Industrial Design - What can be Registered?
Let's say you have an unique design on a product. You want to protect this design from being copied by someone else. What type of intellectual property tools can I use to protect my unique design?
I was asked this question by a business owner looking to protect her unique styles of products. An industrial design would offer the level of protection that allows the business owner to reserve her claim on the design. All industrial designs may be registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (the "CIPO") in Ottawa. In order to qualify, you must prove that your design is original, meaning you did not copy from someone else. The industrial design must be registered with each country in order to create a enforceable rights to the protection.
There is no time frame as to when you must register the industrial design so long as you have not disclosed your design to the public or offered the commercial use of your design. If you have disclosed your design to the public or offered for commercial use anywhere around the world, then you have only 12 months from the date of disclosure to register an industrial design.
The registration will be on a first come, first serve basis. If someone else filed the application form of the design before you did, then you lost your rights to the industrial design. Should you need an industrial design to be registered, call us for more information.