College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Act

The College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents (CPATA) was established by the Government of Canada by statute enacted in 2018. The following rationale for creating CPATA was articulated:

Patent and trademark agents play an essential role in helping firms obtain formal intellectual property rights, yet the profession lacks a modern governance structure (in contrast to other trusted professions—e.g. lawyers, engineers, doctors). Implementing a modern regulatory framework will ensure that businesses can trust the advice they receive from these important professionals. Ensuring the integrity of the profession has recently become more essential, as communication with IP agents is now protected by statutory privilege in the same way as solicitor-client advice. This privilege could be abused without adequate oversight.

A full description of the details behind establishment of the College may be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions?

June 2022 Amendments

Amendments to the CPATA Act, which were enacted in Bill C-19, came into force on June 23. These changes address gaps and modernize elements of the legislation, to allow CPATA to better perform its regulatory function.  

The primary changes include:     

Governance  
The changes clarify that CPATA has the capacity and the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, they allow the Board to fill vacancies among elected Directors and they grant statutory immunity to the Directors and all who are engaged in CPATA’s regulatory work.  

Operations  
The amendments authorize the Registrar to delegate some decision-making powers to staff.  

Complaints and investigations  
The changes expand the powers of the Investigations Committee so that they are no longer limited to dismissal or referral to a hearing. The Registrar is also empowered to dismiss a complaint at the outset, based on criteria set out in by-laws. The powers of the Investigations Committee and the Registrar are subject to a review at the instance of a complainant. The Investigations Committee and the Discipline Committee may make rules respecting the practice and procedure before them and rules for carrying out their work and for the management of their internal affairs.