Richard Stobbe
Richard Stobbe
Lawyer, Trademark Agent, CLP
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Client Stories
Notable Work

Richard Stobbe is an intellectual property lawyer, Trademark Agent and Certified Licensing Professional (CLP), helping corporations and individuals throughout Alberta with a practical and solutions-oriented approach. Many of his clients are mid-sized software vendors, company founders and owner-operators who value Richard's responsive, cut-to-the-chase approach to problem solving. He is also called in to flag and resolve issues for corporate transactions involving intellectual property (IP) assets.

As you might expect from a practice focused on Alberta, Richard's IP clients frequently serve the oil and gas industry's software needs. In addition to the energy space, Richard works with tech companies involved with fintech, remote data collection, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) engines, agriculture, insurance and university-based tech transfer. He has years of experience handling sophisticated business issues involving the full spectrum of IP concerns, including:

  • IP licensing
  • Software licensing and escrow
  • IP due diligence
  • Technology transfer and patent licensing
  • Cloud-computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  • Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), consortium agreements for private or permission-based ledgers, consortium governance policies, and participant agreements
  • Franchise law
  • Trademark prosecution and dispute resolution
  • Domain name law
  • Internet law
  • Internet-of-things (IoT), data security, and cyber-liability risk assessments
  • E-commerce law
  • Online Terms & Conditions, and “click-through” agreements
  • Privacy law, including privacy related to drone and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)

Prior to joining Field Law, Richard practiced with a Calgary firm and in Vancouver, B.C. He has been a course instructor in intellectual property law for the Masters of Biotechnology class at the University of Calgary and for the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University and has been a guest lecturer at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law in Vancouver. Richard has taught business law at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and "Internet Law and New Media" at the University of British Columbia and has also instructed the course "Internet Law - The Law and New Media" at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Value to Clients

"My role is to help my clients make better decisions at critical points in their business life. Information is cheap but clear analysis and customized advice is invaluable."

Outside the Office

"In the winter, I'm with my family on the ski-hill as often as possible. In the summer, we hike, canoe and spend time in the backcountry of Alberta."


