Order Fixing June 28, 2021 as the Day on Which the Definition “Board” and Certain Provisions of the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Act Come into Force, and Fixing June 28, 2021 as the Day on Which Certain Provisions of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 Come into Force: SI/2021-30
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 13
SI/2021-30 June 23, 2021
BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION ACT, 2018, NO. 2
Order Fixing June 28, 2021 as the Day on Which the Definition “Board” and Certain Provisions of the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Act Come into Force, and Fixing June 28, 2021 as the Day on Which Certain Provisions of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 Come into Force
P.C. 2021-525 June 10, 2021
His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry,
- (a) pursuant to paragraph 264(a) of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 (the “Act”), chapter 27 of the Statutes of Canada, 2018, fixes June 28, 2021 as the day on which the definition “Board” in section 2, sections 11 to 20, 25 to 32, 34 to 62 and 64 to 74 and paragraphs 76(1)(c) to (f), (h) and (i) of the College of Patent Agents and Trade-mark Agents Act, as enacted by section 247 of the Act, come into force; and
- (b) pursuant to paragraph 264(b) of the Act, fixes June 28, 2021 as the day on which section 249, subsection 250(1), sections 251, 252 and 255 to 257 and subsection 258(1) of the Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Pursuant to section 264 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, this Order fixes June 28, 2021, as the day on which the remainder of the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Act (the Act) and associated coordinating amendments to the Patent Act and Trademarks Act come into force.
The objective of this Order is to bring remaining sections of the Act into force to transfer responsibility of regulating the patent and trademark agent professions from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents (the College). This will enable the College to begin fulfilling its mandate of regulating the patent and trademark agent professions in the public interest.
Patent and trademark agents play an essential role in helping firms obtain formal intellectual property rights. These individuals are experts who can act on behalf of firms and are permitted to represent applicants, registered owners and persons doing business before CIPO.
The College of Patent and Trademark Agents is an initiative that was part of the National Intellectual Property Strategy in 2018. It was created by the Act as an independent body to regulate the profession of patent and trademark agents in the public interest. The Act received royal assent on December 13, 2018. The Act provides the College with the authority to take disciplinary actions for professional misconduct or incompetence, and to regulate other aspects of the profession, such as insurance requirements, continuing professional development requirements, pro bono work requirements, and training for agent trainees. It also transfers existing authorities over the entrance/exam process to become an agent, and the ability to collect annual fees from agents, from CIPO to the College.
The Act was designed to come into force in two phases. The first phase was the creation of the College and the appointment of a transitional board to start up operations. That phase was completed with the appointment of the transitional board on August 9, 2019. Once the College is fully operational, the rest of the Act and coordinating amendments would be brought into force to officially transfer the responsibilities of regulating the profession from CIPO to the College.
The provisions of the Act brought into force by this Order would enable the new governance framework for the patent agent and trademark agent profession to become fully operational. Authority for regulating the profession will be transferred from CIPO to the College. Critical gaps in the current governance framework, including the limited authority under the Patent Act for the Commissioner of Patents to refuse to recognize a patent agent or to take disciplinary actions for gross misconduct or any other cause deemed sufficient and the lack of any authority under the Trademarks Act to address agent misconduct, would be addressed. These critical gaps will now be filled by granting the College the powers to regulate the profession in the public interest.
Consultations on a governance framework for intellectual property (IP) agents were held by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) in 2016. These consultations were followed up with further consultations in 2017 on the creation of a National Intellectual Property Strategy. The consultations revealed a consensus among stakeholders regarding the need for an improved regulatory regime for IP agents. These consultations informed the drafting of the Act and the development of regulatory proposals.
A consultation on the regulations under the College regime was launched by ISED on May 13, 2021, for a 30-day public comment period. ISED has been in constant contact with the College and representatives of the patent and trademark agent professions during the regulatory process. A summary of the comments received are outlined in the “Consultation” section of the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement for the regulations.
Marketplace Framework Policy Branch
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada