Government of Canada announces new independent regulator for patent and trademark agents

News release

Canadians to benefit from better access to professional services concerning patent and trademark rights

June 28, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Receiving professional advice from a qualified patent or trademark agent can go a long way in helping Canadians obtain intellectual property (IP) rights for their innovations—and thereby fuel the growth and scale of our innovation economy. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to offering innovators and entrepreneurs the support they need to turn their creative ideas into new businesses.

Today, as part of the Government of Canada’s first-ever Intellectual Property Strategy, the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents has been established to regulate the patent and trademark agent profession to ensure Canadians benefit from access to high-quality IP advice and services.

The College will be responsible for maintaining the high standards that are expected of trusted patent and trademark advisors. It will administer a licensing system, making sure that only qualified professionals are authorized to provide agent services. The College will also maintain an agent code of conduct and undertake investigations and enforcement, as necessary, to ensure high-quality IP services for Canadians. Thanks to the College, patent agents and trademark agents will benefit from a range of supports to stay informed on the ever-evolving IP landscape to better serve Canadian businesses and innovators in protecting and leveraging their IP.

Quotes

“The establishment of the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents marks an important milestone not only for our government’s Intellectual Property Strategy but also for the entire patent and trademark profession. I look forward to seeing the College become a strong and dedicated professional regulator that will promote the highest quality of IP supports so Canadians can better protect and leverage their good ideas.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The College represents an important step in advancing Canada’s IP ecosystem by modernizing the professional oversight framework of patent and trademark agents.”
- Konstantinos Georgaras, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office

“The College is committed to being a modern, risk-focused, public interest regulator. We are building our infrastructure to deliver on the expectations of stakeholders while promoting clear standards to enhance the competence and practice of patent and trademark agents.”
- Thomas Conway, Chair of the Board of Directors, College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents

“The publication of the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Regulations marks the culmination of a 20-year journey towards self-regulation for the IP agent profession. Throughout this time, IPIC has been at the forefront advocating on behalf of the profession and working tirelessly with the government towards a self-regulatory regime. Thanks to the dedication of IPIC staff and countless hours of volunteer work by our members, the College is now a reality. IPIC would also like to thank the Minister of Industry, Science and Innovation, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, for bringing this important initiative through its transition period, ensuring trust in the IP profession remains high as the work of IP professionals will support Canadian innovation during our post-pandemic economic recovery.”
- Stephanie Chong, President of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC)

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is modernizing the professional oversight of patent and trademark agents by transferring the responsibility of regulating these agents from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office to the College.

  • The establishment of the College responds to long-standing requests from the agent community for a dedicated professional regulator.

  • As an independent regulator, the College will be responsible for enforcing a code of professional conduct and implementing requirements to ensure that agents are well equipped to provide high-quality services, from the early days of their careers to their expert participation in a robust profession.

  • The College will also be responsible for maintaining the registers of patent agents and trademark agents, administering patent and trademark agent qualifying examinations, collecting associated College fees, and conducting investigations and disciplinary proceedings.

Associated links

Contacts

John Power
Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
john.power@canada.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

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