A Guide to Industrial Designs (page 6 of 7)
Our electronic service delivery allows you to:
- file an industrial design application;
- pay maintenance fees;
- submit general correspondence; and
- order copies.
To file your application online, simply visit the CIPO website (www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/id). The website also has industrial design forms available for download that can be completed and sent by regular mail.
The registration process
After you submit your industrial design application, the design registration process consists of the following six phases:
- initial processing (including the issue of a filing certificate);
- preliminary examination;
- examination; and
Staff will review your application to make sure the basic administrative requirements have been met. If your application is complete, a filing certificate will be issued to acknowledge that the application has been received, processed and given a filing date. It also provides you with the number assigned to your application so you can refer to it in later correspondence. If it is incomplete, the Industrial Design Office will send a notice to the applicant outlining any deficiencies.
Next your application will be classified according to the particular type of article to which it relates.
Your application will be assessed by an examiner to make sure the description and drawings or photographs are clear in defining what features the design is comprised of, and what the article is. This is done in order to conduct a search, and also to make sure the application relates to only one design or variants.
Your design will be compared with previously registered and published designs for similarity. The results of this search will be reviewed by the examiner in the "Examination" stage (see below).
An examiner will review your title, description and drawings or photographs to make sure they comply with the Industrial Design Act and Industrial Design Regulations. The examiner will review the search results to assess the originality of your design and to determine whether the design has been published for more than one year.
Following this assessment, the examiner will either allow (approve) the application for registration or issue a report (which will be mailed to you). The report will set out the objections to registration and tell you what information or amendments (changes) are required.
Responding to the examiner's objections
The industrial design examiner may raise objections about your application, which will be explained in the examiner's report. If this happens, you have the opportunity to respond. Your response should be in writing and may include the requested information or amendments. If you do not agree with the examiner's objections, you may submit arguments. If you do not understand the examiner's report, you may contact the examiner for clarification.
It is important to remember that if you make changes to your description or drawings after filing the application or in response to the examiner's report, you cannot change the design in any substantial way. If you do, the new drawings or description will be rejected. If you wish to proceed with the new design, you must submit a new application (with filing fees) which will receive a new filing date.
Once approved by the examiner, your design will be registered as soon as possible. A certificate of registration that includes a copy of the application and drawing(s) or photograph(s) of the registered design will be mailed to you. This certificate is evidence of ownership and of the originality of your design.
If the examiner decides your application is unregisterable in the final report issued by the Industrial Design Office, you may appeal this decision to the Patent Appeal Board. The Board will make recommendations to the Commissioner of Patents, who will either reverse the decision or support it in a final rejection. If you are still not satisfied, you may appeal the final rejection to the Federal Court of Canada, and from there to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Each industrial design application must be limited to a single design or to "variants" (i.e., designs that do not differ substantially from one another). You may add variants of the design to your application any time before registration.
More than one design
If you include designs in one application that are very different, an objection will be issued and you will be asked to choose one design and remove the rest from your application. You then have the option of filing a new application (with filing fees) for any design removed from the first application.
In this case, the filing date of the new application will be the same as the first application.