Multi-faceted partnership provides support to high-tech entrepreneurs and social innovators

Toronto, June 3, 2010 – Miller Thomson LLP, one of Canada’s most prominent law firms, has announced a multi-faceted partnership with MaRS Discovery District, Canada’s leading mission-driven innovation centre, focused on supporting emerging high-tech entrepreneurs and social innovators.

The partnership gives Miller Thomson an ongoing, collaborative presence at MaRS, providing counsel in business-critical areas such as business planning, finance, intellectual property management, and go-to-market strategies.

“Laying a solid legal foundation is central to building a successful business strategy for these high growth companies,” said Anthony de Fazekas, Partner at Miller Thomson and the firm’s lead at MaRS. “Our work at MaRS provides access to the full spectrum of legal expertise necessary to nurture and protect the intellectual property of some of Canada’s most promising innovators, including those in the expanding clean technology sector.”

Miller Thomson offers a suite of legal services designed to address the unique issues facing high-tech and clean technology companies, allowing them to compete in a global marketplace. The firm’s emerging business-friendly offerings provide legal counsel on a wide range of issues – from start-up requirements such as business structuring, tax, and intellectual property protection, to technology transfer and development agreements, employment, leasing, financing and advice on government funding programs.

“There is an urgent need in Canada to invest in our capacity to commercialize technologies,” said Aaron Atcheson, Partner at Miller Thomson and Leader of the firm’s National CleanTech Industry Group. “This is particularly true then in the area of clean technology – a crucial sector for Canada, as it represents high-value, green, globally competitive jobs.”

Today, there are approximately 6,000 clean technology companies in Canada employing more than 250,000 people. Yet, Canada ranks 13th out of 17 developed countries in commercializing technology innovations.

“Thirteenth out of 17 is simply not good enough,” said Atcheson. “Organizations such as MaRS deserve national attention and we are eager to apply our expertise in support of their efforts.”

Miller Thomson’s National CleanTech Industry Group includes more 40 members across the firm’s nine offices throughout Canada. The group has extensive experience in a wide range of practice areas and has been advising clients in areas such as wind energy, biofuels, hydropower, smart grid and PV Cell technologies, waste-to-energy companies, new remediation technologies and a variety of other transactions.

“Our partnership with Miller Thomson enables our entrepreneurial ventures to access quality legal services in a way that is friendly to emerging businesses,” said Don Duval, Vice-President of Business Services at MaRS. “Their contribution includes a mixture of free services, self-help tools, reduced costs, and service packages at fixed rates.”

Miller Thomson’s National Intellectual Property (IP) Group is comprised of 36 lawyers throughout Canada. The IP practice works with leading Canadian technology companies, research institutions and multinationals to capture and protect all forms of intellectual property. The group has a broad range of expertise in the following areas: IP audits, IP strategy services, IP portfolio development, management services, original patent drafting, patent prosecution, technology transfer, and enforcement action cases.

In addition to providing legal and business support to MaRS clients, Miller Thomson sponsors a monthly networking event for members of the community.

About Miller Thomson
Miller Thomson LLP is one of Canada’s most respected national business law firms with close to 450 lawyers working from nine offices across Canada. The firm offers a complete range of business law, advocacy and personal legal services, working regularly with in-house legal departments and external counsel world-wide to facilitate cross-border and multinational transactions and business needs. Miller Thomson offices are located in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Markham, and Montréal.

For more information:
Alex Mangiola
Pilot PMR
416-462-0199 ext. 21