Industrial designs are the features of a product that appeal to the eye. They can be actual shapes, patterns or features of ornamentation. Distinctive and attractive features can often give regular pre-existing products a new and competitive edge, and it is these distinctive features that can form the basis of an industrial design application/registration, and provide the holder with an exclusive right. Our patent lawyers and patent agents advise on how to secure exclusive industrial design rights, which then provide our clients with exclusive, legally enforceable rights in Canada for up to 10 years. Like a patent or other intellectual property right, secured industrial design rights can be used by the client, or sold or licensed to others to make, use and sell the distinctive design. In order to obtain a registration, the industrial design must be original and cannot closely resemble another design.
An industrial design registration protects the appearance of the product, and not what the product is made of, or how it is made or works. Our patent lawyers and patent agents work with clients to identify the unique and distinctive features that qualify for industrial design registration, and which features do not, because perhaps they are already known and are common, or are dictated by the way the product functions. It is important to register an industrial design as soon as possible, as once the design has been published in Canada or elsewhere, an application for registration in Canada must be filed within one year of any such publication. Failure to do so will result in any exclusive industrial design rights being lost.