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Called ‘design patents’ in the USA, and ‘registered designs in some other countries, the formal name in Canada is “industrial design registrations’.


When to file in Canada

·         Unpublished designs can be filed any time.

·         If the design has been published, an application must be filed within twelve months of publication.

What is registrable?

·         Features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these) applied to a finished article.

·         Designs applied to a portion of a finished article.

·         Variants: designs that are very similar and possess the described features without substantial variation are registrable under a single application.

·         Sets: design features applied to several articles constituting a set that are common amongst all pieces of the set.

What is not registrable?

·         Design features that are dictated solely by the article’s function.

·         A method of construction.

·         An idea.

·         Materials used in the construction of an article.


Information and documentation required for filing:

·         Name and address of the Applicant.

·         Title identifying the finished article.

·         Description identifying features that constitute the design.

·         Drawings and/or photographs.

·         Particulars of a foreign application for claiming priority.

How long is the application process?

A relatively trouble-free application will advance through examination, approval and be registered within 12 months of the filing date for Hague applications and within 21 months for all other applications.


Registration term:

10 years after the date of registration

For applications filed on or after November 5, 2018, the later of 10 years after the date of registration and 15 years after the filing date of the application


Maintenance fee:

A maintenance fee must be paid before 5 years from the registration date to extend the registration to its full term


Drawings, drawings, drawings.

The most common source of difficulty with applications is drawings that do not comply with the requirements. Consult our handout on Industrial Design Requirements and please provide sufficient time for assistance prior to filing.

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