A Guide to Industrial Designs (page 3 of 7)
What you cannot register
Under the Industrial Design Act you cannot register the following:
- a method of construction;
- an idea;
- the materials used in the construction of an article; or
- the function of an article.
Who can apply for registration?
Only the proprietor (owner) of a design may apply for and receive registration for an industrial design.
Usually you are considered the proprietor if you have created the design; however, if you have been hired under contract to develop a design for someone else, then that someone else is considered the proprietor, and only that person may apply.
If you work together with other people to create a design, you should file as joint proprietors (unless you are all working under contract or commission).
If you have acquired ownership of the design, then you may apply.
If you are an employee of a company and develop a design as part of your employment, then your employer is considered to be the proprietor, and is the only one who may apply.
When to file an application
In Canada, there is no time limit for registering an industrial design as long as the design has never been published (i.e., never been made public — even to your friends — or offered for commercial sale or use anywhere in the world).
If your design has been published, you must file for registration within 12 months of publication.
Before filing for registration, you must also make sure that:
- the design is applied to a fully assembled finished article or set;
- the design features are not ruled only by the article's function; and
- the description portion of the application describes visual features, not functional or manufacturing aspects.