What is an industrial design?

Important notice

This page is currently under revision to reflect changes to the industrial design regime that came into effect on November 5, 2018. We invite you to visit this page again shortly to learn more.

If you're producing distinctive-looking new products, you'll want to learn about industrial designs and find out about registering your designs.

Industrial designs are the features of a product that appeal to the eye: the contour of a car hood, the pattern of a knitted sweater, the shape of a computer monitor. Distinctive and attractive features like these give products a competitive edge.

If you produce distinctive-looking new products, you will want to register your designs.


Register industrial designs to protect your rights

When you register your industrial design, you gain exclusive, legally enforceable rights for up to 10 years in Canada. You may sell your rights or license others to make, use and sell your design.

To be eligible for registration, your design must be original; it cannot closely resemble another design.

Registration is intended to protect the product’s appearance—not what it is made of, how it is made or how it works.

Apply to register your design as soon as possible. Once the design has been published in Canada or elsewhere, you have only one year to file the application for registration in Canada.

Learn more about how and why to register in A Guide to Industrial Designs.