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Registering your Industrial Design in a foreign country

Region: Ontario Answer # 333

Registering your design in Canada only provides legal protection for your design rights in Canada. To obtain protection in other countries, you have two options:

  1. Make a separate design application in those countries, or
  2. Make an application through the Hague System.

Making a separate design application in another county can be a very complicated process as the rules in foreign countries are usually different from the rules in Canada.

Apply for registration using the Hague System

On November 5, 2018 amendments to the Industrial Design Act and Regulations came into force making it consistent with the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (the Hague System), significantly modernizing Canada’s industrial design system.

The Hague System allows individuals to acquire, maintain and manage design right:

  • for up-to 100 designs (belonging to the same class of the International Classification for Industrial Designs (the Locarno Classification),
  • in 73 contracting parties covering 90 countries, and
  • through a single international application.

Applications originating in Canada for international registration are filed with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Applications must include information such as:

  • the name and address of the applicant;
  • who the applicant’s contracting party is (country where protection is applied for);
  • the number of designs included and a representation of each of them; and
  • the required fees, paid in Swiss Francs, which vary depending on the geographical coverage selected and the number of designs (a schedule of fees and a fee calculator are available on WIPO’s website).

International applications made through the Hague System:

  • can be in English, French or Spanish
  • can by filed either on paper or through WIPO’s eHague.

For more information about registering your industrial design, refer to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

For legal assistance with your industrial design application, and to protect your ownership of an industrial design in a foreign country, or for other intellectual property matters, contact our preferred lawyers and see who’s right for you: 

Bereskin & Parr

Gilbert's LLP


Bereskin & Parr Intellectual Property ON All Topics March 21, 2018Bereskin & Parr Intellectual Property ON All Topics March 21, 2018

Gilbert’s LLP Intellectual Property ON All Topics March 21, 2018Gilbert’s LLP Intellectual Property ON All Topics March 21, 2018

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