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2018 Trade-marks Agent Qualifying Examination – Examining Board Chair's 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 2018 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 104 on 160 and on Part B, the candidates had to obtain at least 97 on 150. 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 meeting of the Trade-mark Agent Examination Board was held in May 2018 to discuss the administration of the 2017 Exam and discuss best practices for the administration of the 2018 Exam. The Board reviews the development and administration of the Trade-mark Agent Qualifying Examination in order to maintain recognized standards for certification.

The Examining Board prepares 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 2018 Trade-marks Agent Examination was administered on November 27, 2018 in 11 locations across Canada, namely: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Sainte-Marie, Charlottetown, Toronto, Gatineau, Montréal and Québec.

A total of 98 candidates wrote Part A and Part B and 51 candidates out of 98 were writing the Exam for the first time.

Candidates were informed of their marks by early March 2019. Candidates who requested their examination material received them at the end of March 2019. Candidates had until April 29, 2019 to request a review of their marks.

Of the 98 candidates, 25 candidates passed both parts at the first marking. The Examining Board considered requests for review from 10 candidates for Part A and 13 candidates for Part B, for a total of 23 requests for review. After revision, 1 additional candidate passed Part A resulting in the marking of 1 additional Part B. The review allowed 7 additional candidates to obtain the overall pass mark, bringing the total number of passing candidates from 25 up to 32.

32 candidates passed the exam: 13 passed on their first sitting; 15 on the second; 1 on the third; 2 on the fourth; and 1 on the fifth sitting.

The 2018 Trade-marks Agent Qualifying Examination passing rate is 33%. The passing rate is 25% for the candidates writing for the first time (13 out of 51).

The highest mark obtained is 154 on 160 for Part A and 142 on 150 for Part B. The highest overall mark is 296 on 310.

Passing Rates 2013-2018
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%
2018 98 32 33%
2018 Trade-marks Agent Examination – Part A marks distribution (98 Exams marked)
Total 160 marks – Passing mark 104
Mark range Number of candidates
45-59 2
60-74 3
75-89 14
90-103 34
104-118 30
119-133 13
134-148 1
149-162 1
2018 Trade-marks Agent Examination – Part B marks distribution (45 Exams marked)
Total 150 marks – Passing mark 97
Mark range Number of candidates
70-80 3
81-91 5
92-96 5
97-107 22
108-118 8
119-129 1
130-145 1


I extend my thanks to all members of the Examining Board for their hard work and dedication in ensuring 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
Canadian Intellectual Property Office

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