Insurance Requirements

Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance protects the agent and client in situations where errors and omissions on the part of the agent result in financial loss for clients.  

A licensee who holds a class 1 licence or a class 3 licence and who provides services to the public, must have professional liability insurance that meets the following requirements:  

  1. it must be issued by a company licensed in Canada; 
  2. it must cover claims made in and outside Canada; 
  3. it must indemnify the licensee for any civil liability that arises from the licensee acting as a patent agent or trademark agent; 
  4. it must have coverage limits of a minimum of $1 million per claim and $2 million aggregate per year.  

Those who work in government or as in-house agents are exempt from the requirements.   

A licensee is not required to be insured against professional liability until the end of the year 2022, but must make all reasonable efforts to obtain the required insurance as early in that year as is reasonably possible.  

These requirements were adopted by the Board following extensive consultation with the profession.  

The following programs have confirmed with the College that their programs provide coverage that meets the College’s requirements: 

  1. Magnes Program offered through IPIC 
  2. Law Society of British Columbia Program offered by the Lawyers Indemnity Fund 
  3. The Fonds d’assurance responsabilité professionnelle du Barreau du Québec

FAQ

For professionals, the requirement of insurance against errors and omissions serves the public interest. Financial losses, resulting from an error by a professional service provider, is insured so the losses to clients are minimalized. 

CPATA’s minimum insurance requirements must reflect the foreseeable risks presented by IP practice which is international in its nature. Claims against Canadian agents brought outside of Canada are certainly foreseeable. Our public interest mandate means that our insurance requirements must address the risks inherent in what agents are permitted to do. We cannot base those requirements on how individuals choose to arrange their practice.  

 A licensee is not required to be insured against professional liability until the end of the year 2022, but must make all reasonable efforts to obtain the required insurance as early in that year as is reasonably possible. 

Please check with that insurance provider directly to ensure that the policy meets CPATA’s requirements. If it does, it will suffice and you do not need duplicate insurance. The insurance must: 

  1. be issued by a company licensed in Canada;  
  2. cover claims made in and outside Canada;  
  3. indemnify the licensee for any civil liability that arises from the licensee acting as a patent agent or trademark agent;  
  4. have coverage limits of a minimum of $1 million per claim and $2 million aggregate per year.  

The only law society programs that have confirmed with the College that their programs provide coverage that meets the College’s requirements are: 

  1. Magnes Program offered through IPIC 
  2. Law Society of British Columbia Program offered by the Lawyers Indemnity Fund
  3. The Fonds d’assurance responsabilité professionnelle du Barreau du Québec