What happens in the Industrial Design application process?

Region: Ontario Answer # 330

Applying for an industrial design is a complicated process and you should consider contacting a patent lawyer or a registered patent agent for assistance.

There are three main steps in the application process and it will probably take about 6 to 12 months to register an industrial design. The three application steps are:

  1. The initial processing,
  2. Examination (including classification and search), and
  3. The official registration.


Initial processing

The initial processing occurs when the application is submitted to the Industrial Design Office of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), along with the required fees. The application is reviewed to ensure that it is complete. A filing certificate and application number will be issued to your lawyer or patent agent when the application is received. Your lawyer or patent agent should keep a record of this number and refer to it in all correspondence with the Industrial Design Office.

If the application is not complete, the Industrial Design Office will issue a notice to your lawyer or patent agent informing them of what is needed. The Design Office will also assign a due date for the additional information that is required.

Examination, Classification, Search

When the application is complete, it will be examined. The examination process usually takes three to six months. The application will be classified according to the type of article your industrial design is for. An examiner will review the application to make sure it complies with the Industrial Design Act and Industrial Design Regulations. The examiner will also conduct a prior art search to ensure that your design is not the same as or similar to another, previous design, and to determine whether the design has been published for more than one year.

If there are problems with your application, the examiner will issue a report and your lawyer or patent agent will have an opportunity to respond. If the examiner is satisfied with their response, or if there are no problems with the application, then it will be approved.

If the examiner’s concerns cannot be satisfied, the application will be rejected. Your lawyer can appeal this decision.


After an application is approved, the design will be officially registered. The Industrial Design Office will send your lawyer or patent agent a Certificate of Registration, which is your proof of ownership. You will then have the exclusive right in Canada to apply that design to an article for the purposes of importation, rent or sale.

For more information about industrial designs 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: 

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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