CPATA Administers the Qualifying Examinations for the First Time

CPATA recently released the initial results of the Trademark Agent Qualifying Examinations and the Patent Agent Qualifying Examinations, administered for the first time by the College in November and December of 2021. CPATA became responsible for examinations for entry into the profession after its coming-into-force, taking over this process from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

Examinations are the primary for the College to protect the public interest by setting competence standards to ensure entry-level practitioners have the knowledge and skills necessary to competently serve their clients. They are designed to assess the candidate’s knowledge of the applicable legislation and case law required to practise independently. They also test the candidate’s analytical, problem-solving skills, and communication skills when it comes to interactions with clients and CIPO.

CPATA’s coming-into-force date in June 2021 only provided approximately four months to develop bilingual exam content with the Exam Board members, to test it with test writers and/or the IPIC Standards Committee and to configure the online exam platform. Additionally, hundreds of Class 3 applications and exam registration forms were processed manually to give these candidates access to the Qualifying Examinations.

The 2021 Qualifying Examinations were administered virtually for the first time, using a third-party exam platform and live proctoring. Candidates throughout the country were able to complete their exams from the convenience of their homes, using an advanced system that maintained exam integrity. To support this transition, CPATA implemented a variety of measures to ensure candidates were comfortable with the technology, and able to resolve any issues with the platform and their computers before the exam date. CPATA also hosted first-ever candidate orientation sessions led by subject matter experts, providing candidates with an invaluable opportunity to ask questions and prepare for the examination.

Results for the Trademark Agent Qualifying Examinations

A total of 66 candidates wrote the TAQE. 24 candidates were successful with the TMAQE after the initial marking was completed. The global pass rate was 36%, the second highest since 2013 and 7% higher than the average global pass rate from 2013-2021. 83% of first-time writers passed the exam in 2021 as compared to 51% in 2020.

Pass Rates by Year

Average Marks (%) by Year

A review period is currently underway, during which candidates can review their examination materials and request a re-correction of their exam under certain circumstances.

Results for the Patent Agent Qualifying Examinations

A total of 124 candidates wrote the PAQE. 24 candidates were successful with the PAQE after the initial marking was completed. The overall pass rate in 2021 was 21% and 2.5% higher than the average from 2005-2021. The first-try pass rate in 2021 was 8% and 4% higher than the average from 2005-2021.

Overall and First Try Pass Rate

Average Grades by Year:

A review period is currently underway, during which candidates can review their examination materials and request a re-correction of their exam under certain circumstances.

Looking Forward to 2022 and Beyond

CPATA has embarked on a multi-year competency initiative to refine entry-level and continuing competencies for patent agents and trademark agents. This process will start with the development and validation of competency frameworks for agents. It will eventually lead to an enhanced qualifying examination system, starting with starting with incremental improvements to improve the defensibility of exams for 2022.

More Articles