IPIC Announces Meika Ellis as the First Recipient of the Roger T. Hughes Future Leader Award
The Roger T. Hughes Future Leader Award is given to a young professional/future leader member of IPIC who has made significant contributions to an IPIC Committee, Community, or other substantial IPIC initiative during the past year. The individual will have demonstrated significant leadership, commitment, and dedication to increasing awareness of IPIC along with the value and future, of the IP profession in Canada. IPIC’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Meika Ellis is the first recipient of the Institute’s Roger T. Hughes Future Leader Award. Meika received the award on October 14 for having made significant contributions to IPIC’s Indigenous IP Committee.
Meika Ellis has shown tremendous growth in her volunteerism as a member of IPIC’s Indigenous IP Committee. Meika drove the creation of an infographic on traditional knowledge and cultural expressions, which is now posted for all members on the IPIC website. She stepped up to the plate when someone from the Community was needed to spearhead an initiative between IPIC and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses. Initiatives such as this are key to ensuring IPIC’s continued relevance in the broader stakeholder community. Meika has continued to put her hand up to lead other projects related to indigenous IP. IPIC is grateful to Meika for her hard work and enthusiasm, and we look forward to hearing much more from Meika in the future. – Stephanie Chong, IPIC President and Chair of the Board, 2020-2021
Meika Ellis is an associate at Ridout & Maybee LLP in the firm’s Ottawa office. Meika’s practice covers most areas of intellectual property law including: prosecution of and litigation matters concerning trademarks, copyright, domain name disputes, emerging technology, and patents.
Meika graduated from the University of Ottawa’s Common Law program. When not taking courses, Meika worked on several law and technology projects including doing work for CIPPIC, and, under professor supervision, researching how emerging technologies fit into Health Canada’s existing liability framework. Her primary “job” prior to entering private practice was working with professors and researchers at uOttawa and throughout Africa in the partnership network, Open African Innovation and Research (Open AIR), where she and her colleagues dedicated their research to looking at easing the tensions between intellectual property and access to knowledge throughout the African Continent.
This acknowledgement for my work on IPIC’s Indigenous IP Committee is humbling and comes during a particularly difficult year for Indigenous communities, as people in Canada begin to better understand just how deep the scar of colonialism is. It is motivating that people see our efforts in continuing the work for equal access and access without barriers to protections of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions. – Meika Ellis
As a member of Gwich’in Fort McPherson Band, Meika is continually looking for opportunities to and people to collaborate with to find and understand ways to better serve Indigenous communities, which are often not able to benefit, or not able to benefit as easily as others, from the Western IP system.
Meika has been an active and devoted member of IPIC’s Indigenous IP Committee since its inception. This year, she participated as a panelist and moderator at an event co-hosted by ISED, the CCAB and IPIC “Indigenous Business and Intellectual Property: Ensuring the Indigenous economy’s continued competitiveness and growth”. As an IP lawyer and member of the Indigenous community, Meika is poised to become a leader not only in raising awareness of IP amongst Indigenous entrepreneurs, but also in ensuring Canada’s laws effectively protect Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources, and Traditional Cultural Expressions. As a young professional, Meika has shown leadership and made significant contributions to our committee and I can think of no better candidate than Meika for the Roger T. Hughes Future Leader Award. – Paula Clancy, Chair of IPIC's Indigenous IP Committee, 2019-2021
When Meika is not working she is likely exploring the thrilling landscapes across the globe on her bike—track or road—as a competitive racer in training. Her passion is on the velodrome, which has influenced the name of her TV series (if HBO ever replies…): “why does turning right feel so wrong.”
To learn more about Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expression, click here.
About the Honourable Justice Roger T. Hughes
The Honourable Justice Roger T. Hughes (Ret.) is a former Judge of the Federal Court of Canada and valued member of the Intellectual property Institute (IPIC) for 48 years. Justice Hughes served as President of IPIC, formerly the Patent and Trademark Institute of Canada, from 1996-1997. Throughout his long-standing membership to IPIC he served on multiple committees offering his experience, knowledge, and expertise to benefit the association, our members, and the IP profession.
Justice Hughes is a recognized expert in intellectual property matters, he obtained his LLB at the University of Toronto in 1966 and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1968 and in Alberta in 1979. Prior to his appointment to the Federal Court of Canada in June 2005, he practised law in Toronto as an Associate and Partner at Sim, Hughes, Ashton & McKay and Sim & McBurney specializing in Practice restricted to Patents, Industrial Designs, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, Copyright, Licensing, Franchising, Products Liability and Related Matters.
Justice Hughes was awarded Member of Distinction status from IPIC as a reflection of the contributions and honour he has brought to the IP profession.