the long-term growth and development of the science and technology sectors in British Columbia and Canada, and has been involved with a wide variety of organizations dedicated to that end.



• Acronyms and the issue of descriptiveness under the Canadian Trademarks Act IP Update - Canada, November 20, 2015; Lexology, November 20, 2015; Mondaq, November 23, 2015; International Law Office Intellectual Property Newsletter, December 14, 2015, Canadian Corporate Counsel, December 2015
• Cancellation proceedings against a registered Canadian trademark: when can “special circumstances” justify non-use? IP Update - Canada, August 17, 2015; Lexology, August 17, 2015; Mondaq, August 17, 2015; International Law Office Intellectual Property Newsletter, September 1, 2015
• Tax deduction for the depreciation in the market value of patents, IP Update - Canada, April 8, 2015; Lexology, April 8, 2015; Mondaq, April 9, 2015; CCCA Members Knowledge Centre, April 2015; International Law Office Intellectual Property Newsletter, May 5, 2015
Limelight v Akamai and indirect patent infringement in Canada, IP Update - Canada, August 13, 2014; Lexology, August 13, 2014; Mondaq, August 14, 2014; CCCA Members Knowledge Centre, August 2014; International Law Office Intellectual Property Newsletter, August 26, 2014
• Prior use of an inaccessible invention: is it disclosure? IP Update - Canada, February 6, 2014; Lexology, February 6, 2014; Mondaq, February 7, 2014; CCCA Members Knowledge Centre, February 2014; International Law Office Intellectual Property Newsletter, February 24, 2014
• Supreme Court of Canada weighs personal privacy considerations against freedom of expression, IP Update - Canada, November 26, 2013; Lexology, November 26, 2013; Mondaq, November 26, 2013; CCCA Members Knowledge Centre, November 2013; International Law Office Intellectual Property Newsletter, February 24, 2014
•“Case Studies of African Agricultural Biotechnology Regulation: Precautionary and Harmonized Policy-Making in the Wake of the Cartagena Protocol and the AU Model Law, Loyola of Los Angeles International & Comparative Law Review, November 2013, Vol. 35, pp. 409-432
•“The Environmental Regulation of Genetically Modified Bacteria: Case Studies of Canada's Piecemeal Regulatory Approach to Biotechnology, ” Journal of Environmental Law and Practice, May 2013, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 97-124
•“Intellectual Property and Sharing Regimes in Agricultural Genomics: Finding the Right Balance for Innovation ” (co-author: Emily Marden), Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, Summer 2012, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 369-393


Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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Acronyms and the issue of descriptiveness under the Canadian Trademarks Act
R. Nelson Godfrey, November 24, 2015
Section 12(1)(b) of the Canadian Trademarks Act provides that a trademark is not registrable if it is clearly descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the character or quality of its associated goods or services or the conditions of or persons employed in their production or place of origin. In...

Cancellation Proceedings against a Registered Canadian Trademark: When can "Special Circumstances" Justify Non-Use?
R. Nelson Godfrey, August 17, 2015
As in most jurisdictions around the world, a registered trademark in Canada is vulnerable to cancellation if it is no longer in use. In Canada, three years after registration, any person may request that a “section 45” notice issue, requiring the owner to provide evidence of use in...

Tax Deduction for the Depreciation in the Market Value of Patents
R. Nelson Godfrey, April 9, 2015
Under Canada's tax laws, a taxpayer may deduct a "terminal loss" from its taxable income, where (i) the taxpayer has incurred a capital cost in acquiring property which may depreciate in value and (ii) the property has depreciated in value when the taxpayer disposes of the property. In...
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Office Information

R. Nelson Godfrey

2300-1055 West Georgia Street
VancouverBC V6E 3P3

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