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About John McKeown



Intellectual Property

Advertising and Marketing




The University of Toronto (LL.B.) 

Queen's University (B.Comm.)

Contact Information

Tel: 416-597-3371


A leader and dedicated advocate, John McKeown takes a strategic and practical approach to find solutions to his client's most complex business needs

John McKeown focuses on providing advocacy and advice concerning intellectual property and related matters, including protecting trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, patents, confidential information and misleading advertising and claims under the Competition Act. A growing component of his work relates to intellectual property claims on the Internet, including domain name disputes. He is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in Intellectual Property Law (Trademarks/Copyright). Some of Canada’s largest marketers have relied on John’s advice.

John supervises obtaining, protecting and licensing trademarks and hundreds of successful trademark applications have been filed. He has been involved in many opposition proceedings before the Trademarks Opposition Board and actions in the courts for infringement.


He has particular expertise regarding actions relating to copyright.  He is the author of McKeown, Fox, on Canadian Law of Copyright and Industrial Designs (3rd Edition, 2000; 4th Edition, 2003), the leading copyright textbook in Canada. The 4th edition has been released in a loose-leaf form and builds on the success of the 3rd edition. The text is updated semi-annually. John and the text have been referred to by both the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal as an authoritative source.

John prepares the copyright section in Practical Guidance published by LexisNexis.

John’s textbook, Brand Management in Canadian Law (1st Edition, 2004; 2nd Edition, 2006; 3rd Edition, 2010; 4th Edition, 2016), considers brand management from a legal perspective. The components which make up a brand, a consumer’s perception of a brand, brand equity, brand leverage and integration are discussed. Additional chapters deal with legal considerations relating to choosing a brand name, branding on the internet, protecting the components of a brand and developing effective brand management policies. The fourth edition was published in July 2016.

In Canadian Intellectual Property Law and Strategy: Trademarks, Copyright and Industrial Designs, John provides an overview of Canadian law relating to trademarks, copyright and industrial designs along with strategic commentary designed for legal practitioners outside Canada. The book was published in March 2010 by Oxford University Press. LexisNexis took over the publication of the book, and annual editions have been published since 2013. They plan to publish a new edition each year.

Involved and dedicated to his practice, John is a part of various memberships, such as:

  • Canadian Bar Association

  • American Bar Association

  • Intellectual Property Institute of Canada

  • International Trademark Association

  • Ontario Bar Association

  • Toronto Lawyers Association

John is currently the Chairman of the Canadian Bar Association Trademarks Committee. He has been heavily involved in the trademark reform process. He is also the Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association, Trademarks and Internet Committee and the Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association Standing International IP Task Force. 

Many Years of  Dedicated Experience

Get the latest insights for your local IP expert

Protect your brand and business by learning from one of Canada's leading experts. John McKeown's blog will provide your business with the insights you need to learn how to navigate uncertainties and get ahead of the curve. You will learn about branding, competition, litigation and intellectual property matters within the Canadian landscape. 

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