Shahrzad Esmaili Partner Patent Agent


Speaks:  English

Registered Patent Agent: 2008 - United States

Registered Patent Agent: 2007 - Canada

Primary phone: +1 416-862-5750

Fax: +1 416-862-7661

Email: shahrzad.esmaili@gowlingwlg.com

Download vCard


Primary office:  Toronto




Shahrzad Esmaili

Shahrzad Esmaili is a partner and registered Canadian and US patent agent in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office. With over 15 years of experience, Shahrzad focuses her intellectual property (IP) practice primarily on high-tech inventions – specifically those related to computer software, computer hardware, business methods, mechanical and electronic devices, biomedical arts and artificial intelligence (AI). 

Shahrzad brings to her position an advanced engineering background, having completed two masters degrees at Ryerson University in both electrical and computer network engineering before assuming engineering roles at some of the world’s largest tech companies. She complements this technical background with a sophisticated understanding of patent law, as well as an extensive knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the global tech sector.

Harnessing this experience, Shahrzad works closely with inventors and in-house counsel to deliver innovative and cost-efficient patent prosecution strategies – both domestic and cross-border – that reflect the pace and competitiveness of today’s global IP market. Her high-tech clients particularly appreciate her nuanced understanding of software and business method patent protection in Canada, the US and around the world. 

Shahrzad’s patent practice focuses on patent drafting and prosecution for emerging technologies including AI and machine learning inventions, with respect to self-driving cars, e-commerce, smart monitoring devices, voice-controlled personal assistants and fintech. Her interest in such technologies has stemmed from her master’s thesis relating to machine learning based audio classification techniques.

A thought leader in her field, Shahrzad is a frequent speaker and author on the unique challenges of global software and computer-implemented patent protection, particularly in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. She has spoken extensively about this topic in webinars and her legal commentary has been published by Canadian Intellectual Property Review (CIPR), Lexpert and the American Bar Association in its Landslide® magazine.

Outside of her practice, Shahrzad is actively involved with several IP and professional organizations. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the first Canadian chapter (Toronto) of ChIPs, an international nonprofit organization that advances and connects women in IP, technology, law and policy with an added goal of bridging gaps between in-house counsel, external counsel and academia. Shahrzad also serves as a member of Ryerson University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering advisory board, a role that finds her advocating passionately for gender diversity in STEM fields.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2020

    • Community
       2020
      ChIPs - Toronto Chapter, Co-founder and Co-chair
  • 2017

    • Community
       2017
      Ryerson University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Advisory Council Member
  • 2016

    • Rankings & Awards
       2016
      Who's Who Legal: Patents 2016
  • 2008

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
       2008
      Registered Patent Agent, United States
  • 2007

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
       2007
      Registered Patent Agent, Canada
  • 2004

    • Education
       2004
      Ryerson University, MASc, Electrical Engineering
  • 2002

    • Education
       2002
      Ryerson University, MEng, Computer Networks
  • 2000

    • Education
       2000
      University of Toronto, BASc, Electrical Engineering

Memberships

  • Fellow, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
  • Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
  • Member, IEEE Women in Engineering
  • Member, Intellectual Property Owners Association; member of the Business and Software Methods Committee
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association; Member of the Women in IP subcommittee
  • Member, International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI)
  • Co-chair, ChIPs, Toronto Chapter
  • Member, Ryerson University, Advisory Council of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Publications

Speaking engagements

  • Panellist, "Lifecycle of a Smart Idea | Commercializing artificial intelligence: Strategies for the next era of invention," Gowling WLG, March 24, 2021.
  • Speaker, "Patent - Decoding Software Patents Post-Alice," 2019 Technology Law Spring Forum, Canadian Technology Law Association, June 2019.
  • Patent Expert, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Discovery Conference, "Ask an Expert" session, Toronto, May 2017.
  • "Patent/IP for Tech Professionals," presented at the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference, San Diego, CA, April 2015.
  • "Is My Invention Patentable? Conducting an Effective Patentability Search," presented to Department of Research and Innovation, Ryerson University, Toronto, February 2015.
  • "Hot Topics for Patenting Your Invention," presented to the IEEE Toronto Section, Toronto, February 2015.
On-demand webinar
25 March 2021 Lifecycle of a smart idea | Commercializing artificial intelligence: Strategies for the next era of invention CLE/CPD:1 hour of substantive CPD credits with the LSO and LSBC, and may be eligible for up to 1 hour of CPD/CLE credits in other jurisdictions.