What are industrial designs?

Industrial design describes a distinguishable aesthetic element of manufactured items such as shoes, clothing, furniture or tools. It focuses on protecting the design features on objects that are not necessarily patentable because they perform a known function. Our IP group can help you through the process of submitting industrial design applications and obtaining registrations, which grants you exclusive use of the design in Canada. This means it prevents others from making, importing, renting or selling any article made with your registered design.

Industrial Design law protects a product’s design. If you want to learn more about protecting a product’s function or how it works, visit our page on Patent Law. A patent protects useful, or functional, inventions.

Understanding the Industrial Design protection process

In Canada, design applications must be filed within one year of “publication,” which means making the design public. Once an application is filed, an Examiner at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) reviews the application and searches for similar designs to determine if there are objections. On average, the process of obtaining an industrial design registration will take approximately 12 to 18 months from the date of filing to registration, and we work to help you understand the process, the timelines and CIPO expectations.

How we work with our Industrial Design clients

Our team brings a depth of experience to our work on industrial design applications and registrations. This allows us to help guide you through your various options, explain the relationship between patent, copyright, trademarks and industrial design and support you through the process. Our IP litigation expertise also ensures your intellectual property is effectively protected.

In the United States, Design Patents are the corresponding form of protection as to Canadian Industrial Design. Like an industrial design, a design patent protects an article’s appearance or non-functional aspects. It is important to remember that industrial design registration in Canada does not automatically provide international protection.