Kelly's practice has brought him before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court Trial Division, the Ontario Court of Appeal, High Court and Divisional Court.
He has appeared as counsel on numerous reported intellectual property decisions. For example: CCH Canadian Ltd v Law Society of Upper Canada, where Kelly appeared as counsel for the Law Society at trial, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. This leading copyright case was the first time the Supreme Court dealt with such fundamental copyright issues as the standard of originality and fair dealing. The 2004 judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada is recognised as one of the most important copyright decisions in Canadian history. In 2011 Kelly was the led lawyer on another precedent-setting Supreme Court case, Masterpiece v Alavida Inc. The case was so significant that it won the Managing Intellectual Property, 'Case of the Year 2012 - Trade mark'.
In Consorzio Del Prosciutto Di Parma v Maple Leaf Meats Inc, Kelly appeared as counsel for the successful defendant at trial and the Court of Appeal. The case dealt with the validity of the defendant's PARMA trademark registered for use in association with various meat products in the face of an allegation of geographical misdescriptiveness by a consortium of ham producers from Parma, Italy. In Johnson & Johnson Inc v Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada Inc, he successfully defended an allegation of misleading advertising in the context of an OTC comparative claim.
Kelly has been listed as a leading lawyer in several legal industry publications, including The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, WTR 1000, Who's Who Legal: Canada, Chambers Global, Best Lawyers in Canada, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, and Expert Guide's World's Leading Trademark Law Practitioners.
Kelly has written extensively in his area of expertise and is co-author of Fox on Canadian Law of Trade-Marks and Unfair Competition, 4th edition. Considered by many to be the leading text on trademark law in Canada, this edition is now a looseleaf service that is updated twice yearly. The new text was recently cited with approval numerous times by the Supreme Court of Canada in Kirkbi AG v Ritvik Holdings Inc (the LEGO case).
Kelly is also an author of Trial by Survey: Survey Evidence and the Law, numerous chapters in different specialised texts, and articles on different facets of IP. He has sat on the editorial boards of the Canadian Intellectual Property Review and Patent World (London), and regularly lectures at such law schools as the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto, and at various conferences sponsored by such entities as ALI-ABA and the CBA. Kelly is also a Canadian contributing editor of the European Intellectual Property Review.
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