Michael Shortt is a lawyer and trademark agent. His practice focuses on both litigation and transactional work, with an emphasis on the videogame and artificial intelligence industries. As a member of the Québec and Ontario bars, he advises clients on both common-law and civil-law matters.
As a litigator, Michael represents clients in intellectual property and commercial disputes. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, the Ontario and Québec superior courts, and the Copyright Board. His litigation philosophy is based on obtaining cost-effective results through creative legal arguments. Michael has clerked at the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Quebec Superior Court, and worked as a research assistant for a well-known commercial arbitrator. This extensive judicial work experience allows him to bring a unique perspective to litigation and advocacy.
In his transactional work, Michael drafts and negotiates a range of commercial contracts, intellectual property licences, SaaS agreements, software development agreements, website terms and conditions, and videogame publishing contracts. He has worked for many clients in the artificial intelligence field, and has drafted contracts which reflect the unique needs of AI companies working on cutting-edge technologies.
As a trademark agent, Michael assists clients in obtaining trade-mark registrations in Canada and managing global trademark portfolios. His trade-mark practice focuses on software, videogames, telecommunications, cybersecurity, and alcoholic beverages.
Michael is a co-founder of the firm’s videogame industry group and works for videogame development studios and publishers of all sizes. He reviews, negotiates, and drafts contracts in the videogame industry, as well as providing compliance advice for consumer protection and other regulatory issues, like the computer program rules under Canada’s anti-spam legislation.
In his spare time, Michael volunteers on pro bono legal cases and writes on current legal topics. His law review articles have been cited by the Federal Court, the Alberta Court of Appeal, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and the Ontario Court of Appeal. For five years he was a coach for the McGill Faculty of law’s team in the Mignault civil-law moot competition, and has been a guest speaker at McGill on the topic of oral advocacy.