A Framework that Includes New Professional Requirements
Usually, once a professional is admitted to a profession, he or she must meet periodic (usually annual) requirements to maintain a license to practice. Currently, the only requirement is for agents to pay an annual fee to CIPO to remain on the register. (The current regulatory framework uses the terms “register of patent agents” and “list of trade-mark agents”; for ease of use, the term “register” is used in these pages to designate both.)
Changes to the current situation
An annual fee would be paid to the College instead of CIPO. The College would implement the recommendations from the Modernizing the IP Community report and another enhancement.
Summary of Modernizing the IP Community recommendations
- A public, comprehensive register of agents and firms should be published with biographical information including: name, address, phone number, email, link to agent/firm website, and year of agent registration.
- Agents should be capable of, and responsible for, keeping their own contact information up-to-date.
- A comprehensive agent database should be published that includes all registered agents as well as those agents that have been temporarily suspended or permanently removed from the registers.
- A continuing professional development (CPD) requirement should be implemented as a condition to remain on the register.
- A single body (the CPD administrator) should be responsible for both the administration of the CPD requirement and monitoring agent compliance.
- There should be consequences to non-compliance with the CPD requirement, culminating in suspension or removal from the register.
In its previous work in examining regulatory regimes and in consultation with members, IPIC had determined that clients would be further protected if it were mandatory for agents to carry professional liability insurance. Agents would therefore be required to provide proof of insurance when renewing their registration.