What Is Industrial Design

What Is Industrial Design?

What is Industrial Design?  An industrial design constitutes the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament and any combination of these features applied to a finished article according to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

When answering the question what is industrial design,  it must be original in order to register an industrial design.

What Is Industrial Design

A registered industrial design protects:

  • A shape can be the shape of a bottle, smart phone, lightbulb.
  • A pattern can be artwork on a bottle or fabric or repeat pattern on a wallpaper.
  • An ornament can be a design on a bottle or a decoration applied to a t-shirt.

Industrial Design must be appealing to the eye and there must be some form of ornamentation.

You cannot register:

  • a method of construction
  • an idea
  • materials used to make something
  • the function of something such as the way an MP3 player works

What is the Process for Registration of an Industrial Design? 

Registration must be applied for within one year from the date of first publication in Canada (i.e. making it available to the public).

Offering or making the design available to the public constitutes publication.

Advantages of An Industrial Design Registration

The owner of a registered industrial design has the exclusive use to use the industrial design to an article for the purpose of making importing, renting and selling.

Registration is valid for 10 years from the date of registration. A registration will protect your design and prevent others from using it. You will then need to pay a maintenance fee prior to 5 years and 6 months after your registration date.

An industrial design owner can assign or licence their rights provided it is in writing and will need to be recorded with the Industrial Design Office for both pending and registered designs.

Marking and Notice for an Industrial Design

It is not mandatory to mark your product as a registered industrial design but it is recommended to do so.

The mark for an industrial design registration is a capital “D” inside a circle and the name or abbreviation of the designer’s owner on the article, label or packaging.

The advantage of marking your design is that it shows a court that the infringer is aware that the design was protected and registered.

Infringement of Industrial Design

You have three years to take legal action against anyone that infringes your industrial design.

What is Industrial Design:  Industrial Design Application

The application must include the following:

  • name and complete address (or of the agent)
  • title of the finished articles of your design
    • the title is the common name by which the public uses such as a chair, t-shirt etc.
  • description of the visual appearance of the design
    • describe what parts of the design that can be seen such as features of the shape, configuration, pattern or ornament or combination
    • the description should not include how it was made, what it is made of, how it works, size, dimension etc.
    • identify whether the design is on all or part of the article and the important features of the design
  • name and complete street address of a representative in Canada (if you do not have an office or place of business in Canada)
  • Drawings or photographs
    • The drawings or photographs must show the entire finished article against a neutral or blank background in solid lines.
    • They must be of high quality
    • Include as many views of the property to show the design such as perspective, front back, top, bottom, right side, left side.
    • You may need specific figure references and other views such as open and closed positions, cross-section views, views showing patterns etc.

What is Industrial Design:  Fees

The government fee for an examination of an application to register a design is $400 and the maintenance of a registration of a design is $350.

The application can be sent to the Industrial Design Office at:

Office of the Commissioner of Patents
Industrial Design Division
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Place du Portage I
50 Victoria Street, Room C114
Gatineau QC K1A 0C9

Fax: 1-819-953-CIPO (2476)

What Is Industrial Design:  Registration Process

The industrial design application has six parts to the registration process:

  • initial processing and issuance of a filing certificate and application number
  • classification according to the type of article
  • the preliminary examination to ensure title, description and drawings or photographs clearly define the features of the design and article.
  • search where your application is compared to other similar pending, registered and published designs.
  • examination to ensure the design is original and not published for more than one year. In addition, the examiner will look at the title, description, drawings or photographs to ensure they meet the requirements of the Industrial Design Act and Industrial Design Regulation. The examiner will either approve the application for registration or issue a report with the examiner’s objections in which case, you will need to respond within the timeframe and address the amendments or information being requested.
  • registration

Foreign Registrations of an Industrial Design

In order to obtain the benefit of the filing date of an industrial design registration in Canada, an application has six months to file an application of the same design in another Paris Convention country. Canada is a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property which provides applications in those countries that have signed the Convention to get “convention priority”.

What Is Industrial Design: Remedies for Infringement

  • Damages
  • Injunction
  • Recovery of infringing material
  • Accounting of profits
  • Fines for criminal offences under the Industrial Design Act
  • If infringer not aware of the registration, then remedy limited to an injunction (and no damages)

See our other articles:

What Is A Patent?
What is a Trademark?
What Is Copyright? 

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