Implementing regulations for the new College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents are published in the Canada Gazette for a 30 day consultation. The regulations and transition provisions would provide for the transfer of responsibility for agents, including entrance examinations and conduct, to the new college. The regulations would establish an Investigations Committee and the Discipline Committee with a majority of public members, impose a residency requirement on agents, and replace ‘firm’ agents with the option to appointment of all the patent agents at the same firm.
- College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Regulations
- Rules Amending the Patent Rules
- Regulations amending the Trademarks Regulations
The amendments to the Patent Rules and Trademark Regulations are primarily directed to the appointment of agents for patent and trademark applications, such as:
27(1) An applicant for a patent, a patentee or other person may appoint
a patent agent to represent them in any business before the Patent Office .
Transition provisions address non-resident agents and agents working at firms where the firm was the appointed agent.
The new College of Patent Agent and Trademark Agent Regulations address many topics as highlighted in the overview:
The objective of the proposals is to support the legislative framework for a modern regulatory oversight body for patent and trademark agents that was implemented as part of the Government’s commitment under the IP Strategy. The proposals would facilitate the transfer of responsibility for IP agent oversight from CIPO to the new College. In addition, the proposed Regulations would put in place a framework that aims to ensure the College operates in the public interest.
Some of the items include:
- Committees – establishing the Investigations Committee and Discipline Committee that must be composed of a public interest majority and that the admissions/exam committee members “include representation from CIPO, and would restrict membership from any individual who is a member of an advocacy group for the agent profession”
- Residency – “Going forward, the proposed Regulations would set a Canadian residency requirement as both a licensing requirement and a condition for maintaining a licence.” It will be interesting to see what this means for the USPTO patent agent reciprocity (link).
- Transition – current trainees would be “deemed to hold the new agent in training license on coming into force of the Act”
- No more “firm” agents – “Once the Act is fully in force, only individuals will be recognized as a patent or trademark agent. Under the proposed amendments, parties would be able to appoint a single patent or trademark agent or, in the alternative, all the patent/trademark agents that are members of the same firm to represent them before CIPO. A similar approach would be taken with respect to the appointment of an associate patent or trademark agent.”
- Communications – “The proposed amendments would specify that any communications submitted by an agent must identify the agent and the firm if all the agents of the same firm have been appointed.”