A Guide to Industrial Designs (page 5 of 7)
Preparing an industrial design application
- Only the current proprietor (owner) of the industrial design or an appointed agent can file an application. The application form includes a declaration that you are the proprietor of the design and that, to your knowledge, no one else used the design before you or the first proprietor.
- Your application form must also include the following:
- your name and complete street address;
- the title of the article;
- the description;
- the name and complete street address of a representative for service in Canada, if you have no office or place of business in Canada; and
- drawings or photographs.
The application must include a title that identifies the finished article to which the design is applied. The title should be the common name generally known and used by the public (e.g., "lighter," "chair," "spoon," "t-shirt").
Your application must include a description of the features of your design.
The description along with the drawings and the title must provide an accurate picture of the design. The following information must be clearly indicated in the description:
- the features of the design and where they reside in the article (i.e., the entire article or a portion of the article); and
- the manufactured article to which the design is applied.
The following are some specific things to keep in mind when writing your description:
- Your description must describe only the visual features of the design (i.e., features of shape, configuration, pattern, or ornament, or a combination of these). The description must not refer to how the article was made, what it is made of, how it functions, its size or its dimensions. For example, a distinctive tread on the sole of a boot may have functional properties (to prevent slipping) as well as visual appeal (it is in the shape of a snowflake); however, the description must refer to only those features that are visual.
- The description must also indicate where the design features reside in the article. The design may reside in the entirety of the article, or just in a portion of the article. For example, you may wish to protect the shape of the entirety of a chair or you may wish to protect only the shape of the arms of a chair.
- You may choose to give a brief description that simply states what features the design consists of and where those features reside in the article. For example: a) The design consists of the features of shape of the arms of the chair as shown in the drawings. b) The design consists of the features of shape, configuration, pattern, and ornamentation of the entire chair as shown in the drawings.
- Or you may choose to provide a more detailed description by using descriptive terminology. For example: The design consists of generally rectangular arms with a convex upper surface and concave lower surface, a longitudinal groove extending the entire length of each arm on the outer side edges. Whichever method you use, it must be clear whether the design's features reside in the entire article, or just a part of it.
- You might also want to highlight particularly important features of the design. For example: The design consists of the features of shape of the arms of the chair as shown in the drawings. The most significant feature is the diamond-shaped recess on the top surface of each arm.
- Since the courts may use your description to help decide the limits of protection for your design, you should word your description carefully and accurately. If your description is too broad, it may be impossible to enforce. If it is too narrow, you may leave out features you wanted to protect.
Keep in mind that you are responsible for providing an accurate, adequate description of your design and to make sure it covers all of the design's original features. In order to assess whether the design can be registered, the Industrial Design Office will only verify that your wording clearly describes the design and that it accurately states what is shown in the drawings or photographs.
More information on descriptions is available in the document entitled "Industrial Design Office Practices" on the CIPO website (www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/id).
Drawings and photographs
Your application must include at least one drawing or photograph of the design as it is applied to the finished article of manufacture. Drawings and photographs must meet the following conditions:
- Content: The drawings or photographs must show the complete finished article; put otherwise, the article must be shown alone against a neutral (blank) background. Your drawing(s) or photograph(s) should show every feature of the design as it is applied to the article. You may use stippled or broken lines to show parts of the article that are not part of the design, but the design must be shown in solid lines. It is acceptable to include environment — subject matter that is not part of the article — in a single view, provided that the environment helps to make clear what the article is or what its design features are. Written matter, including the title, descriptive text or dimensions should not be included on the drawing.
- Quality: Drawings or photographs must be of high enough quality that they can be reproduced electronically in black and white by the Industrial Design Office. The features of the design identified in the description portion of the application must be shown clearly and accurately.
- Number and type of views: Your drawings or photographs should include only as many views as are necessary to properly display the features of the design. The conventional views are: perspective, front, back, top, bottom, right side, left side. Each view should be numbered in the following way: Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.
- Figure reference: Where the drawings or photographs contain more than one figure, a figure reference should be included at the end of the description. For example: "Figure 1 is a bottom view of the chair."
- Miscellaneous views: Occasionally, conventional views will not fully show all the features of your design. In that case, you will need to include the following views as well: views showing open and closed positions, cross-sectional views, fragmentary views, and views showing indefinite length and repeat patterns.
More information on the requirements for drawings and photographs is available in the document entitled "Industrial Design Office Practices" on the CIPO website (www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/id).
You must pay a fee to have your application examined by the Industrial Design Office. Payment may be made by credit card (VISA, MasterCard or American Express), direct payment, deposit account, postal money order or cheque payable in Canadian dollars to the Receiver General for Canada. Do not add federal and provincial taxes.
Submit your application
You may send your completed application electronically through the CIPO website (www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/id) or to the address below.
Corresponding with the Industrial Design Office
Business with the Industrial Design Office is normally done in writing. Address all correspondence to:
- Office of the Commissioner of Patents
- Industrial Design Division
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office
- Industry Canada
- Room C-114
- Place du Portage I
- 50 Victoria Street
- Gatineau QC K1A 0C9
Fax: 1-819-953-CIPO (2476)
More information about CIPO's official correspondence procedures is available on the CIPO website (www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/id).
If you are enquiring about the status of your pending application, provide the application number, the title and the applicant's name. If you have hired an agent, it is necessary that you conduct all correspondence through that agent.
The Industrial Design Office will respond to all general enquiries, but cannot:
- advise you whether to file an application;
- tell you whether your design meets registration criteria prior to your filing an application;
- advise you about possible infringement of an industrial design; or
- act in any way as an interpreter of industrial design law, or as a counselor, other than in matters directly related to processing your application.