Industrial Designs: The Basics

An industrial design is a form of intellectual property rights that protects the visual features of a product.

What may be protected under industrial design?

The features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament and any combination of those features in a finished product. For example, the unique shape of jewelry or furniture, the pattern of wallpaper, and the specific arrangement of a graphical user interface (GUI).

Requirements for registration

In Canada, the design must be novel (new).

Industrial Design Rights

A registered industrial design gives the owner the exclusive right to make, import and sell the article incorporating the design.

Geographical Scope of Protection

You must apply for design rights in each country or region that you are seeking design protection. Each country has its own registration requirements.

Period of Protection

In Canada, protection lasts for 10 years from the date of registration of the design or 15 years from the filing date of the application, whichever is longer.

Public Disclosure

In Canada, you may file an application for an unpublished design at any time. If the design has been made available to the public (e.g. public disclosure), then you must file the application within 12 months from the date of the public disclosure. However, in some countries any public disclosure prior to filing may be a bar to registration in those countries.

The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.

Contact Sander Law to discuss your industrial design matter!


*Updated February 2020