Types of intellectual property: Industrial Designs
- Industrial Designs
- Integrated Circuit Topographies
- Plant Breeders' Rights
An industrial design comprises the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these) applied to a manufactured article. The shape of a table or the decoration on the handle of a spoon are examples of industrial designs.
In Canada, obtaining a registration for an industrial design will give you exclusive rights for ten years. A maintenance fee is required before the expiry of five years plus six months from the date of registration to maintain the registration for a further five years. It is best to apply for registration before marketing the product to which the design is applied.
If the design is an artistic work, it is automatically protected by a copyright, and may be registered as such. However, if the design is used as a model or pattern to produce 50 or more manufactured articles, it is protected only by an industrial design registration, with certain exceptions.
Through creative designs, a SME could reach out to and appeal to a specific target group or market. Having industrial design rights on an attractive shape or style of a product may give you the much-needed edge over the competition.
A SME may also assign its industrial design right, license it or use it to support loan requests. Industrial designs are also very effective marketing tools for selling new products.