Chris Wilson is an experienced litigator and was named "2019 Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year" for Vancouver by Best Lawyers. He is also recognized by Chambers Global, World's Leading Trademark Professionals and others in the area of intellectual property litigation. Chris acts as lead counsel in trade-mark, copyright, patent and trade secrets litigation in the federal and British Columbia trial and appellate courts. His cases include precedent-setting decisions dealing with topics such as Internet keyword advertising and domain names, the constitutionality of Canada's official marks regime, contempt for violation of an intellectual property injunction, and one of the largest monetary judgments for breach of confidence in Canadian history.
In his practice, Chris manages the intellectual property needs of multinational and local clients across numerous industries, including alcoholic beverages, software and video games, consumer products, traditional and e-commerce retailers, public authorities and regulatory bodies, financial services, natural resources, and many others. His practice focuses on enforcement and disputes, including trade-mark actions and appeals from the Trademarks Opposition Board, patent infringement and ownership disputes, copyright and industrial designs, parallel imports (grey marketing), and all manner of issues relating to the Internet.
Prior to entering law, Chris worked as a software programmer and software designer. He also has a particular interest in wine on the trademark side of his practice. He co-founded and co-hosts the annual Wine & Liquor Law Conference held in Vancouver, now in its ninth year, and is a member of the International Wine Law Association.
- LL.B., University of British Columbia, 1997
- B.A., University of British Columbia, 1992
Matters in which Mr. Wilson has acted include:
- C.C. Jentsch Cellars Inc. v. O'Rourke Family Vineyards Ltd. et al, 2018 FC 875 (counsel for C.C. Jentsch Cellars successfully defending against O'Rourke Family Vineyards's motions for production of documents, the late introduction of an expert survey, and attempt to convert the proceeding into an action, in this wine industry trademark dispute)
- Vancouver Community College v Vancouver Career College (Burnaby) Inc., 2017 BCCA 41, rev'g 2015 BCSC 1470 (counsel for the successful appellant in this passing off and official marks dispute primarily over the trademarks VCC and VCCollege, used online and in keyword advertising)
- XY, LLC v Canadian Topsires Selection Inc. and others, 2016 BCSC 1095, appeals dismissed 2016 BCCA 469 (obtained judgment for $269 million against a network of local and international companies run by an individual, Jesse Jia Bei Zhu, as well as $60 million in damages against two individual employees, additional punitive damages, and injunctive relief, in this ongoing action for breach of confidence)
- XY, LLC v Jesse Jia-Bei Zhu and others, 2015 BCSC 1524 (and unreported sentencing reasons dated December 16, 2015); appeals dismissed 2016 BCCA 276 and 2016 BCCA 323 (counsel for the plaintiff in this contempt application, resulting in a six-month jail sentence for civil contempt for failing to pay a judgment and deliver up infringing intellectual property)
- Saint Honore Cake Shop Limited v Cheung’s Bakery Products Ltd., 2015 FCA 12, var’g 2013 FC 935 (counsel for the respondent in this Federal Court of Appeal decision regarding the admissibility of expert evidence about the difference between fluency and literacy in Chinese languages, and upholding a local Vancouver Chinese bakery’s opposition to a Hong Kong bakery enterprise’s trade-mark applications)
- XY, LLC v Canadian Topsires Selection Inc. and others, 2012 BCSC 1797, 2013 BCSC 584, 2013 BCSC 780 and 2014 BCSC 1331 (counsel for the plaintiff in this series of decisions upholding Anton Piller (civil search warrant) and Mareva (asset freezing) injunction orders against various defendants in this ongoing trade secrets dispute)
- London Drugs Limited v International Clothiers Inc., 2014 FC 223 (counsel for London Drugs in this appeal from a Trade-marks Opposition Board decision)
- Bodum USA, Inc. v Meyer Housewares Canada Inc., 2012 FC 1450; aff’d 2013 FCA 240 (represented Bodum at trial and on appeal in this dispute over the registered trade-mark FRENCH PRESS used in association with coffee presses)
- The Carbon Trust v Pacific Carbon Trust Inc., 2013 FC 946 (successfully defended this appeal to the Federal Court of a Trade-mark Opposition Board decision on behalf of British Columbia-based Pacific Carbon Trust against UK-based The Carbon Trust)
- XY Inc. v International Newtech Development Inc., 2012 BCSC 319, var’d 2013 BCCA 352, leave to appeal to SCC dismissed (February 20, 2014) (obtained an $8.5 million judgment for breach of confidence, fraud and conspiracy, a permanent injunction restraining the use of XY's confidential information, and special costs in this action over trade secrets and the fraudulent underpayment of royalties)
Rankings and recognitions
- Chambers Global, Canada: Intellectual Property - Litigation, Chambers and Partners, 2018
- Chambers Canada, Nationwide: Intellectual Property - Litigation, Chambers and Partners, 2019
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, (2016-2017): recommended in Litigation - Intellectual Property; Intellectual Property; Computer & IT Law
- Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized as the 2019 Lawyer of the Year for Intellectual Property in Vancouver; recognized as a leading lawyer in the areas of Intellectual Property Law (2013 - Present), Corporate + Commercial Litigation (2013 - Present), Information Technology (2013 - Present), and Advertising & Marketing (2014)
- World's Leading Trademark Professionals: WTR 1000: Silver Band for Individuals: Enforcement and Litigation (2013 - Present)
- LexisNexis - Martindale-Hubbell: Distinguished (2016 - Present)
- Legal 500 Canada: Recommended lawyer in the area of Intellectual Property (2015)
Memberships and activities
- Canadian Bar Association, national intellectual property section
- Honorary executive member and past chair
- Federal court practice committee
- Fellow, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
- British Columbia Technology Industries Association
- Patent and Trade-mark Association of British Columbia
On Thursday, September 20, 2018 Norton Rose Fulbright’s Vancouver office hosted its Artificial Intelligence summit, in partnership with the BC Tech Association..
September 20, 2018
Canada’s regulation of geographical indications (GI) on products was substantially modified when major amendments to the Trade-marks Act came into force on September 21, 2017..
October 20, 2017
The BC Court of Appeal has unanimously reversed what was the leading Canadian trial judgment to address Internet keyword advertising, clarifying the law of trademarks on the Internet..
February 07, 2017
Christopher Wilson discusses how the federal court decision 2018 FC 875 is a good example of Canada’s recent tendency to streamline resolutions by reducing delays in trademarks rights enforcement..
October 21, 2018
Christopher Wilson and Mat Brechtel discuss how The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision (R. v. Comeau 2018 SCC 15) regarding the restrictions on interprovincial transport of alcoholic beverages, reinforces the need to find a political solution to the problem of restricting trade across provinces..
May 01, 2018