Partner & Trademark Agent
Richard joined Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall as a Partner and Trademark Agent after working for both the Canadian Public Service (CIPO), in addition to a successful Intellectual Property Firm in Ottawa.
Richard has experience in trademark applications, including prosecutions, registrability opinions and risk assessments, drafting, filing and preparing arguments when objections are raised at the examination stage. Richard has represented clients before the Canadian Trademarks Opposition Board during opposition proceedings and oral hearings. He is knowledgeable in assembling evidence and drafting affidavits for claims of acquired distinctiveness and summary cancellations. Richard is also one of the few Trademark practitioners in Canada with extensive experience and familiarity in securing geographical indications for food products, making him an excellent choice to protect your trademark internationally.
Richard was appointed to the Board of the Trademark Agent Qualifying Examination for the 2019 and 2020 exams – a qualifying exam that grants Agents the right to act in trademark matters for clients before the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. As a member of the Board, Richard participated in creating the qualifying exams, marking and reviewing appeal requests. Split into two separate exams, they test the candidates’ knowledge of the Trademarks Act and Regulations and their ability to properly represent applicants before the Canadian Trademarks Office and Opposition Board through a variety of fact situations and case-law related questions. Richard considers it a great honour to have acted as a gatekeeper of the trademark agent profession in Canada.
Richard also accepted a 4 year appointment, from 2021 to 2025, as Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Courses Committee which oversees the IP program delivered jointly by McGill University School of Continuing Studies and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC). Composed of separate Patent, Trademark and Copyright courses, it is unique in Canada – providing students with valuable lectures and workshops from leading experts in Intellectual Property rights in Canada and abroad. As Co-Chair, Richard helps make critical decisions about curriculum and speakers and helps ensure the course remains on-track. As a successful former Director of the Trademark component in 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as contributing as a workshop leader, Richard brings his vast expertise in Intellectual Property to the program.
Richard is also involved with the new College of Patent and Trademark Agents (CPATA). Since coming into force on June 28, 2021, the CPATA is tasked with regulating the patent and trademark agent profession in Canada as part of as part of the Government of Canada’s Intellectual Property Strategy.
As a Member of the Subject Matter Expert Panel, Richard Whissell plays an integral role in laying the foundation for specifying what it means to be a competent patent and trademark agent. As a recognized expert on trademark matters, Richard brings the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to establish important first steps for the College from its inception. Richard’s involvement in the College contributes to the thriving innovation ecosystem in Canada, while his expertise is a key component in maintaining its success.
As a recognized expert on trademark matters, Richard has taught and spoken frequently on related topics. He is fully bilingual and able to assist clients in both English and French.