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This roadmap shows you the steps to apply for industrial design protection in multiple countries through one application and to pay fees in one currency through a single transaction with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
1 – Filing (applicant)
You can start the international registration process by filing your application with the International Bureau (IB) of WIPO.
Your international application must include the following:
- your name and address
- an indication of your country
- a representation of each design to be registered
- an indication of the product to which each design is applied
- a designation of the countries where you are seeking protection
- the required fees in Swiss francs
How much does an international application cost?
There are 3 types of fees in an international application: a basic fee, a publication fee and a fee for each country where protection is sought. A schedule of fees and a fee calculator are available on WIPO's website.
2 – Examination: formal requirements (WIPO)
The IB will verify that your international application meets the formal requirements prescribed by the Hague Agreement.
If the requirements are met
The IB will send you a certificate of international registration.
If the requirements are not met
The IB will send you an invitation to correct irregularities within 3 months of the date of the invitation.
3 – Publication (WIPO)
Publication in the International Designs Bulletin acts as a notification to each country identified in your application that, if applicable, they can now begin substantive examination under their domestic law.
4 – Examination: substantive requirements (CIPO)
If you seek protection in Canada, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will examine your Hague application. This includes a search of prior art to assess the novelty of your design.
5 – Grant of protection (CIPO and WIPO)
If your Hague application complies with the requirements of the Industrial Design Act and the Industrial Design Regulations, CIPO will issue a Statement of Grant of Protection to the IB. The IB will forward you the statement, informing you that Canada has granted protection to your design.
Notification of refusal (CIPO and WIPO)
If your Hague application does not comply with the Act or the Regulations, CIPO will send the IB a Notification of Refusal (NR) and an examination report outlining the objections to registration. The IB will forward you both documents.
How long does CIPO have to examine my application?
CIPO will notify the IB within 12 months of the international registration publication date if the application is refused. If you don't hear back within that refusal period, your industrial design will be considered protected.
6 – Response (applicant)
You can respond to the NR directly to CIPO within 3 months. You can choose to argue against the objection, or you can amend or abandon your application.
7 – Objection maintained (CIPO)
If your amendments or arguments fail to overcome the objections outlined in the examination report accompanying the NR, CIPO may send you subsequent examination reports and, eventually, a Notice of Possible Refusal, until a final refusal is issued and puts an end to the examination.
Grant of protection after objection (CIPO)
If all objections are overcome, CIPO will issue a Statement of Grant of Protection to the IB. The IB will forward you the statement, informing you that Canada has granted protection to your design.
8 – Maintaining your international registration (applicant)
Your international registration is valid for 5 years from the date of international registration and can be renewed every 5 years. To renew your international registration, you must make a request for renewal and pay the required fees to the IB before each 5-year period ends.
For Canada, your first renewal payment will cover the remainder of the maximum term of protection available, which is up to 15 years from the date of international registration. Nevertheless, you must renew your registration again within 10 years of the date of international registration to ensure it remains maintained in Canada. For that second renewal, no fees are required.
To find out about the renewal fees for international registrations, visit WIPO's web page on individual fees under the Hague Agreement.