Aesthetic features of a functional article – its shape, configuration, pattern and ornament – can be protected by registering an industrial design. An industrial design application is typically a set of drawings of an article from different perspectives showing its aesthetic features. There is a short description of each drawing. If the application meets certain technical requirements and the design embodied in the article is considered original, the industrial design can be registered by the Industrial Design Office.
A registered industrial design gives the owner an exclusive right to make, use or sell the functional article in which the design is embodied. Some kinds of things that have been protected by industrial designs in Canada are plastic containers, furniture, car doors, running shoes, and computer icons. The term of an industrial design in Canada is five years, renewable once, for a maximum term of ten years.
We assist companies and individuals to obtain industrial design protection for their original designs. Over the years, we have managed a number of large portfolios of industrial designs. We advise on enforcement options and acquisition issues. In many cases, industrial design overlaps with patent or trade-mark rights. We have experience sorting out the multiple forms of protection that may be available for an innovative product.