Canadian IT Law Association
2016 - Present
Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC)
Law Society of Alberta
Licensing Executives Society, Calgary Chapter
Law Society of British Columbia
Canadian Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section
Licensing Executives Society, Calgary Chapter
Canadian Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section
Readers' Choice Top Author
JD Supra
Pacific Centre for Discipleship Association
2000 - 2005
Pacific Centre for Discipleship Association
2000 - 2005
Law Society of British Columbia
Legal Support
2001 - 2002
Canadian Bar Association British Columbia
Legal Support
2001 - 2002
University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law
Research Assistant
1997 - 1998
University of Calgary, Master of Biotechnology
Guest Lecturer
March 6, 2019
Beer®: Trademark Protection & Legal Quality Control for the Long Haul
Alberta Craft Brewing Convention
February 12, 2019
Exploring the Legal Aspects of Smart Contracts and Their Role in Blockchain
Blockchain in Oil + Gas Canada 2019
December 2018
Pour a Glass of Trademarks
In time for the holidays, this is a tale of competing brands sloshing around the marketplace. Please enjoy responsibly.Diageo North America, Inc. is purveyor of some of the world’s best-known brands of spirits and beer, some of which are probably...
November 2018
Case Summary: Copytrack Pte Ltd. v Wall
Defence + Indemnity
A British Columbia court has come out with one of the first Canadian decisions directly addressing the enforcement of rights to ownership of cryptocurrency.Copytrack Pte Ltd. v Wall, 2018 BCSC 1709, per Skolrood, J.FACTS AND ISSUES:Copytrack Pte Ltd. (...
October 2018
#Hashmarks: Can a Hashtag be a Trademark?
The Medium
Through its automatic web of connections, the humble hashtag has been repurposed: it’s now associated with the cachet of internet fame.  In social media platforms the hashtag brings users from one descriptor to thousands of associated result...
October 2018
How do “Smart Contracts” Fit With “Traditional Contracts”?
The Medium
Placing Smart Contracts in ContextA “smart contract” is really a set of computer programs designed to automatically execute certain transaction steps, provided certain conditions are met. It’s not so much a contract, in the legal sens...
September 25, 2018
Energy.AI Workshop
Energy Futures Lab and JWN
September 19, 2018
Blockchain and Smart Contracts
PASC Education Day 2018
August 2018
Flippin' to the B-Side
Craft Beer Trademarks
In 2015, an Ontario craft brewer, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company (Beau’s) applied for a trademark for B-SIDE BREWING LABEL, for use in association with Ontario craft beers. The “B-Side Brewing Label” is an innovative promoti...
June 25, 2018
Surveillance Machines: Privacy Implications of Drones, UAVs and Driverless Vehicles
Canadian Bar Association
June 2018
Smart Contracts (Part 2): Intermediaries? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Intermediaries!
June 2018
Smart Contracts as Programmatically Executable Transactions and Blockchain
BLOCKCHAIN for Energy - Learnings from Oil and Gas Industry Applications
May 2018
Can Smart Contracts Really be Smart?
The Medium
“We are in the midst of a revolution – a revolution in the technology of storing, processing, and communicating information… [which] has brought about profound changes in business, political, and social institutions.” This quo...
April 3, 2018
Blockchain Hype, Myths and Today’s Practical Applications
Evening Pubinar Series (IAIA-WNC Southern Alberta)
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 ...
January 2018
The Blockchain Patent Gold Rush
June 2017
US Drone Registry is Shot Down
By Richard Stobbe In response to the proliferation of recreational drones in American skies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced a rule known as the “Registration Rule” in 2015. The rule required drone owners to register their drones ...
June 2017
Copyright in Seismic Data is Confirmed
By Richard Stobbe In a decision last year, GSI (Geophysical Service Incorporated) sued to win control over seismic data that it claimed to own. GSI used copyright principles to argue that by creating databases of seismic data, it was the proper owner o...
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 US Ninth Circu...
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.  ...
May 2017
Copyright Infringement on a Website: the risks of scraping and framing
By Richard Stobbe If photos are available on the internet, then… they’re free for the taking, right? Wait, that’s not how copyright law works? In the world of copyright, each original image theoretically has an “author” who created the image, and is th...
April 2017
Defamation with the Click of a Mouse: Assessing Damages
By Richard Stobbe In the midst of a challenging period for a condominium owners association in a property located in Costa Rica, the president of the association resigned in frustration. Someone had overheard a rumour that the president resigned becaus...
April 2017
Patent Infringement for Listing on eBay?
By Richard Stobbe A patent owner notices that knock-off products are listed for sale on eBay. The knock-offs appear to infringe his patent. When eBay refuses to remove the allegedly infringing articles. The patent owner sues eBay for patent infringemen...
March 2017
Canadian Copyright & Breach of Technological Protection Measures (TPMs): $12.7 million in Damages
