The Institute has had a code of ethics almost from its creation in 1926. The current code, adopted in 2001, is available here.
We held a webinar in November 2011 and received suggestions from members to update our code, especially about conflicts given Supreme Court decisions on this issue in recent years.
The Professional Regulation Committee then created a sub-committee. It looked at the new Model Code of Professional Conduct of the Federation of Law Societies, the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Rules of Professional Conduct, and the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The committee used IPIC’s current code as the starting point and added sections from the Federation of Law Societies Model Code to meet the Federation’s objective of eliminating any significant differences in rules of conduct across the country.
In 2013, CIPO initiated the Modernizing the IP Community project. To avoid duplication of efforts, we then provided our draft revised code to the working groups. The draft was included as an appendix to the report with the recommendation that all agents (not just IPIC members) should be subject to a code based on the draft revised IPIC code and aligned with the Federation’s code. In our response to the 2014 consultation on that report, IPIC indicated that this code had not yet been adopted by members.
Before going further with the code, we wanted to get a sense of how the regulation of agents would evolve after this report, with a plan of consulting members and adoption in the context of creating a new regulatory body. We didn’t expect that the government would itself do a further consultation on the code.