A highly experienced intellectual property lawyer with a focus on strategic trademark counsel, Michelle works with Canadian and multinational companies to manage large domestic and foreign trademark portfolios.
Michelle offers comprehensive management of trademark portfolios of large international and domestic clients, guiding in-house counsel to develop and execute cost-effective prosecution, enforcement and opposition strategies. She regularly provides clearance opinions, oppositions and enforcement advice, and her work on trademark, patent, industrial design and copyright matters extends across industries, including consumer goods, food, clothing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and financial services.
Michelle also provides strategic advice to clients on a wide variety of domain name issues, as well as initiating and responding to domain name dispute proceedings, including ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), the CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (CDRP) and the Rapid Evaluation Service (RES).
Michelle is a registered Canadian patent and trademark agent and is routinely involved in reviewing marketing and advertising materials to advise on compliance with trademark laws and regulatory regimes. She frequently gives guidance on best practices and develops training materials to support clients’ intellectual property and business priorities.
Michelle Nelles is an established intellectual property practitioner with a strong focus on Canadian trademark law. She advises many impressive domestic names in the retail sector on matters ranging from registration to protection of trademarks.
—Chambers Global, 2021
Michelle has acted as counsel in numerous trademark opposition matters, preparing evidence and conducting cross-examinations and oral hearings, and providing strategic enforcement advice on trademark and patent portfolios, including developing cease and desist strategies and negotiating desirable settlements with third parties. She has also acted for plaintiffs and defendants in various patent, trademark and copyright disputes, some of which have involved consumer products, fabrics, fashion designs, medicated animal feeds, pharmaceutical tablets, food-related process patents and the estate rights of a famous artist.
Recognition and Awards
Chambers Canada—Leading lawyer in intellectual property
Chambers Global—Leading lawyer in intellectual property
Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in intellectual property law
The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in intellectual property
Michelle has lectured on aspects of patent law at the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School, and at York University in Toronto for their LLM Course. She has spoken on various aspects of intellectual property law, including trademarks.
Michelle is on the Parallel Imports Committee for the International Trademark Association (INTA), as well as the International Trade-mark Issues Committee for the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC).
Education and Bar Admissions
Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business, York University