Emerging Technology
Emerging Technology
Overview
Experience
People
News + Views + Events
Client Stories

The Field Law Emerging Technology Group works to keep you aware of the latest developments and how they may affect your business and personal lives. Field Law can help you manage your internet and emerging technology risks in the following areas:

Blockchain + Smart Contracts

We are in the midst of an endless stream of developments in hardware, software and computing power that has pushed blockchain and smart contracts into the mainstream. As you contend with the commercial and technical realities, regulations, risks and opportunities in this evolving sector, the Emerging Technology team at Field Law can help you with:

  • Advice on the negotiation and drafting of smart contract reference terms
  • Drafting consortium agreements for private or permission-based ledgers, and
  • Developing consortium governance policies, participant agreements, consortium management agreements, technology license agreements.

Cryptocurrencies

In the past decade, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple have significantly altered the landscape of electronic transactions. Utilizing distributed ledger and block chain technology, these cryptocurrencies are fundamentally changing the way we do business. From share transactions and contracts, to money transfers and supply chain management, block chain and cryptocurrencies are altering the way businesses process electronic transactions and manage assets. With these new opportunities also come new risks and challenges, with unique legal obstacles. In this emerging industry, government regulation and oversight is developing and changing quickly as these new technologies become widely adopted. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that your assets are protected and that your business can utilize these new technologies to grow your business safely.

Services provided for cryptocurrencies:

  • Wallet and Firewall Agreement
  • IT Outsourcing and Service Agreements
  • Cyber Liability
  • Security Opinions
  • Security Enforcement
  • Security Protocols and Encryption Standards

ESports

Canada’s esports sector generated a revenue of $27.8 million in 2020. Globally, the industry is projected to increase by nearly 10% each year between now and 2023. Field Law is excited to be involved with esports in Canada and support a variety of activities as a partner of the Alberta Esports Association (AESA). 

With a combination of sport, media, entertainment, technology and creative content, the world of esports can be complex from a legal perspective. Given the ambitious and rapidly growing esports industry, legal experience is valuable in helping teams, talent and regulatory bodies to develop sustainable and effective business practices. At Field Law, we provide advice on all manner of issues impacting the esports sector, including:

  • Business + corporate, including financing, mergers and acquisitions
  • Franchise, partnering and service arrangements
  • Intellectual Property, including licensing, trademarks and copyright
  • Immigration, including visa applications
  • Contract drafting and negotiations

The Emerging Technology Group offers its clients the opportunity to stay up to date and prepared for related developments in Canada by offering lunch and learn sessions on the latest legislative movements, insurance trends and technology developments both here at home and globally. We also offer webinars and an eNewsletter with all the latest information on drones, blockchain and cyber liability.

