CPATA’s offices will be closed December 25 to January 1 inclusively for the holidays.

Please note that CPATA’s offices will be closed on Monday, February 19 for Family Day


The College is lead by a Chief Executive Officer and Registrar along with a Board of Directors. Once fully operational the Board will consist of appointed (5) and elected (4) Directors.
The start-up Board will remain in Office until the new Board takes office, likely in 2022

The Board has approved a Skills & Attributes Matrix outlining the range of experience, knowledge, attributes and skills the Board of Directors should collectively possess. 


Thomas G. Conway - Chair

Thomas G. Conway is a partner at Conway Baxter Wilson LLP, a law firm based in Ottawa, Ontario. Mr. Conway has practised litigation for 30 years and is recognized by his peers as a leading practitioner in corporate and commercial litigation.

From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Conway served as treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario, the highest elected office of the largest regulator of the legal professions in Canada. He led several important regulatory initiatives during his tenure at the Law Society. In 2014–2015, he served as president of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the umbrella organization of Canada’s 14 provincial and territorial regulators.

Mr. Conway is an honorary member of the law societies of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 2017, the Law Society of Ontario awarded him an LLD (hon. causa) in recognition of his contributions to regulating the legal professions in Canada and to the cause of access to justice.

Jeffrey Astle - Director

Jeffrey Astle is an intellectual property (IP) lawyer, patent and trademark agent, and business executive with over 30 years of experience. Mr. Astle was Associate General Counsel—Intellectual Property for Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. (P&WC), at its head office in Longueuil, Quebec from 1994 until his retirement in 2021.

Mr. Astle oversaw P&WC’s IP legal team responsible for implementing the company’s corporate IP strategies and processes, managing its patent and trademark portfolios and IP litigation, and providing legal and business support for IP aspects of all P&WC agreements and IP- and technology-related legal matters.

Mr. Astle is a licensed Canadian patent agent and trademark agent and U.S. patent agent, is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and is permitted by the Barreau du Québec to practice law in Quebec in the capacity of Canadian Legal Advisor. He obtained his BASc in chemical engineering from the University of Windsor (1985), MASc in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto (1987) and LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School (1990).

Prior to relinquishing his membership to serve as a Director as required by the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Act, Mr. Astle was a Fellow and is a Past President of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), Canada’s professional association of patent agents, trademark agents and lawyers practising IP law.

Karima Bawa - Director

Karima Bawa is a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Her research focuses on issues surrounding the commercialization of university research and development and capacity building in intellectual property (IP) strategy for Canadian innovators.
For the past several years, Ms. Bawa has been involved in various initiatives designed to help organizations better protect and leverage their IP rights. Most recently, she joined the Standards Council of Canada Technical Committee as an expert, representing Canada’s interests for the forthcoming IP Management Standard (ISO 50505). Ms. Bawa advises and supports technology start-ups and scale-ups.

Before her role at CIGI, Ms. Bawa was the chief legal officer and general counsel at Research In Motion (BlackBerry). In the 12 years she served at Research In Motion, she was a member of the senior leadership team and oversaw a global legal team. She was also a member of various strategic and operational senior management committees.

Ms. Bawa is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Executive MBA program and BSc program. She also obtained a law degree from the University of British Columbia and is a graduate of the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program.

Ruth McHugh - Director

Ruth McHugh is an FCPA, an MBA and a governance specialist. As demonstrated throughout her career as a business leader and most recently in her role as chief operating officer at the Office of the Auditor General of Alberta (OAG), she has a proven history of creating a vision, building fantastic teams, sharing stories to inspire stakeholders and delivering results.

Before joining the OAG, Ms. McHugh was chief financial officer and director of operations at the Art Gallery of Alberta and had a distinguished career as director of operations and controller of Company’s Coming Publishing Limited.

Ms. McHugh also served as co-chair of the Alberta Accountants Unification Agency and in that capacity had a major role in creating single chartered professional accountant designation for Alberta. Before that, she served two consecutive terms as board chair for CMA Alberta and a term as vice-chair of the CMA Canada Council of Chairs. In 2011, she was named a Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada for her distinguished service to the Canadian accounting profession.

Ms. McHugh holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University and is a graduate of the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program.

Douglas B. Thompson - Director

Douglas B. Thompson is lawyer (Alberta bar 1976 and B.C. bar 1979), Trademark Agent (since 1979), and Patent Agent (1988). After 10 years of general legal practice, Mr. Thompson decided to focus exclusively on IP law beginning in 1988. Since then, he has helped inventors and companies that develop new products to make the most of their IP.

Mr. Thompson is a founding partner at Thompson Cooper LLP, and senior counsel at Thompson Woodruff Intellectual Property Law. He has been active in numerous organizations, including the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), the Licensing Executives Society (LES), the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

Mr. Thompson obtained a law degree from the University of Alberta.