Intellectual Property Institute of Canada’s Industrial Design Practice Committee (IDPC) Meeting — March 1, 2019


Todd Hunter (CIPO)

Curtis Behmann (IPIC)

1. Opening Remarks

The Co-Chairs welcomed participants and discussed the agenda for the day.

2. Update from CIPO

Hague and modernization

CIPO presented on Canada's recent accession to the Hague Agreement and on the modernization initiatives which entered into force on November 5, 2018. The presentation outlined key benefits of Hague accession and modernization, the changes that were made to the industrial design (ID) regime in Canada, the recent engagement and promotion initiatives that were conducted and also featured success stories from innovative Canadian companies that are supportive of Canada 's accession to the Hague Agreement. As of February 2019, Canada has been designated approximately 265 times in an international application at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

New e-services

CIPO presented its vision in terms of new e-services for clients, looking forward to 2019 which will see the planned release of a new e-mailbox system and a new e-amendment application.

Office performance

Finally, CIPO summarized its office performance on ID filings, providing statistical data on the number of applications received in the last years, the origin of these filings, and the turnaround-time from filing to allowance. Of note, the use of the e-filing has recently increased (to 50% of all filings in February 2019) which is linked to the recent improvements to the system.

3. Using the Hague System

Attendees were joined by Jonah Asher from WIPO via WebEx. Jonah provided a detailed presentation on the use of eHague, WIPO 's E-filing Interface. Attendees were walked through the complete filing process and got the opportunity to see first-hand how to file a complex international application designating multiple different countries. CIPO and the attendees were very grateful to WIPO for this presentation.

4. Stakeholder Questions and Issues

Stakeholders provided feedback on the Hague and modernization implementation to date and raised various questions and issues, such as:

  • Unclear correspondence;
  • E-filing issues;
  • Delay in the issuance of registration packages; and,
  • Issues with the expiration date of certain registrations.

For more information, a table of issues, responses and action items is available here.

5. Discussion on Other Issues of Interest

CIPO, with the participation of all attendees, led a discussion on other issues of interest.

Guide to Industrial Designs

Participants discussed the revised and updated Guide to Industrial Design published by CIPO. The Guide is an introduction to industrial designs for the general public. Attendees provided good feedback which will be taken into account and reflected in the final version of the Guide.

WIPO Digital Access Service

CIPO presented on the WIPO Digital Access Service (DAS), an electronic digital library allowing priority documents to be securely exchanged between participating Intellectual Property Offices. On April 1, 2019, CIPO began operation as both an accessing and depositing office to the WIPO DAS.

Service excellence and quality strategy

CIPO outlined the fact that service excellence is a top strategic priority for the Office and that it is imbued in what we do. Attendees discussed the results of CIPO's recent Client Satisfaction Survey and CIPO informed attendees of its plan to develop and implement a Quality Management System (QMS) for industrial designs in 2019-2020, consistent with CIPO's Quality Management Framework and Quality Policy.

Future areas of collaboration

Finally, attendees discussed future areas of collaboration such as transformative technologies, graphical user interfaces, holograms and virtual designs. The group concluded that some of these areas will present a challenge to industrial design law and practice and that the IDPC should collaborate on these issues as much as possible.

6. Closing Remarks

It is proposed that the IDPC next meet in October 2019. A call out for a date and proposed agenda items will be sent soon.