Obtain Intellectual Property Protection: Industrial Designs
- Steps involved in preparing and filing an application
- Flowcharts showing the overall procedures
- Benefits of using professional expertise
- Other aspects
Steps involved in preparing and filing an application
For more detailed information on industrial design rights and how to prepare and file an application for registration of an industrial design, and an outline of the fee schedule, you may consult CIPO's publication A Guide to Industrial Designs.
Should an industrial design be registered, in order to be protected?
Yes, because there is no protection without registration. Once registered, industrial designs are available for public inspection. Keep in mind that it is best to apply for registration before marketing your product. If your design is an artistic work, it is automatically protected by a copyright and you can register it as such. However, if you use the design as a model or pattern to produce 50 or more manufactured articles, you can protect it only by an industrial design registration.
Is there a time limit for filing an application for registration?
No, unless there has been "publication" (i.e. the design has been made public or offered for commercial sale or use anywhere in the world). In that case, you must file an application within twelve months of the publication date.
What is needed in order to apply for industrial design registration?
You should send a completed application form, at least one drawing or photograph and the fee to:
Industrial Design Office, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office,
Place du Portage I, 50 Victoria Street,
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0C9.
What type of description is needed?
The description does not have to detail every aspect of the design, but it must state clearly what the design is and what its original features are. You should describe the visual aspects of the design only, i.e., shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these). Do not refer to how the article functions or performs. For a more detailed explanation of descriptions, consult the "Practice Notice on Descriptions" available on CIPO's Web site.
What types of drawings or photographs are necessary?
Whether you submit drawings or photographs, they must be in black and white, on good quality paper or photographic paper, at least 21 cm x 28 cm (8" x 11") and not more than 22 cm x 35 cm (8½" x 14"). They must show the design features clearly and be easy to reproduce by photography, electrostatic processes, photo offset or microfilming.
Flowcharts showing the overall procedures
The industrial design application process is outlined in a summary entitled How Your Industrial Design Application is Processed available on CIPO's Web site.
Benefits of using professional expertise
Why hire an agent?
Some registered patent agents have experience in the industrial design area and can help you with the preparation and processing of your industrial design application.
How long does registration last?
Obtaining registration for an industrial design will give you exclusive rights for a period of ten years from the date of registration. 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.
If the design is registered in Canada, am I protected in other countries?
No. You can obtain protection in other countries only by filing separately in each country.
If the design is registered, are any markings required on the articles?
Marking is not required. However, it is helpful in the event of a legal action. If there is no mark, the court cannot award a remedy other than an injunction, which will prevent further infringement on your design. The proper mark is a capital "D" in a circle and the name, or abbreviation thereof, of the design's proprietor on the article, its label or packaging.
If I see a good design outside Canada and it does not appear to be on the market in Canada, can the design be registered under my name here?
Yes, if you have acquired ownership of the design and it has not been published anywhere in the world for more than one year.