Notice of Opportunity for Ministerial Appointments: Directors, College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents

The College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents was created under the National Intellectual Property Strategy in 2018 as part of a system of reforms to improve the legislative and regulatory environment for Intellectual Property. The College began operations in June 2021, pursuant to authorities provided by the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Act.

The College is an independent entity responsible for regulating the patent and trademark agent professions in the public interest. It administers a licensing system to ensure that only qualified professionals are authorized to provide agent services, it runs a complaints and discipline system and enforces a code of professional conduct to ensure that agents maintaining the high standards that are expected of trusted advisors, and it sets a number of standards to ensure a robust professional framework, such as requirements relating to continuing professional development and professional liability insurance.

The Government of Canada is currently seeking applications from diverse and talented Canadians who are interested in becoming a member of the Board of Directors of the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents. The Board will be comprised of nine Directors on a part-time basis; five public interest members appointed by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and 4 agent members elected from the profession. Directors will serve for up to three years following their appointment.

In addition to overseeing the College, Directors are also responsible for passing by-laws regarding: rules of procedure of the Board; administrative matters of the College; continuing education programs and pro bono obligations; duties and functions of the Registrar and the maintenance of the register of agents; and fees to be paid by licensees. The Board is also responsible for overseeing the finances and annual reporting requirements of the College, appointing a Registrar, CEO and members of College committees and amending the Code of Professional Conduct. As such, membership on the Board of Directors is expected to encompass a full range of expertise, including from the intellectual property domain, corporate governance, and professional regulation.

There are currently two vacant public interest seats on the Board.  A selection committee will evaluate applications and provide recommendations to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry for appointments of the two public interest members to the Board of Directors.  Applications may also be shared with the College to help advise the committee.

Candidates must send a résumé and cover letter by August 19, 2022, to the following email address:

Your cover letter should outline how you meet the education, experience, knowledge and personal attributes outlined below.

Diversity and Official Languages

Preference may be given to candidates who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minority groups. As such, you are welcome to self-identify if you are a member of one or more of the aforementioned groups.

The Government of Canada will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing candidates for these positions. You are therefore encouraged to include in your application your ability to speak and understand your second official language.

To be considered for one of these positions, please provide examples from your career that clearly demonstrate how you meet the following requirements in your application:

Education and Experience

  • A degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study or an acceptable combination of education, job-related training or experience;
  • Experience serving as a member of a Board of Directors for a public or private-sector organization; and
  • Extensive experience at a senior level demonstrating a sound record of achievement;

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Strong understanding of modern professional regulation frameworks;
  • Knowledge of IP gained as a user of the IP system or gained through research;
  • Knowledge of what the public might expect from an IP agent and an ability to advocate for those needs;
  • Knowledge of professional competency evaluation or licensing practices, whether gained through experience, education or research;
  • Knowledge of rules of professional conduct and responsibility whether gained as being a member of a regulated profession or through education or research;
  • Ability to discuss, foster debate among Board members, facilitate consensus and manage conflicts, should they arise;
  • Ability to develop effective working relationships with other Board members; and
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills.

Personal Attributes

  • Sound judgement, tact, and discretion
  • High ethical standards
  • Integrity
  • Superior interpersonal skills
  • Adaptability, flexibility and impartiality

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

In your application, it will be important to confirm that you are able to abide by the following requirements:

  • Must be willing to travel to annual meetings, with potential for additional ad hoc meetings.
  • An individual is not eligible for appointment if they are: less than 18 years of age; have the status of bankrupt; are a member of an association whose primary purpose is to represent the interests of person who provide advice on patents or trademarks; were, within the preceding 12 months, a member of a governing body or a steering committee of such an association; a licensed patent or trade-mark agent; or employed by a department (as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act).
  • Board Members may be paid remuneration in accordance with the by-laws of the College.