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Letter from FICPI Canada President, Robert Storey

Sent March 28, 2012


Dear FICPI Canada Members,


With the World Congress only three weeks away, this will be my last message to you as President of FICPI Canada.


I am pleased to report that Canada will be relatively well represented at the World Congress. However, registration more generally has not met the Federation’s targets. I have been asked to strongly encourage any of you who has not yet registered to reconsider doing so. Please keep in mind that non-FICPI members may also register for this World Congress if they are sponsored by a FICPI member in their firm.


Please note as well that membership on CET groups and other Federation commissions will be reviewed and reset for the upcoming 2012-2015 term. If you would like to join a CET group of which you are not currently a member, or if you wish to withdraw from a CET group in which you have been an active member, please let me or one of the other members of Council know within the next week.


At the General Meeting of FICPI Canada that took place during the Rome Forum, we were successful in obtaining a quorum of 25% of our members, and we were able to pass an amendment of section 8.4 of the Constitution to address the future quorum requirement. Previously, a quorum required at least 25% of the total membership to be present in person. With the amendment, the quorum requirement can be met with members who are represented by proxy as well as those who are present in person.


It is not my intention to review here all of the other subjects that were addressed at the last General Meeting; however, it is well-worth mentioning that during the meeting FICPI Canada Council presented Joan Van Zant with the Peter Kirby Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to the patent agent profession in Canada. Peter Kirby was, of course, the first President of FICPI Canada and the driving force for its creation. Joan joins a distinctive and exclusive list of award winners. She has been a leader of the profession, and has given freely of her time on many patent issues and on many occasions. Most particularly, Joan has contributed greatly to the training to new entrants to the profession, to the continuing efforts to establish a self-governing college, and to the pursuit of privilege for communications by clients with all intellectual property professionals.


Congratulations are also due to Coleen Morrison who will be standing for election as Vice-President of the Federation at the ExCo meeting prior to the Melbourne Congress.


The next General Meeting of FICPI Canada will be held in Melbourne on April 18 at 7h30. Breakfast will be served. The name and location of the room will be communicated later. The agenda will include a number of reports from Council, but the most important agenda item is the election of a new Council for FICPI Canada to serve during the three-year term until the 2015 Congress. I am pleased to announce that the official candidates will include Brett Slaney as the junior member. I appreciate the interest expressed by a number of other members in becoming involved in Council. I understand that it was a difficult decision for the recommendation committee, which is made up of past presidents.


The candidates for election are thus currently as follows:


I will also be a member of the next term's Council ex officio as the Past President. Doug Deeth will be retiring from Council.


A proxy form for the meeting on April 18 is attached. Please note that we will require proxies to meet the quorum requirement. If you are not able to come to Melbourne, please ensure that you provide your written proxy to another member who will be attending FICPI Canada’s General Meeting. If any of you has any questions or comments about the election, or about any other items for the General Meeting, please do not hesitate to contact me or any other member of Council.


In addition to the General Meeting, Council will be active during the next month in making submissions to CIPO in respect of the proposed amendments of the Trade-marks Regulations and the proposed amendments of the Manual of Patent Office Practice reflecting the guidance given by the Federal Court of Appeal in the case. Members of FICPI Canada are encouraged to come forward to assist in preparing FICPI Canada’s submissions.


FICPI Canada Council has had the privilege of meeting twice with our new Commissioner of Patents/Registrar of Trade-marks, Sylvain Laporte, in November and again in February. We are optimistic that Mr. Laporte’s vision will lead to many welcome changes for the Canadian intellectual property community.


I regret that we have not yet been able to launch the new FICPI.CA website. However, I assure you that it is very close to being ready, and I am confident that you will find that the changes to be great improvements. Thanks go to Hanns Baader and to Steve Perry for their work on this.


Council is also continuing to make preparations for a special meeting of FICPI Canada, tentatively planned for Mont Tremblant in February 2013. The theme of the meeting will be The Decade Ahead: Building Global Demand for Canada IP Firms Services. If you have any suggestions for topics or speakers, please contact Alain Leclerc or any other member of Council.


For those of you who will not already be en route to Australia, please keep in mind the Comparative Intellectual Property Law Symposium which is being held in Ottawa on April 4, 2012. FICPI is one of the co-sponsors of the symposium. If you have any questions, please contact Alain Leclerc who is one of the moderators.


Finally, as this is my final written communication to you, I wish to thank all of the members of FICPI Canada for their support during the years that I have been President. I particularly want to thank those members who have helped Council with preparing submissions to CIPO, or who have given presentations at FICPI meetings, or who have helped in completing surveys and preparing reports for the Federation, or in helping with FICPI Canada events, including acting as tutors for the claim drafting clinics. Above all, I wish to express my profound gratitude to Doug and to all of the members of Council for their tireless dedication. Thanks to them, FICPI Canada remains active, relevant and financially sound.


I look forward to seeing many of you in Melbourne.


Best wishes,


Robert Storey, President - FICPI Canada


Proxy Form (pdf)