A Guide to Industrial Designs (page 2 of 7)
Industrial designs fuel success
A well-designed chair is not just a pleasure to sit on, but also a pleasure to look at. This can be said for most manufactured products — their value to people depends not only on what they do, but how they look.
Manufacturers invest a great deal of money and know-how in industrial design and this is why an original design is considered valuable IP.
Your industrial design is worth a lot of time and money, and it may mean the success of an entire enterprise. It pays to protect your hard work.
If you are the creator of (or an investor in) an original industrial design, Canadian law offers you protection from unlawful imitation of your design. Industrial Design Act, like other forms of IP legislation, protects owners while promoting the orderly exchange of knowledge.
The way to obtain this valuable protection is to register your design with the Industrial Design Office.
The rights given by a Canadian industrial design registration extend throughout Canada, but not to other countries. You must apply for registration in other countries separately. Likewise, foreign registrations do not protect an industrial design in Canada.
What is an industrial design?
An industrial design is the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these features) applied to a finished article made by hand, tool or machine. For example, the shape of a table or the shape and decoration of a spoon may be industrial designs.
An industrial design must have features that appeal to the eye. To be eligible for registration, your design must be original.
Industrial designs are the visual features of shape, pattern, configuration or ornament (or any combination of these features) applied to a manufactured article.
People occasionally confuse industrial designs with patents, trade-marks, copyright and integrated circuit topographies. Like industrial designs, these are rights granted for intellectual creativity and are forms of IP.
- Industrial designs are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these) applied to a manufactured article.
- Patents cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter) or any new and useful improvement to an existing invention.
- Trade-marks are words, symbols or designs (or any combination of these) used to distinguish the wares or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace.
- Copyright provide protection for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs) and three other subject matter known as: performances, sound recordings and communication signals.
- Integrated circuit topographies refer to the three-dimensional configuration of electronic circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs.
Why should you register?
It is recommended that you register your industrial design in order to have the exclusive right to your design for up to ten years from the date of registration. Unless you register your design, you cannot make a legal claim of ownership, and you have no legal protection to prevent others from making, importing, renting, or selling any article to which your design is applied.
What can you register?
- a repeat pattern applied to wallpaper
- the shape of a perfume bottle
- the ornamentation applied to a t-shirt
- the visual features of a running shoe
- the way an MP3 player functions
- the material of which a protective mask is made
- the idea of putting advertising on bus shelters