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14 February 2020

IP boutique joins AMD as corporate backer of Canada's first tech hardware incubator

Bereskin & Parr teams up with AMD and Synopsys to help start ups 'push boundaries of what is possible'

IP boutique Bereskin & Parr has become a founding partner of Canada’s first incubator for tech hardware start-ups.

Bhupinder Randhawa: 'We are proud to offer HCI companies our intellectual property expertise to help them achieve their potential.'

IP boutique Bereskin & Parr has become a founding partner of Canada’s first incubator for tech hardware start-ups.

Bereskin is one of five businesses providing an estimated total of $6m in resources, advice and mentorship for the Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), whose first cohort of eight start-ups are welcomed this month.

The venture will see the boutique working alongside multinational semi-conductor companies AMD and Synopsys, HCI’s most high-profile backers. 

The firm will provide advice on patent drafting, trademark searching and filings, cybersecurity, privacy, and advertising and marketing through workshsops and one-to-one meetings with the start-ups.

HCI has been set up by the tech hub ventureLAB in greater Toronto’s York Region, which houses Canada’s second-largest concentration of technology companies.

The initiative has received $3.8m in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. 

Bereskin, which has offices in Ontario and Québec, said it had been collaborating with ventureLAB for a decade.

Bhupinder Randhawa, head of Bereskin’s electrical and computer technology law group, added:  “We are proud to offer HCI companies our intellectual property expertise to help them achieve their potential, and to be instrumental in helping them attain their business goals."

Another senior lawyer taking a close interest in the venture is Kevin O’Neil, vice president intellectual property Canada at AMD.

“We look forward to building on Canada’s existing hardware expertise by working with other innovative companies to push the boundaries of what is possible,” he said.

The first cohort of HCI start-ups include Bionic-I, a hardware biotechnology company focused on augmenting vision and combating blindness with a surgically implantable device, and Cyberworks Robotics, which is developing AI-based technology for autonomous self-driving wheelchairs

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