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
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 a fee for the class change request.
The table below summarizes the major differences that will exist between Class 2 and Class 4 licences.
Can practise as an agent but cannot present and prosecute before CIPO
Cannot practice as an agent
Must have adequate professional liability insurance
Exempt from professional liability insurance
Must undertake continuing professional development (when CPATA establishes requirements)
Exempt from continuing professional development requirements
$1,500 for a patent agent OR trademark agent licence / $2250 for a patent agent AND a trademark agent licence (dual licence)
$100 /licence/year fees to maintain registration
An agent’s licence status refers to the current state of their licence.
- Active: The agent is permitted to practise according to the class of licence they hold.
- Suspended: The agent is not permitted to practise. There are many reasons why a licence might be suspended. The most common reason is for non-payment of fees, but licences can be suspended for conduct issues related to competence or unacceptable behaviour that harms the public. You can check why an agent’s licence is suspended by reviewing their profile on our Public Register. Suspended licences can be reinstated within a specified time period.
- Revoked: The agent’s licence has been taken away. There are many reasons why a licence might be revoked. The most common reason is that the licence has been in suspended status for at least 5 years, but licences can be revoked for conduct issues related to competence or unacceptable behaviour that harms the public. You can check why an agent’s licence is revoked by reviewing their profile on our Public Register.
- Surrendered: The agent has voluntarily advised CPATA that they no longer wish to practise the profession. Common reasons for this status include retirement, leaving the profession or leaving Canada.