An industrial design is about how something looks. Distinctive and attractive features can give your products a competitive edge in the marketplace. Manufacturers put a lot of money and know-how into their industrial designs, which is why a novel design is considered to be valuable intellectual property (IP).
An industrial design registration protects the unique appearance of a product: its shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these features).
Examples of industrial designs include the contour of a car hood, the graphical user interface on your phone or the shape of a stylish piece of furniture.
Registration protects your industrial design across Canada.
It lasts for up to 15 years, provided you pay the maintenance fee.
Please see the Payments and fees page for information about the Canadian Intellectual Property Office's fees.
Note: The basic fees for industrial designs are adjusted each year on the first of January.
An industrial design registration protects a product's appearance, not what it is made of, how it is made or how it works. Once the design has been disclosed in Canada or elsewhere, you have 1 year to file an application for registration in Canada.
A good first step to determine if your design is novel is to search existing registered industrial designs in the Canadian Industrial Designs Database.
Taking your products abroad? The Hague Agreement allows you to file for industrial design protection in multiple countries through 1 application and pay fees in 1 currency through a single transaction with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Visit WIPO's website for more information.
Should I register my design?
Evaluating your creations and identifying your industrial designs are important parts of your business.
A novel product design can give you an edge over your competition.
Securing your design
Five reasons to register your design:
- It provides proof of ownership.
- It gives you the exclusive right to use the design in Canada for up to 15 years.
- It protects your products against manufacture, sale, rent or importation by others in Canada.
- It gives you a legally enforceable right to use your product's design in order to gain a marketing advantage.
- It protects the value of your design.
You may wish to consider using a registered IP agent to help you with your application.
Selling and licensing
Increase your revenue and market share by selling or licensing your design to industry partners interested in benefitting from it.
Enforcing your rights
Monitor the marketplace for any unauthorized use of your industrial design. Enforcement is the responsibility of the industrial design owner.
For more information on industrial designs, please visit the Industrial designs page or contact our Client Service Centre at 1-866-997-1936.
Aussi offert en français sous le titre Dessins industriels.