Natalie S. Rizkalla-Kamel
Natalie Rizkalla-Kamel is a Toronto-based Gowling WLG partner specializing in intellectual property litigation, trademark prosecution, strategic global trademark portfolio management, and transactional intellectual property work.
Natalie has a broad range of experience in all aspects of IP litigation, with a focus on contentious work in the areas of patents, trademarks, and copyright. She has acted for clients from various industries, including: retail, cosmetics, manufacturing, cannabis, financial services, and pharmaceuticals. She is dedicated to understanding her clients' business interests and goals, developing an effective litigation strategy, and advising them toward favourable outcomes in each case.
Natalie has appeared as counsel before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, and proceedings before Canada's Trademark Opposition Board. She has also had great success in representing her clients in mediation. She can be depended on to negotiate and craft strategic settlement agreements that maintain protection of her clients' intellectual property.
Natalie is also a registered trademark agent in Canada, and her practice involves advising clients with both small and large portfolios on the acquisition, protection, and enforcement of their trademark rights in Canada and globally.
Given the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada in 2018, Natalie has also developed a niche practice at Gowling WLG in the cannabis sector. She assists Canadian cannabis clients in developing brand strategies, and has been called on to represent clients in trademark disputes (both in and out of court) with respect to their cannabis brands in Canada. She has also has assisted clients with numerous manufacturing and licensing transactions in the cannabis space. Natalie has actively published and presented about cannabis branding and trademarks, and was recently interviewed by the World Trademark Review about brand strategy and trends for cannabis within the Canadian landscape for an article entitled, "Cannabis retailers have their work cut out for them in terms of trademark and brand strategy" (April 30, 2021).
Natalie is an active member of the IP community, and participates in writing on new developments in intellectual property law. She is also serves on the committees of several professional associations, including the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, the Canadian Bar Association (Intellectual Property Section), and the International Trademark Association. She also sits on the CLE Board, and is vice-chair of the International Action Group of the American Bar Association (Intellectual Property Section).
In 2017, Natalie was named a Lexpert "Rising Star: Leading Lawyer Under 40" for being at the top of the legal profession in Canada, as well as in recognition of her professional achievements and contributions to the community. She is consistently ranked as a World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) Leader, and was most recently ranked in World Trademark Review 1000 (2021), the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2021) for Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Litigation, and the 2021 edition of Legal 500 Canada (Cannabis).
Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Natalie received an MSc in Civil Engineering from Queen's University, under a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) scholarship, and worked as a structural engineer. She is licensed as a Professional Engineer (PEng) in Ontario.