By Richard Stobbe It’s always exciting when there’s a new decision about an obscure 5-year old subsection of the Copyright Act! Back in 2012, Canada changed its Copyright Act to try and drag it into the 21st century. Among the 2012 changes were provisi...
March 2017
Interim Canadian drone rules launched
By Richard Stobbe As the recreational and commercial use of drones expands, the calls for a regulatory framework have grown louder. The Canadian federal government has, until last week, taken the simple approach of prohibiting the use of UAVs: “No pers...
March 2017
Experimental Use of an Invention
By Richard Stobbe Inventors must take care that their invention is “new” for it to be patentable. That means the invention hasn’t been disclosed to the public. Trade show announcements, press releases, publications, offering the invention for sale – al...
February 2017
Another Canadian Decision Reaches Outside Canada
By Richard Stobbe This fascinating Ontario case deals with an Alberta-based individual who complained of certain material that was re-published on the website based in Romania. The server that hosted the website was located in Romania. The...
February 2017
VCC vs. VCC: Where's the Confusion?
. By Richard Stobbe When we’re talking about trademarks, at which point do we measure whether there is confusion in the mind of the consumer? We reviewed this issue in 2015 (See: No copyright or trademark protection for metatags). In that earlier decis...
September 2016
Ownership of Copyright in Software
September 2016
The Wild West: Drone Laws and Privacy in Canada
July 2016
A Binding "Clickwrap Agreement" From Paper?
February 2016
What Happens When a Franchise Agreement Ends - Part Three: Rescission
March 2016
Competing After Employment (Part Two)
The Medium
March 2016
Trademarks and Copyright
December 2015
Patent Law, Software Licensing and IT Transactions
November 2015
Top Ten Developments in Intellectual Property Law
September 2015
Forum Selection in Online Terms
September 2015
Technology Escrow Agreements
August 2015
No copyright or trademark protection for metatags
April 2015
Competing After Employment (Part One)
The Medium
March 2015
What Happens When a Franchise Agreement Ends, Part Two: Cancellation
November 2014
Intellectual Asset Management Best Practices – Part 2
The Medium
May 2014
Intellectual Asset Management Best Practices - Part 1
May 2014
Forget Me, Google
Richard was interviewed by CBA National magazine on the subject of a recent EU privacy decision.
May 2014
Unilateral Changes to Online Terms: Do They Work
February 2014
Franchise Law Series: Part One
February 2014
Supreme Court on Copyright Infringement and Protection of Ideas
November 2013
Tips and Trends in Online Contracting
October 2013
Keeping Secrets: Trade Secrets and Confidentiality Agreements
June 2013
Software Licenses and Indemnities: What Obligations Are You Taking On?
March 2013
Protection By Design: Industrial Design Law In Canada
March 2013
Trade-Mark Rights: Across the Border & on the Web
March 2013
Intellectual Property Protection and Patents
March 2013
Protecting Intellectual Property
January 2013
Outsourcing by Canadian Companies: Another Look at the USA Patriot Act
Dec 2012
Click and Copy: Breach of Online License Agreements and Copyright Infringement
October 2012
Cloud Computing
September 2012
The Perils of Disclosure: Invention Disclosure and Patent Grace Periods
May 2012
Software Licensing: The Good, The Bad and the Virtual
April 2012
Intellectual Property Issues in Corporate-Commercial Transactions
The Medium
February 2012
You Can't Have Clouds Without a Little Bit of Lightning: Cloud Computing in 2012
Winter 2012
Software Licensing and Development: A Case Study
Fall 2011
Canada's New Anti-Spam Legislation: How can it impact your business?
September 2011
Intellectual Property in the Digital Age
Richard Stobbe was interviewed by CTV for Intellectual Property in the Digital Age an interesting review of media, privacy, copyright and the concept of “fair dealing”. When you post pictures to Facebook, or other social-media or photo-shar...
Aug 2011
Canadian Trade-Mark Update: .XXX Blocking Process
May 2011
Software licensing in the cloud
May 2011
Canada Mulls Registration of Non-Traditional Marks
The Lawyers Weekly interviewed Richard Stobbe for its article "Canada mulls registration of non-traditional marks."The introduction of motion marks in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) would permit registration of marks such as...
April 2011
Copyright Reform is Dead…. Long Live Copyright Reform!
Spring 2011
Tips For Software Licensing in 2011
Winter 2011
Executive Compensation: Looking at the Whole Package
January 2011
CleanTech in Calgary
November 2010
The legal implications of app development
April 2010
The Law of Open Source Licensing
February 2010
Introduction to Intellectual Property and Licensing
November 2009
Tips and Trends in CleanTech Licensing
November 2009
Apps: The Legal Side
April 2009
10 Cases / 10 Clauses
March 2009
Introduction to Intellectual Property and Licensing
December 2007
Open Source: Software, Biotech & Beyond
Business Law 200
June 2003
Managing and Protecting Your Intellectual Property
Internet Law and New Media
November 2001
Key Issues to Building a Solid High-Tech Company
May 2001
Canadian Privacy Law
February 2001
Analysis of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and Intellectual Property Overview
June 2000
Coca-Cola vs. Pardhan
Internet Law - The Law and New Media

