Area of Law: Intellectual Property
Answer # 329
Industrial Design applicationsRegion: Ontario Answer # 329
Although applying for an industrial design seems quite straightforward, submitting an application that will be successful often requires technical knowledge of the application process. If you decide to register your industrial design with the Industrial Design Office of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), you should consider contacting a patent lawyer or a registered patent agent for assistance.
The application for an industrial design must follow a standard format. There are three items that are required:
- The Application For Registration of an Industrial Design
- Drawings or photographs of the design
- Government application fee
Application for Registration of an Industrial Design
The application form is quite brief. It requires the name and address of the applicant, called the proprietor, as well as a ‘title’ or name describing the identifying article. The title of the article is basically the generic name or the common name, such as fabric, chair, or bottle. Under the rules of the Industrial Design Act, the form also includes a statement certifying that the design, to the proprietor’s knowledge, was not in use at the time it was adopted by the proprietor.
Last, this application form also requires a written description of the design features which are new and original. Your lawyer or patent agent may write a description which identifies important visual features of the design. The description should describe the design, not the article to which it applies, or how the article functions or performs.
The wording for the description is very important because it may influence whether your design is approved, and if so, how much legal protection it will receive. For example, if the description is worded in very specific terms, the legal protection given may only correspond to those specific criteria that have been outlined. This is why it is so important to hire a lawyer or a patent agent to assist you in preparing your application.
Drawings and photographs
The next item required are the drawings and/or photographs of the design applied to the manufactured article. There are specific requirements with respect to the size, quality and detail of the drawings or photographs that you provide. In general, the drawings or photographs must show how the design is applied to the article. Also, the article should be shown clearly and to scale so that the drawings or photographs can be photocopied in black and white.
It is important to make sure that all aspects of your application are correct, including the drawings and photographs, because it is difficult to make changes after you have filed an application. If you use a lawyer or agent to assist you with the application, another form, giving the name and address of the agent, must also be submitted.
Applications can be submitted by mail to the Industrial Design office at CIPO in Gatineau, Quebec, or online at the CIPO website. Applications and fee payment forms can be found online at the CIPO Client Service Centre. When submitting online, uploaded copies of photographs and drawings must be attached to the application, and the fee can be paid by credit card.
New Industrial Design Act
On December 16, 2014, Bill C-43 received Royal Assent, amending the Industrial Design Act to make it consistent with the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. The new Act is not yet in force.
Under proposed changes to the new Act, there will be further specifications regarding the visual representations to be submitted in an application, including:
- Visual representations in colour will be permitted
- Multiple designs will be permitted in a single application
For more information and current government fees, refer to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
For legal assistance with your industrial design application, or other intellectual property matters, contact our preferred lawyers and see who’s right for you:
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