R v Shah, 2017 ABQB 144
Dmyterko v Telus, 2021 ABQB 175
Andrews v. McHale and 1625531 (Gemstone Logistics) , 2016 FC 624
Geophysical Service Incorporated v. Encana Corporation, 2016 ABQB 230
Resource Well Completion Technologies Inc. v. Canuck Completions Ltd., 2014 ABQB 209
Pat's Off-Road Transport v. Campbell et al, 2010 ABQB 443
Stonetile  (Canada) Ltd. v. Castcon Ltd., 2010 ABQB 392
Marty Sanders v. Smart & Biggar Intellectual Property & Technology Law, 2010 FC 73
Suzanne's Inc. v. Auld Phillips Ltd., 46 C.P.R. (4th) 81, Federal Court of Appeal, 46 C.P.R. (4th) 81, Federal Court of Appeal
Norac Systems International Inc. v. Massload Technologies Inc., 1997 CanLII 4900
September 4, 2021
A Legal Perspective on Issues in Gaming
Alberta Esports Association: Capsule Series Panelist
August 2021
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2022
38 Field Lawyers Recognized
Field Law is pleased to announce that 38 of our lawyers are recognized in their respective practice areas in the 16th edition of The Best Lawyers™ in Canada. Recognition in Best Lawyers™ is based on peer reviews of ...
August 23, 2021
As Esports Grows and Creates new Legal Challenges, Law Firm Allies with Alberta Esports Association
Canadian Lawyer
August 16, 2021 - 2 min read
Field Law Announces Sponsorship of Alberta Esports Association (AESA)
CALGARY – August 16, 2021 –Field Law’s Emerging Technology group is pleased to announce a new alliance with the Alberta Esports Association (AESA), a not-for-profit organization established in 2020 that serves as the governing body fo...
June 2021
Future Outlook of the Canadian Drone Industry
Unmanned Systems Canada Masterclass
May 13, 2021
Coffee + Counsel: How to Protect Your Business Against Phishing Attacks
Q+A Session
Join us for another edition of Coffee + Counsel, a complimentary series that brings you together with a few of our lawyers for an unscripted chat about legal issues pertinent to organizations in Alberta. Your questions guide the discussion, and we prov...
May 5, 2021
The Modernization of Canadian Privacy Law: Where Are We Heading?
Seminars
Individuals and organizations, both large and small, are increasingly faced with challenging issues in the area of privacy and information handling. Bill C-11, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020, seeks to modernize Canadian privacy legis...
March 2021 - 4 min read
Facial Recognition: A Privacy Law Perspective
Humans love to look at faces – our families, our friends, complete strangers.  In some ways, our brains are optimized for facial identity recognition. We’re good at it, so of course we want to teach machines how to do it even bet...
August 2020
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2021
38 Fielders Recognized
Field Law is pleased to announce that 38 of our lawyers are recognized in their respective practice areas in the 15th edition of The Best Lawyers™ in Canada. Recognition in Best Lawyers™ is based on peer reviews of ...
May 2020
Cybersecurity in the Age of COVID-19 (And Beyond)
January 2020
Click-Through Agreements
IP Blog
July 11, 2019
Understanding Your Intellectual Property Toolbox
Seminars
Do you work in an industry with technology or inventions that you are trying to protect? Or are you looking to commercialize your existing technology and capitalize on it? Join Field Law's Neil Kathol, a lawyer and trademark agent, for a Lunch...
May + June 2019
Drone Workshop: Updates on Canada's Drone Regulations
Seminars
Canada's Latest Drone Regulations - Are You Ready to Fly?The Field Law Emerging Technology Group invites you to take to the sky with your drone, but before you do, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the regulation, risks and responsibili...
May 2019
New Canadian Drone Regulations
Effective June 1, 2019, Transport Canada has new rules for flying drones in Canada. These new regulations hope to enhance predictability for businesses and improve the safety from drone operations relating to aviation and the Canadian public. &nbs...
April 24, 2019
Trailblazers: An Evening to Celebrate Women in Intellectual Property, Technology, Engineering + Math
Client Events
The Women's Intellectual Property Networking Group of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada presents:Trailblazers: An Evening to Celebrate Women in Intellectual Property, Technology, Engineering + Math    Date: Wednesday, Apr...
March 18, 2019
Tech Support: Law Firms Lining up to Take Advantage of Tech Boom
Canadian Lawyer Mag
Erika Carrasco discusses how the law surrounding drones offers a typical example of the challenges of working in a fast-developing area.
February 12, 2019
Exploring the Legal Aspects of Smart Contracts and Their Role in Blockchain
Presentations
Blockchain in Oil + Gas Canada 2019
January 10, 2019
New Canadian Drone Regulations
Ted Henley, CityNews
(3:54) Erika Carrasco discusses the new rules for flying drones in Canada that come into effect on June 1, 2019.
January 10, 2019
Will new Rules for Drone Flights in Canada Make our Skies Safer?
