Learn industrial designs - Canadian Intellectual Property Office

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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.

Basic fees

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.

Did you know?

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:

  1. It provides proof of ownership.
  2. It gives you the exclusive right to use the design in Canada for up to 15 years.
  3. It protects your products against manufacture, sale, rent or importation by others in Canada.
  4. It gives you a legally enforceable right to use your product's design in order to gain a marketing advantage.
  5. 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.

Permission to reproduce

Except as otherwise specifically noted, the information in this publication may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from the Department of Industry, provided that due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the information reproduced; that the Department of Industry is identified as the source institution; and that the reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, or as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, the Department of Industry.

For permission to reproduce the information in this publication for commercial purposes, please fill out the Application for Crown Copyright Clearance or contact the ISED Citizen Services Centre mentioned above.

Ⓒ Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Industry,



Aussi offert en français sous le titre Dessins industriels.