Industrial design infringement

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What is industrial design infringement?

Industrial design infringement in Canada occurs when someone makes, imports, sells, rents or offers (or exposes) for sale or rent a product to which a design is applied that is not substantially different from a Canadian registered industrial design.


While the Canadian Intellectual Property Office grants intellectual property (IP) rights such as trademarks, patents, industrial designs and copyright, it does not police granted rights or monitor the marketplace for potential infringement.

Enforcement of IP rights is the responsibility of the IP holder, not the IP office.

Who can sue for industrial design infringement

  • The owner of the industrial design
  • Exclusive and non-exclusive licensees
  • Purchasers of the protected articles

What you need

To establish a claim for industrial design infringement, you need the following:

  • a valid registered industrial design
  • a demonstration that the design applied to a product looks like (or is not substantially different from) the registered design

When to enforce your industrial design

Enforcement can only be pursued once an industrial design is granted.

All actions for infringement must be brought within 3 years of the act of infringement.

Although these time periods are provided, you should consider consulting a lawyer for more details.

Get professional help

Solving conflicts involving IP rights is often complex. Consult an IP professional, such as an IP agent or lawyer, to discuss the next steps if you believe your IP rights are being infringed upon.

If IP infringement is happening in another country, a Canadian IP professional may be able to coordinate with an IP professional in the other country to enforce your IP rights.


Learn about how to stop others from using your IP unlawfully and enforce your IP rights.