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 developed a particular expertise in appellate advocacy, especially appellate factum-writing. His clerkships with the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Quebec Superior Court have been particularly helpful in this respect, as they provided extensive exposure to the judicial perspective.
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 firms’ 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 his time on pro bono legal cases and writes on current legal topics. His articles have been cited by the Federal Court, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Appeal and parties appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada. He also coaches the McGill Law Faculty’s competitive mooting team in the Mignault civil-law moot competition, together with fellow Faskenite Marc James Tacheji.