Rob McDonald practices primarily in the areas of intellectual property litigation and enforcement, branding strategy, trademark protection and commercialization, and licensing and exploitation of all forms of IP. This includes advising clients on copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial designs, trade secrets, and confidential information.
Rob has litigated copyright, trademark, and patent infringement actions at various levels of court. His litigation experience includes domain name disputes, franchise and shareholder disputes, counterfeit goods, and misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets. He is a trusted advisor to clients with respect to all aspects of the protection, licensing, exploitation and enforcement of their IP and technology. Rob provides IP support with respect to mergers and acquisitions, cross border and international business, financing and other commercial transactions, including conducting due diligence on IP portfolios, analyzing ownership and validity issues, and assessing the strength and breadth of trademark and patent registrations.
Rob represents a broad range of clients worldwide in a variety of industries, including media and entertainment, telecommunications, oil and gas, energy, retail, luxury brands, finance, computer technology, life sciences, and cannabis. He has significant experience with respect to copyright collectives, having acted as legal counsel for the Society of Composers Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) and having served as a director of Access Copyright (formerly CANCOPY). Such work has included hearings before the Copyright Board and the negotiation of tariffs, royalty rates and structures.
Rob is a registered trademark agent in both Canada and the United States. He manages many IP portfolios and brands for local, national and global clients, and is an experienced litigator who enforces and defends client’s valuable IP rights.
Rob is a consultant for the newly-formed NRC-IRAP Legal Assist Program, designed to provide IP advisory services and assistance to start-ups and technology companies and promote innovation in Canada.
In 2023 Rob received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award for Service to the Profession, awarded jointly by the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Alberta.
He is recognized as one of Canada’s Leading Lawyers in the area of IP Law (Trademarks) by numerous publications, including Best Lawyers in Canada since 2009, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory since 2010, WTR 1000 World's Leading Trademark Lawyers and The National Post.
He is a member of several professional organizations including the International Trademark Association, the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (Fellow), the Licensing Executives Society, and the Business, Law and Technology Forum, which he co-founded. Rob is also a sessional instructor of the IP Law Course at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. He has taught this course since 1990. He is an instructor of the Legal Education Society of Alberta Intensive Trial Advocacy Course and the Osgood Hall Masters of Law Program. Rob has delivered IP lectures to the Faculties of Law at Oxford University, the MacEwan University Faculty of Graphic Design, the University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering and Cambridge University as a visiting professor. He was also an instructor at the McGill University and IPIC Intensive Trademarks Course.
Rob formerly sat on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Foundation (ASTech). It was a not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 to showcase the substantial achievements in science and technology in Alberta and to inspire the next generation of innovation for societal and economic benefit.