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Requesting a Review of a Registrar Decision

In this policy:
  1. “Applicant” means an applicant who has applied to review a ruling made by the Registrar under College by-laws; 
  2. “Agent” means an applicant registered with the College as a Patent Agent or Trademark Agent; 
  3. “Committee”, means the “Registration Committee”.

Policy

 CPATA is the modern, risk-focused, public interest regulator of Canadian patent and trademark agents. Our core mandate is to protect and promote the public interest in the delivery of patent and trademark services. We regulate under the Act, Regulations, By-laws, Regulatory Objectives, Standards and Principles. In doing so, we can be proactive, agile and adopt new ways of regulating toward excellence. The Registrar’s Policies support high quality regulation through modelling best practices, and describe the processes by which we decide. 

 To establish and maintain high standards for the profession, patent and trademark agents are, among other things, required to be competent, of good character and fit to practice. Under CPATA’s College Bylaws, the Registrar has authority to make determinations whether applicants for patent agent or trademark agent licenses meet the registration requirements established under the Act, Regulations and By-laws. 

 By-law 5 requires that the Committee established under Regulation 3 of the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Act (the Act) (the Registration Committee) review decisions of the Registrar on the request of the affected applicant. 

 This policy sets out the process for such reviews. The Review Process is conducted by the Committee pursuant to the authority set out in By-laws 5-7. 

The Committee:

  • Considers all materials that the Registrar had at its disposal when making its decision, any further information the Registration Committee may have requested at an earlier stage from the Registrar pursuant to section 6(a) of the By-laws, and the written submissions of the Applicant and/or the Registrar, if such submissions are made, as set out below in this policy;
  • May meet in any manner, including teleconference, video conference, via email or in-person;
  • May consult external legal counsel at any stage of the review; and
  • Will consider a review based solely on written materials.
All decisions of the Committee under this policy are to be made in the public interest, in a manner consistent with the Regulatory Objectives and Decision-Making Principles of the College, and the Committee’s Terms of Reference. CPATA’s licensing process strives to be transparent, fair, principled and proportionate[1]. The Registrar’s and Committee’s responsibilities within this process include supporting the objects of the licensing process[2].

Registration Panel:

The Chair may appoint a panel of the Committee to carry out the Committee’s work so long as the Panel consists of one patent or trademark agent and a majority who are not licensees. The Chair designates one panel member as Chair of the panel.

Options for the Registration Panel:

The Registration Panel will review the matter and take one of the following actions, pursuant to By-law 6:
  1. Request that the Registrar obtain additional information;
  2. Approve the application under review, with or without conditions, and specify the effective date of the decision; or
  3. Conduct a hearing and make a decision with reasons.

Request for Further Information:

If further information is provided to the Panel under By-law 6(a), that information will be considered by the Panel, which may then exercise any of the options set out in By-law 6.

Standard of Review:

The Panel is to determine whether the decision of the Registrar is reasonable. This is not an assessment of whether the Registrar’s decision was correct but is an assessment of whether the decision reflects a consideration of the relevant information and demonstrates that the Registrar reached a decision in a manner consistent with the Act, Regulations, By-laws, and the College’s Regulatory Objectives and Decision-Making Principles.

New Information:

In their request for review, the Applicant is not permitted to provide new information to the Registration Panel considering this review. 

Any new information must be requested by the Committee under section 6(a) and must be provided to the Registrar within fourteen (14) days.

Registration Hearings:

The Registration Hearings Policy sets out the policy and procedures for conducting such hearings.

Review of Decisions by the Panel:

Decisions of the Panel are final. Section 7 of the College By-laws states that a decision of the Committee under section 5 cannot be reviewed by the Board.

Section 8 of the College By-laws states that if a decision of the Registrar is modified by the Registration Committee, the Registrar must notify the applicant and, if applicable, the supervisor of the decision and proceed with that decision.

PROCEDURES

  1. An Applicant must electronically submit a Request for Review to the Registrar outlining the details of their request within thirty (30) days of the date they receive the Registrar’s decision. The Request of Review should contain the basis and reasons for the review request.
  2. Upon receipt of the Request for Review, the Deputy Registrar will:
    1. acknowledge receipt of the request;
    2. determine if the request was made within the 30-day time frame; and
      1. If the Request was timely,
        1. forward it to the Chair of the Committee; and
        2. within 30 days of receiving the request, provide the Panel and the applicant with:
          1. A copy of the Registrar’s written decision;
          2. A copy of all records related to the application in possession of the College, subject to any lawful restrictions; and
          3. Other written information as the Registrar deems necessary;

Or,

    1. If the Request was not submitted within the 30-day timeframe, the Deputy Registrar will notify the applicant they are out of time.
  1. The Chair will appoint the Registration Panel to conduct the review, as described above.
  2. The Deputy Registrar will send the applicant information regarding the Panel composition to review to confirm there are no conflicts or objections to the composition of the Panel.
  3. The Deputy Registrar will schedule a meeting of the Panel within a reasonable time.
  4. The Deputy Registrar will provide all materials to the Panel at least seven (7) days before the date of its meeting.
  5. The Panel
    1. will review all material and submissions provided to it; and
    2. by majority ruling, will do one or more of the following:
      1. Request the Registrar obtain more information. If the Panel determines that additional information is required before it can proceed, the Chair will instruct the Deputy Registrar to request the additional information, which will be done within seven (7) days. The additional information must be provided to the Deputy Registrar within fourteen (14) days of the request. The Deputy Registrar will provide the additional information to the Panel and the Registrar as soon as it is received. The Deputy Registrar will schedule a subsequent meeting of the Panel within a reasonable time to review the additional information.; or
      2. Approve the application under review, with or without conditions, and specify the effective date of the decision; or
      3. Decide to conduct a written hearing according to the Registrar’s Policy on Registration Hearings to make a decision with reasons.
  1. If the Panel approves the application under review with or without conditions, they will issue a written decision, with reasons, to the Deputy Registrar, who will provide it to the applicant and to the Registrar electronically within thirty (30) days.
  2. If the Panel conducts a hearing, the applicant and the Registrar will be advised in writing within seven (7) days of the date the Panel’s decision. The Registrar’s Policy on Registration Hearings provides additional information.
  3. Panel decisions are final and cannot be appealed to the Board.

1 Transparent reflects how we do our work, make decisions, and address license applications in the public interest Fair means obtaining and considering information in an objective, unbiased way, and making decisions that are clear, concise and consistent Principled and proportionate means applying the right ‘regulatory touch’ when balancing interests

2 The objects of the licensing process are to protect and promote the public interest and preserve the integrity of the patent and trademark profession, in a manner consistent with the College’s Regulatory Objectives, Standards and Principles.