Canada Industrial Design/Design Patent Lawyers

We offer the following information regarding industrial designs in Canada in response to questions frequently asked by our clients:

Does design protection cover functional features of articles?

Design protection does not protect non-ornamental aspects of articles, including functional aspects not seen in normal usage. Nor does it usually protect functional features which are seen, such as zippers, fasteners or hinges.

Is there a deadline for filing a design application?

In Canada an industrial design application must be filed within one year of making the design public anywhere. In the United States it is necessary to file a design patent application within one year of any printed publication of the design or within one year of putting the design on sale or using it in public. In many countries, it is necessary to file an application before the design has been made public anywhere. However, under the International Convention it is enough to file an application in one country and most other countries will allow a filing up to six months later even if the design has been made public since the initial filing.

How long does design protection last?

In Canada, an industrial design registration is valid for five years, but is renewable for another five years by paying a renewal fee, for a maximum of 10 years of protection. In the United States, a design patent is valid for 14 years from the date the patent is issued.

How long does it take to get a design application approved?

Application approval normally takes at least several months and up to a year or more in Canada. Approval does take longer if the industrial design office has objections to registering the design and application amendment or supporting arguments are necessary to secure the registration. In the United States, it normally takes at least one year for a design patent to issue.

Should a search be done to see if the design is original?

A search can be done to see whether or not a similar design has already been registered prior to filing an application in Canada or the United States. However, this is not usually done because the cost of the search is relatively high compared to the cost of applying for design protection. In addition, a high percentage of design applications are approved. For these reasons, most clients file design applications without searches, as long as they do not know of a similar design previously available. They take the risk of application rejection by the office if it finds a similar design in a previous registration or design patent filing.

Is it possible to get a regular patent and design protection for the same article?

This is possible in cases where an article has a patentable feature, usually related to its construction or function, as well as a unique shape or appearance. It is often a good idea to seek design protection for an article in cases where its patentability is in doubt. This will provide some degree of protection against infringers if the patent application is refused. An infringer may be caught by the design protection on an article, even if its functionality does not enjoy patent protection. However, our lawyers and agents should be consulted on this issue.

Contact Our Vancouver Industrial Design/Design Patent Lawyers

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our Canada industrial design lawyers, call 778-724-1699 or contact us online for a prompt response.

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