Judy Aldous, CBC News
Transport Canada published new rules for flying drones in Canada that come into effect on June 1, 2019. Erika Carrasco discusses these new rules and answers questions on Alberta at Noon with Judy Aldous.
January 9, 2019
New Canadian Drone Regulations
On January 9, 2019, Transport Canada published new rules for flying drones in Canada to enhance predictability for businesses, improve the security of aviation and ensure our airspace is safe for everyone.  The new regulations distinguish bet...
September 2018
Cyber Losses: A Serious Organizational Risk in the Modern World
The Lawyer's Daily
August 2018
Use of Facial Recognition Software at Calgary Malls Raises Privacy Concerns
The Lawyer's Daily
June 2018
Smart Contracts (Part 2): Intermediaries? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Intermediaries!
IP Blog
June 2018
Smart Contracts as Programmatically Executable Transactions and Blockchain
Presentations
BLOCKCHAIN for Energy - Learnings from Oil and Gas Industry Applications
May 29, 2018
New Drone Regulations are Coming to Canada – Are You Ready for the Changes?
Seminars
Canadian Bar Association
Join Erika Carrasco to explore new drone regulations coming to Canada. Specific topics of the session will include:  What are the current Regulations in Canada and how and why are they changing?  What will this mean for lawyers n...
April 3, 2018
Blockchain Hype, Myths and Today’s Practical Applications
Presentations
Evening Pubinar Series (IAIA-WNC Southern Alberta)
Winter 2018
Cybersecurity for Canadian Organizations
Risks + What to Do
Digital technologies offer many benefits, but they also expose their users to an increasing range of threats with the potential not only to cripple or destroy an organization’s digital assets and data, but also to cause huge financial losses. It ...
February 14, 2018
2018 Blockchain IoT & Machine Learning
Client Events
Oil & Gas Canada
How to Manage the Legal Risk of Emerging Technologies and IoT and Reap the Benefit
February 2018
Trademarks: Use it or lose it – and prove it!
The Medium
You may be surprised to learn that even after your trade-mark is registered, it can be expunged from the Trade-marks Register. One way is through Section 45 of the Trade-marks Act (“Act”). Section 45 of the Act authorizes expungement of tra...
February 2018
The Google vs. Equustek Decision: What comes next?
The Medium
The internet is borderless, right? So how does one country balance the rights of internet users within its own borders? And can a Canadian court reach across an international border to control the online conduct of an American company? The case of...
February 2018
Goodbye Floppy Disk, Hello Streaming Video: Trademark Evolution, Part 2
The Medium
Technology certainly evolves. Can a trademark do the same?In the world of intellectual property rights, a registered trademark can live on for a hundred years or more. If you registered a trademark in the 1800s, it could still be valid today. But will ...
February 2018
Neil Kathol on Global News with Nancy Hixt
Legal experts urge caution when posting online about the #MeToo movement
January 2018
Drones 101
Calgary lawyer says laws confusing but clarity is on the horizon
January 2018
The Blockchain Patent Gold Rush
IP Blog
January 2018
Could New Technology Keep Drones from Spying on You?
Vanessa Hvratin, National Post
Erika Carrasco offers perspective on the current challenges facing the drone industry, and how new technology and privacy laws could impact future drone legislation.
December 2017
Case Summary: R v Shah
Defence + Indemnity
After the first reported decision on drones in Canada, the drone operator was found guilty of flying his drone "in a manner hazardous or likely hazardous to aviation safety" under section 602.45 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations as it then...
November 2017
IP: What’s In It For You
Presentations
Canadian Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
November 2017
Legally Using Drones in Construction - How to Maximize Profit while Minimizing Risk
Presentations
BUILDEX Calgary
November 2017
Legal Eagle to Explain How to Soar like a Drone Properly
Peter Caulfield, Journal of Commerce
Ahead of Calgary Buildex 2017, Erika Carrasco provides background on her presentation on safe, legal use of drones: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No It's a Drone! Legal Know-how for Successful Use and Operation of UAVs on Construction and Comm...
September 2017
Autonomous Vehicle Law: The Current Legal Landscape
Presentations
The National Public Sector Lawyers Forum
June 2017
First Calgarian Convicted for Flying Drone Wins New Trial After Appeal
Shawn Logan, Calgary Herald
Erika Carrasco grants insight into the complexities of UAV Regulations in Canada, and her involvement as counsel in the appeal of the first person in Calgary charged under those Regulations.
June 2017
“I googled it”: Generic Words and Trademark Rights
The Medium
