In Memoriam: Peter W. McBurney
IPIC wishes to offer its sincere condolences following the passing of Peter W. McBurney, a long-time member of the Institute for 62 years and Past President of IPIC from 1985-1986.
“Peter remained a founder and senior consultant of Aird & McBurney until his passing last week following a brief illness and hospitalization. Especially for those of us who had the privilege of having Peter as our “boss”, the news is as unexpected as it is unwelcome. Peter has long been an ageless fixture of our working life. For those in the patent agent profession internationally, Peter has been acknowledged as an eminence. He will be remembered for his leadership at Sim & McBurney, for his unstinting support of both the profession and his colleagues throughout his long and distinguished career, and for the chronic civility and decency that dogged his every word and deed. IPIC members who would like to reach out to Peter's family at this time, should feel to send their communications to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will ensure they are received.”
- Tim Lowman, Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP Vice President of IPIC Board of Directors, and long-time colleague and friend of Peter and the McBurney family
Following his graduation from university in 1957, Peter trained to become a patent agent in the patent department of Canadian General Electric in Toronto, Canada. He later joined the IP department of McCarthy & McCarthy as a Registered Canadian and United States Patent Agent (1959) and a Registered Professional Engineer (Ontario). After 10 years, he and Donald F. Sim, Q.C., with Harold G. Fox, Q.C as counsel, founded the boutique patent and trademark agency firm, Sim & McBurney, where he remained for more than 45 years in the capacity of Founding Partner, Senior Partner and finally, Senior Consultant.
In 2015, he went on to be one of the founders of Aird & McBurney, a leading Canadian intellectual property boutique and sister firm to Aird & Berlis LLP where he remained a valued and active colleague until his passing last week. Peter specialized in patent and industrial design preparation and prosecution; patentability and freedom-to-operate opinions; assistance in designing to avoid infringement; and licensing in a wide range of fields, but particularly electronics. He practised directly before both the Canadian and United States Patent Offices and had wide experience in patent prosecution in other countries, particularly in Europe and Asia. He was the author of a number of articles pertaining to various aspects of patent practice and a sought-after speaker at seminars for clients and conferences sponsored by technical groups and societies invested in intellectual property. In addition to his multi-year involvement in the Professional Engineers Ontario and AIPPI, Peter served on the Council, now Board of Directors, of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) for 8 years and was President of IPIC in 1985/86.