Brian Chau

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Related services and key industries


With a background in electrical and computer engineering, Brian Chau focuses on intellectual property, primarily patent prosecution, strategy, and portfolio management.

Brian specializes in examination and original drafting for patent applications in challenging subject matter areas, including software patents for computer science-based innovations relating to machine learning / artificial intelligence, distributed ledger, blockchain, and trading technologies, as well as mathematically intensive technologies such as power circuits, networking and cellular technologies. Brian has deep experience in protecting technologies from both foundational (e.g., machine learning architectures, cryptographic algorithms, and loss functions) and practical applied technology perspectives (e.g., electric vehicle drivetrains, 3D printers, smart order routers, physical network routers).

In the 2023 Evident AI Patent Innovation Report, Brian drafted five of the top 20 most influential AI patents in the report, including #1 and #5 on the ranking.

He is well versed in supporting scaling companies, and can assist with identifying and connecting with federal and provincial support programs. In particular, Brian has successfully completed a large number of projects, and acknowledges both the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario's efforts in supporting IP initiatives for the benefit of Canadians.

Brian is a Black Duck Legal Specialist and can assist companies with open source reviews.  Brian led an open source review and compliance program for a publicly listed, multinational corporation in the energy industry, and assists scaling companies with navigating emerging issues relating to open source and data governance as it relates to machine learning.

Prior to attending Osgoode Hall Law School, Brian graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of Toronto, worked at a multinational technology company as a software engineer, and worked at a leading professional services firm as a management consultant. 

Brian is both appreciative and a proud supporter of Canada's progressive stance on equality, diversity, and inclusion policies, and looks for opportunities to give back to the community in view of his family being welcomed as refugees during conflicts in South East Asia.

He is qualified both as a Canadian patent agent and a US patent agent. He is also a professional engineer and an IEEE member.  Brian is qualified as a lawyer both in the State of New York and in Ontario.

Brian is very familiar with the Canadian / provincial governmental support programs and is listed on the roster of IP Service Providers for IP Ontario (IPON) under automotive technology and artificial intelligence.

Professional experience

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J.D., Osgoode Hall Law School, 2012
BASc, Electrical Engineering, University of Toronto, 2007

  • New York 2023
  • United States (patents) 2019
  • Canada (patents) 2018
  • Ontario 2013

Brian has acted in the following matters:

  • For a major international energy company, leading an international team defending the company in patent litigation respect of a patent for QR code payment systems, leading to a successful invalidation of the claimant's patent    
  • For a major Canadian financial institution, drafting patent applications for both foundational and applied uses of artificial intelligence, obtaining a large number of granted patents, personally drafting five of the top 20 patents listed as the most influential AI patents in the 2023 Evident AI Innovation Report (including #1)
  • For a major Canadian financial institution, leading patent mining workshops, and preparing a large volume of originating drafting of patent applications relating to foundational computer science and machine learning approaches, applied computer science technologies to help protect innovations ranging from payment technologies to smart order routers for use in electronic trading.  Successfully overcoming patentable / patent-eligible subject matter challenges for business method and financial technology patents relating to blockchain / distributed ledger technology
  • For a major Canadian energy company, leading license negotiations with a non-practicing entity in respect of web technologies
  • For a scaling Canadian medical technology company, obtaining a significant patent application portfolio and assisting the company through IP diligence for a successful venture funding    
  • For a publicly traded multinational corporation manufacturing smart grid solutions, acting as interim open source counsel to lead an open source review program relating to incorporating and/or using open source technologies, including both open source projects and open source data sets
  • For an international healthcare software company, preparing and obtaining medical technology patents and graphical user interface (GUI) industrial designs / design patents
  • For a scaling Canadian network technology company, obtaining a significant patent application portfolio covering core networking technologies as well as adjacent hardware and future-state technologies
  • For an international energy company, assisting a patent litigation matter as a subject matter expert on web and payment technologies
  • Leading a large number of IP assist projects for clients, including the preparation of IP strategy reports and guidance materials
  • Dean’s Fellow (Contract Law, Property Law), Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Joseph D. Sorbara Bursary
  • Ontario International Education Opportunity Scholarship
  • "IP a Key Part of Due Diligence in Transactions," Law Times, February 2015
  • "Re-Visiting Patent Re-Examination Under Sections 48.1–48.5," Intellectual Property Journal, IPJ 24.3 279; Carswell, November 2012
  • IP Innovation Clinic, IP Osgoode - Open Source and Data Compliance (presenter), February 2023
  • IP Ontario (IPON) Auto Services Launch Panel (panelist), December 2022
  • 11th Annual IP Colloquium at the University of Toronto, AI as Inventor (panelist), November 2022
  • Advanced IP Project for Ontario (in collaboration with Western University) - Software and AI Modules (contributor), November 2022
  • IP Strategy Boot Camp - Commercialization of IP Rights, Western University (presenter), November 2022
  • Commericalizing IP, IP Intensive, Osgoode Hall Law School (LW3581M) (guest lecturer), February 2022 (ongoing since 2017)
  • Blockchain and IP: Smart Contracts, Protecting Innovations, Enforcing Licenses, and More (presenter), Strafford CLE Webinar, January 2020
  • Toronto Metropolitan University, Design Management II (CDDM 102) (guest lecturer), May 2017
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Law Society of Upper Canada


  • English