Industrial designs, similar to patents, must be novel designs. Part of ensuring novelty of your industrial design means keeping it confidential prior to applying for a registration. However, in Canada there is a one-year grace period to the non-disclosure requirement. In other words, as long as you apply to register your industrial design within one-year of public disclosure, your rights will remain protected.
It is crucial that you protect the confidentiality of your industrial design. If you fall outside the one-year grace period, your industrial design will be not be registerable and you will be unable to acquire exclusive rights to your design.
Public disclosure can happen easily, whether it be intentionally selling your industrial design at an exhibition, or showing off your design to a friend or family member without putting a confidentiality requirement in place. Therefore, once you are satisfied with your industrial design, it is best to start the registration process.
Discussing your industrial design with our intellectual property lawyers will be protected by solicitor-client privilege and will not count as public disclosure. Contact our industrial design lawyers located in Ottawa and Toronto today, to ensure you do not lose your industrial design rights from premature public disclosure.