Area of Law: Intellectual Property
Answer Number: 332
Assigning and licensing an Industrial DesignRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 332
The process of assigning or licensing an industrial design is usually complicated. To make sure that your rights are protected, you should consider contacting a lawyer to advise you and to review the agreement before you sign it.
An assignment is the sale of all or some of your ownership rights in an industrial design. Assignments should be made in writing and there is a fee. You should register any change in the ownership of your industrial design with the Industrial Design Office of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). This will assist in protecting your legal rights.
Licensing gives someone other than the registered owner permission to make, use, and sell the design, while the registered owner maintains ownership of the design. In most cases, the owner of the design will charge some sort of fee or royalty for granting someone a licence. If you are involved in a licensing arrangement, you should make sure that the agreement is in writing and that it includes, among other things, the time limits of the licence and the fees or royalties to be paid. Licences should also be registered with the Industrial Design Office and a fee is required.
For more information and current government fees, refer to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
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