Curtis Behmann

Partner

Ottawa
Montréal
CBehmann@blg.com
613.787.3596 | 514.954.2596

Curtis is passionate about innovation, design, technology and intellectual property strategy. Innovative companies, their investors and advisors trust Curtis to help them strengthen their competitive advantage and create barriers to entry for competitors. He works with clients in areas from telecommunications and medical devices to autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and 3D printing.

He has developed an innovative suite of strategic intellectual property advisory services, to help companies use IP to drive business success.

Curtis, one of the top 300 IP strategists in the world according to the IAM Strategy 300, is a professional engineer, registered patent agent and design expert. His more than 20 years’ experience brings a unique combination of deep expertise and board-level strategic insights to startups, scale-ups and world-leading multinationals. Companies rely on Curtis’ strategic thinking, curiosity, problem solving expertise and investment in long-term relationships.

Curtis is a director of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (the voice of intellectual property professionals in Canada) and treasurer of AIPPI Canada. He is a member of BLG’s Innovation Thought Leadership Committee, chair of BLG’s Ottawa Charitable Donations Committee, and a former member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee (2008-2018).

Prior to joining BLG, Curtis was a senior patent examiner at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Experience

  • Trusted advisor to an American multinational medical technologies corporation for more than 10 years, providing patent and industrial design prosecution counselling and guidance.
  • Advised an investment fund focused on innovative companies, developing a playbook and framework for assessing company IP maturity and negotiating IP clauses in funding agreements.
  • Advising a stealth-mode start-up working on silicon, hardware and machine learning with a patent landscape review, patent assessment and application filing, including advising co-founders on risk assessment.
  • Providing patent prosecution counselling services for more than 12 years to an American telecommunications conglomerate, including navigating evolving guidelines on patent-eligible subject matter.
  • Worked with a multinational professional services firm to provide board-level assessment of intellectual property strategy and review of an existing patent portfolio for an optical semiconductor designer and manufacturer.
  • Trusted advisor for more than 15 years to a privately-held clean technology innovations company, including providing patent and design advice, and a recent strategic review and culling of patent and trademark portfolios, to maintain vital IP investments while reducing overall investment.
  • Expanded IP portfolio of a software development firm producing video streaming tools while providing timely IP due diligence advice to CFO.
  • Developed tailored IP strategy for an advanced manufacturing start-up in the context of a complex collaboration and investment environment.
  • Provided patent drafting, prosecution and IP strategy guidance to a healthcare software design consultancy, including direction on wisely focusing IP investments and helping avoid a planned IP investment that would not have provided business value.
  • Advised for more than a decade a global fabless semiconductor company with offices worldwide, working in semiconductor, storage, communications and optical networking spaces. Patent drafting and prosecution work with company inventors in Canada, United States and India. Actively provided strategic guidance from initial idea vetting stage at the company’s patent review committee, through to patent grant. Provided stability and continuity through changeover of four different primary IP contacts throughout the relationship, through to a large acquisition.
  • Advised a postsecondary institution on strategic assessment of two patent portfolios (hydrogen technology and big data), including patent asset assessment and portfolio metrics, market assessment, and commercialization options.
  • Assisted a leading manufacturing client with IP strategy prioritization for different R&D investments. Mandate included preparing board-level guidance and a detailed implementation blueprint (with timelines and quarterly breakdown of IP investments) for those responsible for implementation.
  • Developed and implemented an initial IP strategy for a start-up developing sustainable active packaging, including patent assessment and application filing, and strategic agreements-related advice to CEO.
  • As CIPO patent examiner, examined patent applications relating to emerging Internet and wireless technologies, data-switching networks, fiber-optic networks and related protocols, architectures, software and hardware.

Beyond our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Board of Directors, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC)
  • Secretary, AIPPI Canada
  • Canadian representative, International Standing Committee on Design, AIPPI (International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property)
  • Chair, Canada’s Industrial Design Practice Committee
  • Member, Organizing Committee for 2014 congress in Toronto, AIPPI
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Member, Professional Engineers Ontario
  • Member, Christian Legal Fellowship

Community Involvement

  • Volunteer, BLG Reads to Kids Program, 2002-present
  • Coach, Nepean Blue Devils Basketball Association, 2017-present
  • Guitarist/song leader, Cornerstone Wesleyan Church, 2013-present

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2021 edition (and since 2021) of Best Lawyers in Canada (Intellectual Property Law).
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition of Intellectual Asset Magazine's IAM Strategy 300, recognizing the top 300 IP strategists in the world.
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2014) of Intellectual Asset Magazine's (IAM) Patent 1000 - The World's Leading Patent Professionals (Prosecution - Recommended).
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2014) of Managing Intellectual Property's IP Stars (Patent).

Education

  • BSc (Hons.), electrical engineering, University of Ottawa, 1997