CPATA’s Ethics Inquiries: Proactively Helping Licensees in Real Time
As a modern regulator, we believe that the most effective way to protect the public is to ensure that licensees adequately understand their professional and ethical obligations towards their clients, other agents, and the public. Instead of depending exclusively on a complaints and discipline process to address harms after the fact, we take a proactive approach to educating licensees, protecting the public at the outset through our Ethics Inquiry process that provides assistance to licensees with questions they have about ethical issues arising in practice.
How our Ethics Inquiry and Analyses Process Works
- An agent contacts CPATA with a question about their ethical obligations (through the online form or via email)
- CPATA provides ethical guidance on a case-by-case basis to that agent
- Based on questions we receive, we develop articles to educate other licensees
- Licensees read articles in our monthly newsletter and on our website
- We learn of challenges relating to the current Code of Professional Conduct and consider future areas for clarification or amendment.
Ethics Inquiries in 2023
In 2023, CPATA received 29 ethics inquiries, similar to the 28 ethics inquiries in 2022. We provided guidance on topics ranging from agents’ obligations regarding courtesy, civility and good faith to responsibilities and best practices when leaving your current practice for another job to a series on competence and more.
Ethical Analyses in 2023
Based on the questions received, CPATA published 12 ethical analyses. The most popular articles were:
- Scope of Practice – non-agents and lawyers – the Patent Rules, Trademarks Regulations and CPATA Act
- Rule 1 and Rule 4 – Competence and Quality of Service – considering all relevant facts and providing strategic advice
- Rule 9 – Advertising and solicitation – what is misleading marketing
- Rule 1-5 – Competence and staying abreast of developments in the law relating to Privilege – Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. v Pharmascience Inc.
- Rule 1 and Rule 4 – Competence and Quality of Service – advising clients about applying in foreign jurisdictions
Looking forward to 2024
CPATA continues to provide guidance to licensees who reach out with ethical questions and to develop articles to answer common questions regarding the Code of Conduct.
If you are a licensee with a question about your ethical obligations, the Code of Conduct or your practice, please submit an Ethics Inquiry.