Many people are aware of copyrights, trademarks and patents. These form the major categories of intellectual property. Yet, there is a major fourth category that is not much known – the Industrial Design. Industrial design is a very important category that needs to be protected, as industrial design deals with the aesthetic aspect of your product, and bot the functional one. Almost all products are eligible for protection under industrial design as most of them have visible aesthetic features. This would include cars, smartphones, cutlery, etc. just to name a few.
Registering industrial design
You can register for an industrial design in Canada. In order to register, you will have to file an application with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. In order for the design to be registered, you will have to fulfil certain requirements. These requirements include that:
(a) the applicant should not have disclosed the design publicly more than one year before the filing date and
(b) the design should not be identical to or resemble any existing registered industrial design. In order for a registration to be considered valid, it should be original in all respects related to design.
Benefits of Registration
After registering the industrial design, the owner has the right to exclude other companies and individuals from manufacturing or selling any product that has a similar design, for a period of 10 years. Once registered, the owner of an industrial design can exclude others from manufacturing or selling any product with a substantially similar design for 10 years. The initial term is for 5 years, while an additional 5 years are added if a renewal fee is paid. This provides businesses with a competitive advantage and is a considerable asset to the business.
Industrial design gives you an edge
A well-designed product not only provides functional value, but is also very pleasurable to look at. This statement is true for most manufactured products and their value for people is determined by how they look and feel. Manufacturers invest a substantial amount of money, along with extensive R&D in industrial design and this is one of the prime reasons for considering industrial design a valuable IP. For many companies, the industrial design might be the difference between success and failure. The Canadian law is well equipped to provide protection to your industrial design and protect it from unlawful imitation.
In order to obtain this protection, you will have to register your design with the Industrial Design Office. An important point to remember is that the rights that industrial design grants you extends throughout Canada, but it won’t be able to protect your design outside Canada. The same applies to foreign registrations, as they are not protected in Canada.
Industrial design is a significant part of any product, and is a big asset to the organisations that own it. Protecting your industrial design is important and should be done at all costs. If you own an industrial design that is being infringed upon, then get in touch with Prowse Chowne. Our lawyers excel in IP protection and will be able to provide you wise counsel on the matter.