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2019 Trademarks Agent Qualifying Examination – Examining Board Chair's Report

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Overview

In accordance with section 18 of the Trademarks Regulations, the Trademarks 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 16 of the Trademarks Regulations and notifying candidates as to whether or not they have met the requirements for writing the examination. CIPO also makes the arrangements for the examination venues and administrators for each location and it communicates results of the examination 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 2019 Examining Board consisted of a Chair and 8 board members of which 2 were employees of CIPO and 6 were nominated by the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC).

The qualifying examination consists of 2 parts. 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 Trademark agents, a candidate must obtain at least 65% of the marks for each part of the examination. This year, on part A and 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 Trademark Agent Examination Board was held in June 2019 to discuss the administration of the 2018 examination and discuss best practices for the administration of the 2019 examination. The Board reviews the development and administration of the Trademark 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 examination 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 part. Any such differences are taken into account in the marking grids. The Examining Board members evaluate the papers using a bilingual marking grid.

Statistics

The 2019 Trademarks Agent Examination was administered on November 26, 2019 in 11 locations across Canada, namely: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax, Moncton, Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto, Gatineau, Montréal and Québec.

A total of 96 candidates wrote Part A and Part B. Of the 96 candidates, 69 were writing the examination for the first time. This year 15 candidates wrote the examination in French and 81 in English.

Candidates were informed of their marks by early March 2020. Candidates who requested their examination material received them at the end of March 2020. Candidates had until April 30, 2020 to request a review of their marks.

Of the 96 candidates, 21 candidates passed both parts at the first marking. The Examining Board considered requests for review from 4 candidates for Part A and 9 candidates for Part B, for a total of 13 requests for review. After revision, 1 additional candidate passed Part A resulting in the marking of 1 additional Part B. The review allowed 5 additional candidates to obtain the overall pass mark, bringing the total number of passing candidates from 21 up to 26.

26 candidates passed the examination: 19 passed on their first sitting and 7 on the second sitting.

The 2019 Trademarks Agent Qualifying Examination passing rate is 27%. The passing rate is 28% for the candidates writing for the first time (19 out of 69).

The highest mark obtained is 135 on 150 for Part A and 118 on 150 for Part B. The highest overall mark is 253 on 300.

Passing Rates 2013-2019
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%
2019 96 26 27%
2019 Trademarks Agent Examination – Part A marks distribution (96 Exams marked)
Total 150 marks – Passing mark 97
Mark range Number of candidates
45-57 5
58-70 4
71-83 17
84-96 29
97-109 21
110-122 18
123-135 2
2019 Trademarks Agent Examination – Part B marks distribution (41 Exams marked)
Total 150 marks – Passing mark 97
Mark range Number of candidates
64-74 1
75-85 6
86-96 8
97-107 19
108-118 7

Conclusion

I extend my thanks to all members of the Examining Board for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that the Trademarks Agent Qualifying Examination continues to be administered fairly and impartially, thus providing the public with the assurance that trademarks 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.

Nathalie Tremblay
Chair, Examining Board
Canadian Intellectual Property Office

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