CPATA’s new By-laws will come into effect on May 1. We have summarized some of the main elements below so that licensees and other stakeholders understand the most important changes and how they will improve CPATA’s ability to fulfil its regulatory mandate.
Increase in Annual Licence Fees Starting in 2024
CPATA’s main source of revenue comes from fees collected from licensees, primarily the annual licence fees which support our operations. The fees initially set were only intended to launch CPATA, not to sustain long-term regulation. Significantly lower fees than those of comparable regulators were initially established, despite that fact that CPATA regulates fewer professionals than other legal services regulators. Low fees were maintained during the initial build-out phase, since CPATA had not yet gauged or incurred the full, true costs of regulating the IP profession.
In order to have the budget necessary to fulfil our regulatory mandate, CPATA is increasing annual license fees in 2024. The table below outlines the main changes.
|Annual Licence Fee||Current fee||2024 fee|
|Class 1 active patent agent OR
Class 1 active trademark agent
|Class 1 active patent AND trademark agent (dual licence)
|*NEW CONDITIONS* Class 2 restricted patent agent OR
|*NEW CONDITIONS* Class 2 restricted patent AND trademark agent (dual licence)
|Class 3 agent-in-training, first and second years
|Class 3 agent-in-training, third and subsequent years
|*NEW* Class 4 inactive patent agent OR
|Foreign Practitioner – maintain name in the Register for one year||$100||$180|
CPATA’s Licence Classes Starting May 1, 2023
Class 1 active: an agent with a full licence who can present and prosecute before CIPO
Class 2 restricted: an agent who can practise as an agent but cannot present and prosecute before CIPO
Class 3 agent-in-training: an agent who is currently in training under the supervision of an approved Class 1 or Class 2 agent, or a representative of CIPO
Class 4 inactive: an agent who is not in active practice as an agent and cannot practice as an agent
There are no changes to the Class 1 active and Class 3 agent-in-training licence classes.
Changes to Class 2 Licences
CPATA’s Class 2 licence was initially intended to provide an option for maintaining licensure to agents who were temporarily or permanently not practising. Data from CPATA’s recent licensee survey revealed that a significant portion of class 2 licensees were involved in patent and/or trademark practice in some capacity. Several of these IP tasks carry a risk of harm to the public, and Class 2 licensees who are providing IP services to the public were previously not required to have professional liability insurance.
As of May 1, the Class 2 licence is available for agents seeking to practise as an agent but not to present and prosecute before CIPO. Class 2 licensees will need to obtain professional liability insurance meeting CPATA’s requirements by December 31, 2023. A new Class 4 licence will address inactive licensees (see below).
New Class 4 Licence
A new Class 4 licence has been created for agents who are inactive, meaning that they are temporarily or permanently not practising.
Current Class 2 licensees who wish to remain inactive will need to change to a Class 4 licence. They will have until December 31, 2023 to apply for a Class 4 licence without paying fee for the class change request.
Provisions for Returning to Active Practice
Licensees may wish to temporarily switch to an inactive Class 4 licence for many reasons such as during a parental or medical leave or while undertaking employment unrelated to practising as a trademark agent or patent agent. The new By-laws include clear provisions for licensees who wish to return to active practice after holding a Class 4 licence or being suspended. A risk-based approach will be used to analyze each applicant’s unique situation. Those who have been inactive or suspended for more than three years may be required to undertake additional education, training or exams to counteract possible skill degradation.
- The Board By-Laws and College By-Laws have been amalgamated into one set of CPATA By-laws for easier access and comprehension.
- Class 2 restricted licensees approved by the Registrar can now act as training supervisors, increasing the availability of training opportunities .
- Class 3 agents-in-training who fail the qualifying examinations twice will be required to undertake remedial training or education to increase their chances of success on future attempts.
- Class 3 agents-in-training who pass the qualifying examinations have 6 months to apply for a Class 1 active licence, ensuring that qualified individuals move through the licensing process and become fully authorized to provide services.
- Provisions for the development of a comprehensive Annual Licensee Report will facilitate CPATA’s ability to gather the data it requires to effectively regulate.
- Professional incompetence and misconduct are clearly defined, creating more transparency and fairness in the professional responsibility process.
- The remuneration and honorariums of Board and Committee members have been adjusted to streamline payroll and reduce administrative burden.
- The ineligibility criteria for the Board of Directors has been updated to reflect considerations related to conflicts of interest.
- Licensees who are appointed to the judiciary or pass away are deemed to have surrendered their licence(s).
Please contact our CEO and Registrar, Juda Strawczynski (he/him) at firstname.lastname@example.org.