What is an Industrial Design?

Like registered trademarks, registered industrial designs are another form of an exclusive government granted monopoly. An industrial design (sometimes called a design patent) protects the original/unique visually appealing features of a product. It may be the visible appearance and shape of a product:

  • a car (Porsche);
  • the shape of a chair;
  • a computer screen/computer (iMac).

Industrial designs form part of the umbrella of creative rights known as intellectual property.

A registered industrial design provides you the right to exclude others throughout Canada or prevent them from importing or selling into Canada any goods bearing your industrial design. It also provides the exclusive right to make, use or sell your registered industrial designed product from the day the design is granted for a period of 10 years.

As with a trademark or copyright, you can profit from your registered industrial design by having agreements to:

  • use;
  • build;
  • license; or
  • sell.

An industrial design registration in Canada does not extend to foreign countries. There is no universal or worldwide industrial design registration. You must apply separately in and for other countries. Also, registered industrial designs in a foreign country do not protect an industrial design in Canada.