If you’re producing distinctive-looking new products, you’ll want to register your designs.
Industrial designs are product features that appeal to the eye. They can be a new shape for the hood or fenders of a car, the original pattern in a woven sweater or all of the visual features of a computer monitor. A product’s visual appeal gives it a competitive edge, setting it apart from others and making it the one people will buy.
Industrial design registration gives you exclusive, legally-enforceable rights for up to 10 years in Canada. Others cannot make or sell the design without your permission. You can sell your rights or license others to make, use and sell your design.
To be eligible for registration, a design must be original, i.e., not closely resemble a design already registered.
Registration is intended to protect new designs and not those that have been in the marketplace for some time. As well, what is protected is the appearance of the article, not how the article works, how it’s built or what it’s made of.
Apply to register your design as soon as possible. Once the design has been made public, you have one year to file the application in Canada.