Melanie Baird
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5262

Melanie’s diverse intellectual property and commercial litigation practice encompasses patent, trademark, insurance, class actions, product liability, cannabis and technology disputes. She has appeared before all levels of the Ontario and federal courts and acts as counsel in mediations and private arbitrations.

Melanie acted as counsel in the first biologic and the first biosimilar drug patent cases in Canada. She works extensively with pharmaceutical companies on patent, Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations and commercial cases and is intimately familiar with the industry and the business of pharma companies. Melanie also has broad experience in the software, high-tech and social media spaces, dealing with commercial, patent, trademark, copyright and licensing disputes. She is a registered trademark agent in Canada.

Melanie leverages her diverse litigation experience to represent clients involved in a wide variety of complex commercial disputes and is adept at devising strategic options and navigating cross-border issues. For example, she has extensive experience litigating on behalf of insured professional firms in complicated negligence matters, including negotiating and structuring sophisticated resolutions.

Melanie also has experience in public and private mergers and acquisitions involving technology or other significant intellectual property assets, IP and IT licensing, and corporate governance with a focus on technology companies.

SELECT EXPERIENCE

A representative list of Melanie’s cases of public record includes:

  • Janssen and the Kennedy Trust in a patent impeachment and infringement action related to Remicade (infliximab), a biologic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis; first patent infringement action in Canada relating to a subsequent entry biologic (a generic version of a biologic drug, also referred to as a biosimilar) (Janssen Inc. v. Pfizer Canada Inc.)

  • IBM in a passing-off action relating to IBM’s cloud computing services and technologies (Smart Cloud Inc. v. International Business Machines Corporation)

  • Instagram in a patent infringement action relating to methods for the sharing of content on social media (United American Corp., et al. v. Instagram)

  • Facebook in a patent infringement action relating to methods for the sharing of content on social media (United American Corp., et al. v. Facebook)

  • Auxly in a commercial dispute relating to a distribution agreement for cannabis products (Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. v. Care Group of Pharmacies Inc., et al.)

  • Bausch Health and Valeant in a class action relating to the marketing and sale of products containing opioids (The Province of British Columbia v. Apotex Inc., et al.)

  • Janssen in proceedings pursuant to the PM(NOC) Regulations relating to Prezista (darunavir), an antiretroviral medication (Janssen Inc. v. Apotex Inc.)

  • Valeant in proceedings pursuant to the PM(NOC) Regulations relating to Glumetza (metformin), a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes (Valeant Canada LP v. Generic Partners Canada Inc.)

  • The Kennedy Trust in the first unanimous five-judge decision of the Federal Court of Appeal; successfully argued that the standard of review applicable to the decisions of Prothonotaries should be in accordance with Housen v Nikolaisen, overturning a long line of prior authority (Hospira Healthcare Corporation v. The Kennedy Trust)

  • Janssen in a patent infringement action relating to Stelara (ustikinumab), a monoclonal antibody product for use in the treatment of psoriasis, among other indications; first patent infringement trial in Canada relating to a biologic drug (AbbVie Corporation v. Janssen Inc.)

  • Two defendants in a class action brought on behalf of taxpayers who participated in a charitable donation program (Charette v. Trinity Capital Corporation)

  • Janssen in a patent impeachment and infringement action relating to Velcade (bortezomib), a product used to treat certain cancers (Teva Canada Limited v. Janssen Inc.)

  • IBM in a patent infringement action relating to video monitoring technologies (Hawk Technology Systems LLC v. IBM Canada Limited)

  • Various law firms and insurers with respect to litigating professional negligence matters as well as negotiating and structuring complex resolutions

  • Various pharmaceutical companies with respect to negotiating and drafting sophisticated settlement agreements and business arrangements in the course of litigation

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Melanie is consistently recognized as a leading litigator in the following publications:

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2019 (Litigation - Corporate Commercial)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - 2018 and 2019 (Future Star - IP and Commercial and Transactions)

  • Benchmark Litigation - named on “40 & Under Hot List” in 2017, 2018 and 2019

  • The Legal 500 Canada - 2018 and 2019 (Recommended Lawyer - Intellectual Property)

  • IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals - 2018 (Recommended Individual - Patent Litigation: Bronze)

In 2017, Melanie was named the Canadian Rising Star at the LMG Life Sciences Awards.

PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCES
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Panellist: Innovating in the Medical Cannabis Space
Medical Cannabis Week 2019, Hosted by Business of Cannabis and Blakes, Toronto, Ontario, May 7, 2019.
Speaker: Expert Evidence for Litigators
The Future of Expert Evidence: Blue Skies Ahead?, Expert Evidence for Litigators, Law Society of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, October 29, 2018.
Panellist: Trends in IP Litigation
Benchmark Women in Litigation Toronto Forum, Toronto, Ontario, October 18, 2018.
Mentor: 2nd Annual Big Mingle
Young Advocates’ Standing Committee, The Advocates' Society, August 15, 2018.
Panellist: The New Order(s) – Hot Topics in Federal Court Litigation
CBA IP Day 2018, Canadian Bar Association, May 31, 2018.
Mentor: 1st Annual Big Mingle
Young Advocates’ Standing Committee, The Advocates' Society, August 16, 2017.
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MEDIA APPEARANCES
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Quoted: Cannabis Companies Still Fighting for IP Rights
Article by Aidan Macnab, Law Times, May 13, 2019.
Quoted: Protecting cannabis IP
Interviewed by Elizabeth Raymer, Intellectual Property Legal Report, Canadian Lawyer, January 14, 2019.
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