The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) offers exciting job opportunities that are both interesting and challenging, as well as possibilities for career development.
Begin a new and captivating career
As part of CIPO's Trademark and Industrial Design Branch (TIDB), you will join a group of professionals who play a central role in safeguarding the integrity of Canada's trademarks ecosystem by conducting thorough and accurate examination of trademark applications. Your keen attention to detail, ability to analyze complex information and strong written communication skills will be essential in determining the registrability of trademarks and ensuring applications comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Trademarks are everywhere around us! From the logos on our favorite products to the catchy slogans in advertisements, trademarks are an essential part of our daily lives. They serve as unique identifiers that help consumers distinguish one company's goods or services from those of others in the marketplace. As a Trademarks Examiner, you'll play a vital role in protecting these valuable assets by reviewing applications and ensuring that trademarks meet legal requirements.
We welcome individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience levels to join our team and contribute to our mission of providing greater certainty in the marketplace through high-quality and timely intellectual property (IP) rights, in support of Canada's economy and the marketplace. If you're ready to take on an exciting challenge and make a meaningful impact in the world of IP, we encourage you to apply for this rewarding opportunity!
We invite you to apply for the PM-04 Trademarks Examiner position:
What is a Trademarks Examiner?
Trademarks Examiners are highly trained individuals who analyse applications for the registration of trademarks (an intellectual property) submitted by individuals and companies from across Canada and internationally.
Trademarks Examiners conduct research, analyse and interpret information and apply legal tests and principles to assess whether a trademark is registrable. Examination research tools are primarily electronic and include internal and external databases and procedural manuals. Trademarks Examiners are required to apply and interpret the relevant legislation and associated practices.
As a Trademarks Examiner, you will liaise closely with clients (including businesses and individuals) and their trademark agents, working to resolve issues and ensure the delivery of excellent client service and the granting of high-quality intellectual property rights. Examiners must also have strong time management skills, and clear, concise, and logical written and oral communication skills.
Trademarks Examiners operate in a high-volume production-based environment, which means there are clear and specific expectations about the quality and quantity of daily work (quotas).
Typical Trademark Scenario:
This is the type of comparison a Trademarks Examiner will routinely have to make:
The Purring Cat for "bed blankets, duvets" vs. The Purring Kitty for "pillows"
Do you think it is likely that a consumer would assume a connection between the two products and see them as originating from the same company? If the trademarks were owned by different companies, as a Trademark Examiner you would need to raise an objection to the registration of The Purring Cat as it could cause confusion with the registered trademark The Purring Kitty.
- Trademarks Examiners review trademark applications to ensure compliance with the Trademark Act and Trademark Regulations.
- Examiners communicate with applicants or their appointed agents to clarify or resolve issues with their application.
- Examiners review responses received from applicants or appointed agents.
- Examiners approve or recommend to refuse trademark applications based on their findings.
- Examiners manage a high-volume workload and are afforded a great degree of independence and autonomy.
- Examiners participate actively in continuing training and development to maintain expertise in the field.
Read what some of our examiners have to say about the benefits of working at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
"When I began at CIPO over 10 years ago, I wasn't aware of all the different opportunities that existed within the Trademarks and Industrial Designs Branch. From examination, to management, to even training fellow coworkers, the possibilities here are endless. I have gained tremendous experience from talented people while having the ability to work independently with minimal supervision. Management is very supportive in helping us achieve our career goals and is always open to hearing new ideas. The work environment is very welcoming which makes the job that much more enjoyable. I highly recommend CIPO to anyone looking for a better work-life balance."
"After 28 years of working in a private firm specialized in intellectual property, I decided to answer the call and join this wonderful organization, CIPO! I have been working at CIPO since September 2020. I completed all my training online, which turned out to be excellent with experienced trainers. I received all the necessary support and tools to successfully complete my training.
Since then, I have had the opportunity to work alongside extraordinary colleagues and participate in very constructive and educational discussions. All of this has resulted in a sense of belonging to this organization. We share the same goal, and the same passion: to advance the organization and clients' trademark portfolios.
Working at CIPO also allows for personal, intellectual, and professional growth because the possibilities are immense. CIPO offers the opportunity and encourages everyone to develop their knowledge by providing all kinds of training and necessary support to carry out our learning and practice.
Working at CIPO means working in a healthy, inclusive, and respectful work environment."
"Being a trademark examiner is a great career choice for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is highly rewarding work that offers intellectual challenges and the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients, from individual entrepreneurs to large corporations and across a broad range of industries, including fashion, technology, entertainment and more.
Trademark examiners play a crucial role in protecting and promoting innovation and creativity, as they help to ensure that clients secure valid and enforceable trademark rights that are in compliance with the provisions of the Trademarks Act and Trademarks Regulations. This makes for a meaningful and fulfilling career that allows you to have a positive impact on society and the economy. This requires careful research, detailed analysis, exceptional attention to detail and critical thinking. You also need excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
In addition to the intellectual and social benefits, being a trademark examiner also offers many practical advantages, such as competitive salaries, excellent benefits and pension packages, as well as opportunities for career advancement and growth. Not to mention that we get to work from home full-time, which offers a great work-life balance.
