Barry Sookman

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BA (Concordia), MES (York), LLB (Osgoode), Bar of Ontario

Barry Sookman is a partner with McCarthy Tétrault.  He is the Co-Chair of its Technology Law Group.  He is also the former head of its Internet and Electronic Commerce Group.  Prior to that he was head of its Intellectual Property Group for 6 years.  He is one of Canada’s foremost authorities in the area of information technology and intellectual property law. 

Barry Sookman is the author of the leading three volume text entitled Sookman: Computer Law: Acquiring and Protecting Information Technology (Carswell 1989-1999), and the leading four volume text Sookman: Computer, Internet and Electronic Commerce Law (Carswell 1999-2006). Barry Sookman is also the author of the book Computer, Internet and Electronic Commerce Terms: Judicial, Legislative and Technical Definitions (2001-2005). In addition, he is a contributing author to the following books: Gordon Henderson Copyright Law in Canada (Carswell 1994), Barbara McIssac The Law of Privacy in Canada (Carswell 2000-2003) (book published by authors from McCarthy Tètrault); George Takach The Software Business (McGraw Hill 1999), Marco Giovanoli International Monetary Law:  Issues for the New Millenium (Oxford 2000).  Mr. Sookman is also the author of numerous articles dealing with information technology and intellectual property.  He is also a frequent speaker on legal issues related to computer, electronic commerce, internet law and intellectual property. 

  • Mr. Sookman has consistently been ranked by authoritative Canadian and international guides as among Canada’s top information technology and intellectual property lawyers. For example:

  •  Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Most Frequently Recommended lawyer in the areas of computer and information technology and technology (2003- 2005)

  • Chambers Global Leader in the field of Intellectual Property (2005-2006) Clients describe him as “lucid in his approach and capable of absolutely brilliant advice.”

  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Most Frequently Recommended Lawyers in the area of Information Technology litigation.

  • Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada published by Lexpert and American Lawyer Top Ranking in Information Technology Law (2003-2005)

  • Lexpert Magazine: Top Ranking in Canada’s 100 Most Creative Lawyers (2006)

  • Legal Media Group Best of the Best,  Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers –Among top Information Technology experts in the world (2006);

  • Legal Media Group Best of the Best,  Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers  Ranked as the number 1 lawyer in Canada and among the  top 10 lawyers in the world in the field of Technology, Media and Telecommunications (2005)

Mr. Sookman is very experienced in intellectual property and information technology  litigation and arbitration proceedings. In addition to providing strategic advice in connection with high profile IP litigation  he has been involved as counsel in cases that include the following:

  • SOCAN v. Canadian Assn. of Internet Providers  2004 SCC 13 (Supreme Court of Canada – Lead counsel with Tom Heintzman in the Tariff 22 Internet Tariff copyright case);

  • CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada  2004 SCC 13 (Supreme Court of Canada- Lead counsel with Tom Heintzman for interveners)

  • Robertson v. The Thomson Corporation  (Supreme Court of Canada Lead counsel with Tom Heintzman for interveners)

  • Delrina Corp. v. Triolet Systems Inc. (2002), 17 C.P.R. 289 (Ont. C.A.) (Lead counsel with Paul Morrison)

  • Nintendo of America Inc. v. Camerica Corp. (1991), 34 C.P.R. (3d) 193 (Fed. T.D.), affirmed (1991) 31 C.P.R. (3d) 352 (Fed. C.A.)

  • Tariff 22 Proceeding (the Internet Copyright Tariff) (1999) 1 C.P.R. (4th) 417 (Copyright Board),

  • Gemologists International Inc. v. Gem Scan International Inc. (1986), 7 C.P.R. 225 (Ont. H.C.)

  • Sega Enterprises Ltd. v. Codemasters Limited (Unreported U.K. proceeding)

Mr. Sookman is also very experienced in providing advice in connection with complex information technology/intellectual property transactions including outsourcing and other strategic procurement relationships, joint venture transactions, and licensing.  He has been involved as lead lawyer in some of Canada’s biggest and most complicated domestic and international outsourcing deals. 

Barry Sookman also provides advice in connection with protecting and exploiting intellectual property and new media products.  Mr. Sookman also has extensive expertise on legal issues related to copyrights, privacy and data protection, electronic commerce and the Internet

Mr. Sookman has also appeared on the cover of Lexpert magazine three times:

  • June 2006 “Patent Trolls and Jury Trials, RIM’s Cautionary Tale”

  • September 2000 “The Rise of the E-Commerce Lawyer”

  • October 2003 “Getting IT:  First Mover Advantage in Information Technology”. 

Mr. Sookman is a member of the Joint Copyright Committee of the Canadian Bar Association and Patent Trademark Institute of Canada (PTIC). Mr. Sookman is a past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association – Computer and Computer-Related Technology section. He is a member of the Association Litteraire et Artistique Internationale, the Computer Law Association,  and ITAC’s Legal Affairs Committee.  Mr. Sookman is a Director of the Canadian IT Law Association.  He is also a member and former member of the executive of the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group, and a member of the Licensing Executive Society and the Copyright Society of the USA.  He is also a member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Centre for Innovation’s Advisory Board.  Mr. Sookman is a graduate of the Osgoode Hall Law School (1980) and was called to the bar in 1982.  He holds a B.A. from Concordia University (Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Human Affairs) and a Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) degree from York University (1980).