Stephen Ferance is a partner and patent agent in Gowling WLG's Vancouver office, and a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Group.
With a practice focused on patent prosecution and portfolio management, Steve has considerable expertise in the high-tech invention sector, in which he has practised since 1998. His strong background in physics has provided him with the versatility to handle innovations across a broad range of technologies, including:
- Computer software and hardware
- Semiconductor chip manufacturing processes
- Electronic gaming
- Business methods
- Medical devices
- Oil & gas extraction
Acting for a diverse client base, Steve works closely with Canadian and international technology innovation companies, as well as foreign patent law firms representing technology companies in various global jurisdictions. He also works with his Gowling WLG colleagues in other countries and law firms around the world to assist Canadian companies filing foreign applications.
Steve has in-depth experience across the full cycle of the portfolio development process - from the initial drafting and filing of patent applications through to providing post-grant infringement and validity opinions, as well as due diligence opinions to prospective purchasers of technology companies or intellectual property portfolios. He is also an experienced advocate, having successfully appeared before the Patent Appeal Board of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).
A prolific legal writer and speaker, Steve has developed considerable expertise regarding the legal requirements for patent-eligible subject matter and the unique challenges that they can pose for computer-related inventions. His public speaking engagements on this topic include two webinars for the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and a related talk to the Canadian Bar Association's B.C. Branch. Steve has also published two detailed treatises on this topic in the Canadian Intellectual Property Review.
Steve is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria's Faculty of Law, where he has taught patent law since 2006.