Overall, being a trademark examiner is a fantastic career choice that offers many benefits and rewards. If you enjoy problem-solving, critical thinking, and working with a diverse range of people and industries, then this could be the perfect profession for you!"
There are many benefits to being a Trademarks examiner with CIPO. Some of the benefits of working with us include:
- Examiners are under a full-time telework profile and therefore work remotely.
- Examiners can work from anywhere in Canada that has a high-speed stable internet connection.
- A work environment that fosters and promotes a culture of inclusivity, engagement and support.
- Challenging, engaging and rewarding work.
- Flexible work hours and compressed hours work arrangements.
- Provided with language training to improve second official language fluency.
- Provided with continuous personal and career training and learning opportunities.
- Competitive compensation package.
Trademarks Examiners have been granted full-time telework from their home and are approved to work anywhere in Canada. It should be noted that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office is located within the National Capital Region (NCR). If this is your first appointment in the Public Service and you would like to relocate to the NCR, CIPO will pay up to $5000 for your relocation expenses if you relocate within one year of your start date.
The salary for Trademarks Examiners is at the PM-04 level ($71,599 to $77,368).
For more information, please refer to the annual rates of pay for PM.
Public servant benefits
The Federal Government offers a wide range of benefits for its employees. These include:
- a pension plan
- life insurance
- a dental care plan for employees and their families
- sick leave benefits
- vacation leave
- maternity leave
- parental leave
- family-related leave
- disability insurance which provides for a monthly income benefit for employees who are unable to work for a lengthy period of time due to a disabling illness or injury
Trademarks New Examiner Training (NEXT) Program
The NEXT Program is an on the job training program for examiners when they join the Trademarks and Industrial Designs Branch (TIDB) at CIPO.
The duration of the program is 5 months divided between training and coaching components. The training component imparts the principles and foundations in examination, providing opportunities for the application of the principles learned on various files, and the coaching component allows the participant to develop examination competencies through the guidance of a coach. The examiners must be successful in both components in order to complete the NEXT Program.
The NEXT Program is comprised of four parts:
- 6 weeks trademarks training with examination application throughout the session
- 1 week of practical examining training ("Let's Examine")
- 12 weeks trademarks coaching
- 2 weeks of training/coaching for maintains (approximately 9 months after start date)
The training provides examiners with the knowledge, tools and ability to apply the pertinent principles in accordance with current practices in order to examine, assess and determine registrability of trademark applications within the legislative and regulatory framework.
The learning objectives are:
After the training phase, examiners receive group coaching, where coaches review prepared draft reports and provide feedback. Coaching summaries and progress assessments provide updates and feedback regarding progress throughout the coaching phase. As there may be some types of files that new examiners haven't seen, coaching "office hours" are available on a schedule for support, and specific file coaching on an ad hoc basis.
New examiners are expected to successfully complete the 6 weeks of trademarks training, 1 week of practical examining training and 12 weeks of trademarks coaching to become independent examiners.
The NEXT Program training is conducted virtually (live online with a combination of self-paced and instructor led training) and is mandatory.
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is a special operating agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. As the Canadian authority on intellectual property , we are responsible for administering Canada's system of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs, geographic indications and integrated circuit topographies.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) is proud to be named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers 2022, National Capital Region's Top Employer 2022, and Canada's Best Diversity Employers 2022. These awards recognize Canadian employers with exceptional human resources programs, forward-thinking workplace policies and exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.
We are an organization that is focused on its people. To this effect, CIPO supports its staff through competitive salaries and benefits, flexible work schedules, ongoing training, and a culture of respect and continuous improvement.
Become a Trademarks Examiner
If you are an inquisitive individual with a knack for analyzing the intricacies of brands, excellent research skills, and a passion for learning about trademark laws, then we invite you to join us as a Trademarks Examiner!
Are there any opportunities for career progression within the Trademarks and Industrial Designs Branch?
Once you have gained experience as a Trademark Examiner, many other opportunities within the Trademark and Industrial Design Branch and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office will open to you. With the expansion of the Branch, we are regularly seeking individuals that are interested in Management, Quality and Continuous Development, Policy and various other positions.
Do I need to be bilingual?
CIPO is proud to be an organization which fosters the use of both French and English. As a new employee, you can expect a fully bilingual work environment, which includes your work tools, your ongoing training, and speaking to your manager in the language of your choice. Although the language of trademark applications will be mostly in English, the language you ultimately choose to work in will be entirely up to you! And for those who are not yet bilingual, you may choose to participate in our Official Languages Development Program upon completion of your examination training.
Do I have to identify if I am a member of a visible minority group or a person with a disability?
While self-identification is not mandatory, you are encouraged to do so. CIPO is committed to having a workforce that is representative of the Canadian public. Self-identification is the only way CIPO can determine whether or not it is meeting its employment equity objectives.
Do I have to work weekends or travel for extended periods of time?
Overtime work is on a voluntary basis. We do not expect you to work overtime if you do not want to. Examiners who are involved with special projects outside their trademark examination work might be expected to travel, and again, this is done on a voluntary basis.
If I am offered and accept a position, would CIPO pay for my relocation if I reside elsewhere in Canada?
If you are offered a position, relocation assistance may be provided if this is a first appointment in the Public Service. Additional details regarding the relocation directive will be provided within the Letter of Offer.