A registered trademark can suffer "genericide" if it becomes so commonly used that it transforms from a unique brand name into a generic word which is synonymous with a product or service.   In a very interesting decision from the U...
June 2017
Is Software Patentable? Recent US Case Law Offers a Glimmer of Hope
The Medium
Many inventions involve software, and many inventors are interested in protecting such inventions with a patent. The question is: are software inventions patentable?  Based on recent cases in the United States, the answer is: yes, software inventi...
June 2017
Non-Competition Clauses: Enforceable or Just for Show?
The Medium
When can a non-competition clause actually stop someone from working? Or are these clauses just for show?   Let's take a look at a couple of cases involving departing employees who find themselves in hot water with a former employer.  ...
April 2017
Taking Off: Drone Law in Canada
Seminars
What You Need to Know to (Legally) Operate a Drone   Did you know that people operating drones are considered pilots of aircraft? Or that the Canadian drone market is estimated to be worth between $100-$260 million by 2024? How about the fac...
September 2016
Ownership of Copyright in Software
Can an employee claim to own the employer’s software?An “author” of a work is the first owner of copyright. To determine ownership, it’s necessary to determine which contributions will be considered “authors...
September 2016
The Wild West: Drone Laws and Privacy in Canada
‘Drones’ were first known by the military as unmanned aerial vehicles, and later by the International Civil Aviation Organization as remotely piloted aircraft systems. Drones come in various shapes and sizes and can be p...
September 2016
Post-Grant Patent Amendment - Canadian and US Options
On the long and sometimes bumpy road of patent prosecution, a Notice of Allowance can be a welcome sign that you are nearly at your destination: a granted patent. But the journey is not over yet. At the time of grant, what if you re...
March 2016
Competing After Employment (Part Two)
The Medium
Last summer, Jawbone, a fitness tracking hardware and software maker, sued its arch-­rival Fitbit (CNET, 2015) alleging that Fitbit lured its employees away to obtain access to Jawbone’s confidential information and produc...
April 2015
Texas Justice Provides an Evidence Solution
The Medium
Have you ever been in a situation where you have reliable information that an organization has infringed your intellectual property rights, but you do not have actual “evidence” in­-hand? This article discusses a pro...
April 2015
Competing After Employment (Part One)
The Medium
A key employee departs. The employer, worried that confidential information has leaked out of the company, scrambles to respond. After a frenzied period of preparation, the employer starts a lawsuit and seeks an injunction against t...
November 2014
Canada's New Trademark Law and What it Means for Business
The Medium
Through sweeping legislation smuggled in by means of an omnibus budget bill, Canada’s trademark registration regime will be changed more dramatically than at any time in the last 50 years. The changes are giving trademark agen...
November 2014
Intellectual Asset Management Best Practices – Part 2
The Medium
In Part 1, we looked at three important steps in starting an intellectual asset management process within your organization. “Intellectual assets” can include the know-­how and intellectual capital within your organizatio...
May 2014
Illustrator Wins Copyright Infringement Case at the Supreme Court
The Cinar v. Robinson decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in late 2013 is of interest to Canada’s creative community, and copyright owners generally including owners of industrial copyright.  The case makes it clear that Courts...
May 2014
Intellectual Asset Management Best Practices - Part 1
The Medium
Does your organization have “intellectual assets”? Regardless of what your organization does – whether it is a service ­based business, or in the manufacturing sector, whether it is driven by cloud-­based software or bric...
May 2014
Whose Invention Is It Anyway? Some Thoughts on Patent Inventorship and Ownership
Patents provide a number of commercial benefits to patent owners including exclusivity in the market, bargaining power and the potential for licensing income. Needless to say, ensuring that you are the rightful owner of the patent is essential. An...
February 2014
New Weapons to Combat Counterfeit Products
Brand owners face the ever growing problem of counterfeit products imported into and sold in Canada. Compared to the “real thing”, counterfeit products are often inferior in quality and may even pose a potential health or safety hazard...
February 2014
The Legal Perils of 3D Printing
3D printing refers to the techniques also known as “additive manufacturing”. This process uses a digital model to create a three-dimensional object by adding successive layers of materials in the shape of the object.3D printing machine...
February 2014
Supreme Court on Copyright Infringement and Protection of Ideas
