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Trademark Agent Qualifying Examination — 2017 Report

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office


In accordance with section 20 of the Trade-marks Regulations, the Trade-marks Agent Qualifying Examination is administered at least once a year.

The Patent Appeal Board (Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)) provides administrative and logistical support for the examination, which includes ensuring that candidates for the examination have submitted the information required by section 18 of the Trade-marks Regulations and notifying candidates as to whether or not they have met the requirements for writing the exam. CIPO also makes the arrangements for the examination venues and administrators for each location and it communicates results of the exam to candidates.

The Examining Board is established for the purpose of preparing, administering and marking the examination. Members of the Examining Board are appointed for periods of up to 3 years. The Chair of the Examining Board is the Chair of the Patent Appeal Board at CIPO.

The 2017 Examining Board consisted of a Chair and 6 board members of which 2 were employees of CIPO and 4 were nominated by the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC).

The qualifying examination consists of 2 papers. Part A focuses primarily on pre-advertisement issues and Part B focuses primarily on post-advertisement issues. To be eligible for inclusion on the register of the Trade-mark agents, a candidate must obtain at least 65% of the marks for each part of the exam. This year, on Part A, the candidates had to obtain at least 97 on 150 and on Part B, the candidates had to obtain at least 74 on 115. Part B of the examination is not marked unless the candidate obtains at least 65% on Part A.

Preparation of the Examination

Prior to the preparation of the examination, a Joint Meeting was held in June 2017 between the Examining Board and the IPIC Trade-mark Agent Examination Standards Committee ("Committee") to discuss the administration of the 2016 Exam and discuss best practices for the administration of the 2017 Exam. The Committee reviews the development and administration of the Trade-mark Agent Qualifying Examination in order to assist the Examining Board in maintaining recognized standards for certification.

The Examining Board prepares the 2 examination papers along with 2 marking grids. These documents are translated to allow candidates to write the exam in their official language of choice. The translated documents are reviewed to ensure accuracy, recognizing that linguistic differences may exist between the English and French versions due to the technical content and the specialized nature of the subject matter of each paper. Any such differences are taken into account in the marking grids. The Examining Board members evaluate the papers using a bilingual marking grid.


The 2017 Trade-marks Agent Examination was administered on November 28, 2017 in 10 locations across Canada, namely: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Gatineau, Montréal, Québec and Halifax.

A total of 121 candidates wrote Part A and Part B and 81 candidates out of 121 were writing the Exam for the first time.

Candidates were informed of their marks by early May 2018. All candidates received their examination material at the end of August 2018 to determine whether to request a review of their marks.

Of the 121 candidates, 23 candidates passed both parts at the first marking. The Examining Board considered requests for review from 9 candidates for Part A and 18 candidates for Part B, for a total of 27 requests for review. After revision, 5 candidates passed Part A resulting in the marking of 5 additional Part B. The 5 reviews resulted in an overall pass, bringing the total number of passing candidates from 23 up to 28.

28 candidates passed the exam, 23 passed on their first sitting, 4 on the second, none on the third and 1 on the fourth sitting.

The 2017 Trade-marks Agent Qualifying Examination passing rate is 23%. The passing rate is 27% for the candidates writing for the first time (23 out of 81).

The highest mark obtained was 143 on 150 for Part A and 89 on 115 for Part B. The highest overall mark was 230 on 265.

Passing Rates 2013-2017
Years Exams written Exams passed Passing rate
2013 67 16 24%
2014 65 15 23%
2015 72 21 29%
2016 91 23 26%
2017 121 28 23%
TMA 2017 – Part A marks distribution (121 Exams marked)
Total 150 marks – Passing mark 97
Mark range Number of candidates
<45 1
45-50 2
51-55 2
56-60 9
61-65 14
66-70 11
71-73 5
74-75 9
76-80 10
81-85 6
>86 3
TMA 2017 – Part B marks distribution (72 Exams marked)
Total 115 marks – Passing mark 74
Mark range Number of candidates
<40 4
41-45 1
46-50 1
51-55 3
56-60 2
61-65 1
66-70 4
71-80 5
81-85 6
86-90 8
91-96 6
97-100 9
101-105 9
106-110 12
111-115 11
116-120 11
121-125 11
>126 9


I extend my thanks to all members of the Examining Board for their hard work and dedication in ensuring the that the Trade-marks Agent Qualifying Examination continues to be administered fairly and impartially, thus providing the public with the assurance that trade-marks agents are entered on the register only after having passed a rigorous process and are well qualified to assist them in the protection of their intellectual property.

Suzie Beaulieu
Acting Chair, Examining Board

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