Assistant Commissioner of Patents Agnès Lajoie retires after 34 years at CIPO
Darlene Carreau to replace her temporarily
Darlene Carreau, Agnès Lajoie and Johanne Bélisle
June 28, 2018 – Gatineau – Canadian Intellectual Property Office
After a career of 34 years at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), Agnès Lajoie, Assistant Commissioner of Patents and Director General of the Patent Branch, will be retiring on June 29.
Mrs. Lajoie was first hired at CIPO as a patent examiner in the chemistry field—one of four women out of 70 examiners in the branch at the time. She has been a trailblazer throughout her career, as she was the first woman to be chief of the Electrical Division of the Patent Branch. In May 2008, she became the first female Chairperson of the Patent Appeal Board, a position she occupied until she was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Patents and Director General of the Patent Branch in July 2011.
In addition to having been a mentor to many employees, with her dynamic personality, she led Canada's ratification and implementation of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which is the preeminent international patent protection regime in the world. In June 2017, Mrs. Lajoie also achieved the prestigious ISO 9001:2015 certification for the Patent Branch, another step forward in CIPO's commitment to building on a culture of excellence that meets the needs and expectations of its clients.
As of July 3, Darlene Carreau, Director General of the Business Services Branch at CIPO, will be acting in the position while a formal competitive process is being completed.
Ms. Carreau became the head of CIPO's Business Services Branch in August 2016. She joined CIPO's senior executive team in 2008, as Chairperson of the Trademarks Opposition Board. With her extensive knowledge of CIPO and 20 years of experience as an intellectual property (IP) lawyer, she is very well suited to keeping operations running smoothly in the Patent Branch and will provide excellent leadership in the interim.
"I would like to thank Agnès for her leadership in making Canada's Patent Office recognized as a key establishment in the international IP community. She has helped build a world-class patent and intellectual property office, one that is positioned to continue to serve Canadians as a key contributor to the Innovation and Skills Plan. I wish her a well-deserved happy retirement."
"It's been an exciting career. When I joined CIPO, I was one of few women in engineering, an area that was dominated by men. With the current focus on women in intellectual property, I hope more girls and women are inspired to join the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
"I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the excellent team that Agnès has built in the Patent Branch. I look forward to building on the solid foundation she has put in place, with a continued focus on quality, timeliness and service to all of CIPO's clients."
- Fact #1: Canadian patents are in second place worldwide for their technological and economic value.
- Fact #2: In 2016–2017, CIPO received 37,297 patent applications.
- Fact #3: Patent examiners account for about 40% of CIPO's total workforce.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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