Let’s say you pitch a story idea to a TV production company ­- and not just an idea, but a complete set of storyboards, characters and scripts. You would be surprised if one day you saw that story idea come to life in a TV production tha...
November 2013
Patenting, Publishing and Trade Secrets: Strategies for Inventors
A company independently develops an innovation and they discover later that it has been patented by a competitor. The competitor did not steal or reverse ­engineer that innovation – they simply arrived at it independently, and got to the...
November 2013
Tips and Trends in Online Contracting
The Medium
Wondering if your online contract will hold up? Here’s the good news: online contracts are enforceable in Canada. For a number of years the courts have shown that they will uphold online agreements in the same way as written paper agreements...
November 2013
Getting Your Application Through the USPTO - Expedited Examination Options
The Medium
You’ve developed your new technology, taken care to keep it confidential and are planning to file for patent protection at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Everything looks good. Until your patent agent tells you it may be 3 or mo...
June 2013
Norwich Orders: You Can't Be Anonymous on the Internet After All
The Medium
It’s hard to start a lawsuit when you don’t know who you’re suing. What can potential claimants do when they have been wronged but lack the essential information necessary to start a lawsuit? The answer to this question came in ...
June 2013
Software Licenses and Indemnities: What Obligations Are You Taking On?
The Medium
License agreements often contain indemnities. An indemnity is a contractual obligation to step in and reimburse some financial obligation such as a liability, loss, or damage. In essence, the party giving the indemnity will make the injured p...
March 2013
Protection By Design: Industrial Design Law In Canada
The Medium
Bodum – a maker of popular coffee­-press and glass products – wanted to protect their design for a double-­walled drinking glass in a competitive marketplace. Apple wanted to protect the design of their popular handsets like th...
March 2013
Trademark Rights: Across the Border and On the Web
The Medium
Here are three concepts that are not new: trade­marks, borders and the internet. But the courts are still trying to work out how to handle the three when they collide, as they did in the case of HomeAway.com, Inc. v. Hrdlicka. In this interest...
March 2013
The Heart of The Patent Bargain: Viagra Patent Invalidated In Canada
The Medium
In a recent unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Canada (Teva Canada Limited v Pfizer Canada Inc.), Pfizer Canada’s patent to its multi­million dollar selling Viagra was invalidated for insufficient disclosure. The decision allows ...
March 2013
Utility Models, Petty Patents & Innovation Patents: Efficient IP Protection for SMEs
The Medium
For small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), patent protection can be complex and costly. And yet, for many of them, patent protection is a must to maintain their competitive edge. A fast and cheap option for protecting mechanical inventions, pro...
April 2012
Canadian Patents: Importance of Registering Assignment
The Medium
This is a review of a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which has implications for Canadian patent owners and assignees.  The case is Verdellen v. Monaghan Mushrooms Ltd. The facts are that the Applicant...
April 2012
Is Nature "Patentable"?
The Medium
A recent unanimous decision (Mayo Collaborative Services. v. Prometheus Labs. Inc.) by the United States Supreme Court has invalidated two patents held by Prometheus Labs Inc. on the basis that the claims contained patent ineli...

Where we began: Our client was convicted under s. 602.45 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (part of the Aeronautics Act) for flying his drone too close to an airport. A trial he was represented by volunteer law students. We were approached by them to represent the client on the appeal of the conviction. The issue on appeal was whether the trial judge had correctly found that our client had beyond a reasonable doubt, flown a model aircraft in a manner that was or was likely hazardous to aviation safety. The only law that applied to recreational use of a drone at that time. 

Our approach: Through the appeal process we used our in-depth industry knowledge and deep understanding of the new regulatory frameworks to assist the Court in understanding the applicable law relating to recreational drone use.

The result: The appeal of our client’s conviction was successful. Within weeks of the decision s. 602.45 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations was amended to no longer apply to drones and the Minister of Transport issued an Interim Order that provide more clarity for recreational drone operators. This prevented other drone users across Canada from facing the same penalty.