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Pathways to Licensure – CPATA Launches Consultation on Apprenticeships

Background

CPATA’s vision is to provide the public with access to a globally-respected body of patent agents and trademark agents who are highly skilled, ethical, and current in their knowledge.

The College is in the process of modernizing the pathways to becoming a patent agent or trademark agent in Canada. After creating the Technical Competency Profiles for Patent Agents and Trademark Agents, CPATA redesigned the qualifying examinations to test to these competencies, a change that enhanced transparency, set clear expectations of candidates and is expected to help trainees acquire entry level competencies more efficiently moving forward. CPATA relied heavily on input from the professions in the process. The final element of the pathway to licensure that requires exploration is the 24-month apprenticeship component. 

As of CPATA’s coming into force, the pathway to becoming a patent agent or a trademark agent had remained largely unchanged for many years. Currently, patent agent and trademark agent trainees must complete a 24-month apprenticeship and then pass qualifying examinations. Though these requirements produced many excellent patent agents and trademark agents, CPATA has heard from licensees and other IP stakeholders that there is room for improvement.

Consultation

CPATA is launching a multi-phase, exploratory consultation to assess the merits and challenges associated with the 24-month apprenticeship model. CPATA invites participation from licensees and others in the IP community.

Between June and October 2024, CPATA will be collecting information from licensees and other IP stakeholders about their experiences with and insights about apprenticeships, which will be used to consider potential options for improving the ways to become a licensee. Possible changes to the pathway to licensure, if any, would be subject to further outreach with the professions and stakeholders prior to being finalized by the Board or implemented.

CPATA has retained an independent, third-party consultant Calibrate Solutions to facilitate focus groups and conduct a survey of licensees.

How to Participate

  1. Fill out the survey (June 13 – October 1, 2024).

CPATA agents in training, training supervisors or other licensees can fill out the survey.

Calibrate Solutions will host the survey, conduct data analysis, and provide findings to CPATA in anonymized formats.

  1. Express your interest in participating in a virtual focus group (July – August 2024).

In May, Calibrate Solutions led a focus group with intellectual property consumers. Over Summer 2024, Calibrate Solutions will lead between 8-12 focus groups with patent agents and trademark agents, including newly licensed agents, trainees, supervisors and other stakeholders. These focus groups will concentrate largely on personal experiences with the apprenticeship model.

Calibrate Solutions will conduct analysis of the focus groups and provide findings to CPATA in anonymized formats.  

  1. Provide a Written Submission in Response to the Consultation Paper (June 13 -October 1, 2024).

Organizations and individuals are invited to provide written submissions to the consultation paper to Ashley Major from Calibrate Solutions at ashley@calibratesolutions.ca.

Calibrate Solutions will share written submissions by individuals with CPATA in an anonymous format unless you indicate your preference that the submission be made under your name. Written submissions made on behalf of organizations will always be provided to CPATA with attribution.

CPATA likewise welcomes discussions with IP stakeholder organizations to gather information from various perspectives.

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