Publisher of, the first Calgary-based law-blog to focus on intellectual property law, trade-marks and internet law in Canada, October 2006 - present.

Interviewed by Maclean’s magazine on the topic of online defamation. (May, 2009)

Interviewed by Montreal Gazette (January, 2008) on the topic of copyright and digital rights management.

Interviewed by Oilweek Magazine (January 2007) on the subject of IP licensing.

National Post interview on the plan to fast-track cleantech patent applications: Canada plays catch-up on cleantech patents.

Helping clients move their negotiations forward

  • An Alberta-based software vendor had developed a proprietary product that it was ready to take to market with their first big customer. The software vendor turned to Richard when they faced negotiations involving complex contractual issues with which they didn't have first-hand experience. "They felt as though their reputation was at stake and they were losing control of the negotiation process," as Richard described it. "Issues such as software escrow, IP indemnities and limitations of liability - these issues took on additional importance for this client in light of the size of the deal. The stakes were higher. So, we unpacked the issues one at a time, got them through the process under some intense time and budget pressures, signed the deal and helped them move onto implementation."

Negotiating complex deals for clients

  • Richard was brought in to handle IP due diligence when the founders of an Alberta-based software client were negotiating the sale of the company’s assets to a much bigger U.S. company. A smaller firm was initially engaged to assist with the main contract negotiations. However, when it became clear that the deal was becoming much more complex, the smaller firm turned to Richard to take on the whole transaction. "We took over as lead counsel as the deal evolved. I assisted the client through a long and complicated asset purchase agreement, one with a few cross-border twists. The deal involved terms of payment after closing, residual risks and complex representations and warranties about what the vendors were able to promise about the assets they were selling. Of course, there was a tight closing deadline. It was a big plus for me to have deep, expert help within Field Law. When you’re negotiating across from U.S. counsel, it’s nice to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your colleagues who have securities, corporate and employment law expertise. It’s this bench-strength that clients are looking for when they are negotiating the biggest deal of their lives."
  • Acted as counsel for the vendor in the purchase and sale of shares of a cloud-computing (software-as-a-service) company
  • Acted as counsel for health services company in its acquisition by a public company for aggregate consideration of up to $215 million, including the sale of intellectual property to the purchaser for an aggregate purchase price of $55 million in cash
  • Acted as counsel for the borrower in connection with $90 million credit facility including preparation and drafting of closing documents, credit agreement and subsidiary guarantees and security
  • Acted for multinational oil company in preparation and drafting of closing documents in connection with $45 million amended credit agreement and subsidiary guarantees
  • Preparation and drafting of documents for $15 million investment in manufacturing company by way of issuance of series of secured debentures
  • Conducted due diligence review, acting for syndicate of venture capitalists and other private investors in $14.5 million equity financing of biotechnology company, drafting and negotiating shareholder and share subscription agreements
  • Acted in acquisition and financing of $5.6 million fibre-optic network, and drafting related agreements, including indefeasible rights of use agreements
  • Licensing and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights, including software licensing, trade-mark licensing, licensing of mobile applications, patent licensing and assignments of IP rights
  • Advised multinational company on IT outsourcing, including software licensing, customization, technical support agreement and IT services agreement
  • Acted in negotiation and settlement of disputes regarding ownership of IP rights
  • Negotiated the settlement of domain name disputes including drafting domain name transfer agreements, and arbitration claims pursuant to dispute resolution procedures
  • Acted for university tech-transfer office in connection with out-bound licensing of intellectual property rights
  • Acted for internet-based software service providers in licensing of technology
  • Assisted client with preparation of national franchise agreements and disclosure documents
  • Trade-mark protection strategies, licensing, assignments and transfers, trade-mark prosecution and re-branding projects for companies with worldwide operations
  • Advising on website development agreements, online contracting and e-commerce agreements
  • Establishing security in connection with various transactions, including inventory financing, purchase and sale of real estate, inter-company loans
  • Preparing and advising on OEM, manufacturing and distribution agreements
  • Drafting and advising on multi-party joint venture agreements
  • Acting for companies and shareholders in the negotiation and drafting of shareholders agreements and share subscription agreements
  • Acting for purchasers / vendors in purchase and sale of business assets and shares, including drafting and negotiation of purchase agreements, conducting due diligence, reviewing and preparing financing documents, obtaining security
University of British Columbia, 1998, Bachelor of Laws
University of Waterloo, 1994, Bachelor of Arts With Honours
Certified Licensing Professionals, Inc., 2014, Certified Licensing Professional
Canada, 2001, Registered Trade-Mark Agent
British Columbia,1999