Application for the Registration of an Industrial Design

Common Objections

This document is intended to provide guidance on current practice of the Industrial Design Office and interpretation of relevant legislation. However, in the event of any inconsistency between this document and the applicable legislation, the legislation must be followed.

Once an application reaches the examination stage, an industrial design examiner reviews the different elements of the application in order to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Industrial Design Act, the Industrial Design Regulations and the Industrial Design Office Practices (IDOP). If any of the requirements have not been met, the Office will issue an Examiner's report outlining all objections. It is suggested that applicants read A Guide to Industrial Designs and the IDOP prior to submitting an application in order to minimize objections and examiners' reports. Some of the more common objections are listed in bold and explained below.


Objection: The title is not acceptable because it is not sufficiently specific in identifying the finished article to which the design is applied. The title should identify the finished article by its common name generally known and used by the public.

The title must identify a single finished article. For example, titles such as "food product", "sheet material", "paper product", "tool", "furniture", etc., are not acceptable as they are not specific to one single article and they do not reflect the common name for the article that is generally known and used by the public. Some examples of acceptable titles are: "cookie", "sheet of fabric", "paper towel", "screwdriver", "dresser", etc.

Objection: The title is not acceptable because it identifies a portion of the article rather than the entire finished article to which the design is applied.

In some cases, applicants choose to restrict a design to only a portion of a finished article because the remainder of the article is not considered to be original. In such cases, the title must still identify the finished article in its entirety. For example, it is acceptable to restrict a design to only the backrest of a chair; however, the drawings must show the entire chair in all views and the title must identify the article as a chair, rather than a backrest for a chair.

(For more information related to titles, please refer to section 6.4.4 of the IDOP)


Objection: The description and the drawings are not consistent. The description states that the design applies to the "entire" article, but the drawings show portions of the article in stippled lines.

When claiming in the description that the design applies to the entire article, the article must be shown entirely in solid lines.

Objection: It is not clear from the description what the design is. The present wording suggests alternatives rather than specifically describing a design feature.

The description must be definite in describing what constitutes the design. For example, using the wording "and/or" in the description or making references to possibilities that have not been shown in the drawings are not acceptable.

Objection: Reference to size, colour, or type of material is not acceptable as such characteristics do not constitute registrable design subject matter.

The size of an article or the material that it is made from is not subject to industrial design protection. Any information in that regard must not be included in the description. In addition, the description must not include any reference to colour, although references to contrasting tones are acceptable.

Objection: The present description refers to functional aspects of the article that do not constitute registrable design subject matter.

Functional aspects of an article (what an article is used for or how it works) are not subject matter for industrial design protection. Therefore, the description should not include any such references.

(For more information related to descriptions, please refer to sections 6.4.5, 6.4.6 and 6.1, of the IDOP)


Objection: The application must be limited to one design applied to a single article as required by subsection 10(1) of the Industrial Design Regulations. If the present design is applied to an article that comprises a number of component parts, the application must relate to the completely assembled article.

The article to which a design relates must be shown in its entirety throughout all views. Distinct components cannot be shown separately in the drawings.

Objection: The drawings/photographs submitted are not of sufficient quality to clearly and accurately show the features of the design as required by paragraph 9.1(2)(a) of the Industrial Design Regulations.

The article must be shown clearly and accurately without distortion of the true image. Lines in drawings must not be jagged or broken and photographs must not have blurred portions.

Objection: The non-design portions of an article (shown in stippled lines) must not be illustrated as transparent unless they are actually transparent.

The design portions of an article should not be visible through the non-design portions unless those portions are actually transparent. The drawings should reflect the article as it appears.

Objection: Transparency lines or shading lines should not be used to illustrate non-design (stippled line) portions of the article.

If distinct portions of the article are being disclaimed, those portions should not contain any lines representing shading or transparency.

Objection: Stippled lines must not be used to represent a boundary line between design and non-design portions of an article. The article must be shown as it appears.

Stippled lines must only be used to represent the portions of an article that are not a part of the design.

Objection: The article is not shown in isolation on the drawings submitted, as required by paragraph 9.1(2)(c) of the Industrial Design Regulations.

Each view must show the article alone and on a neutral background. Written matter or other elements not forming a part of the article should not appear on any of the drawing sheets. In cases where it contributes to a better understanding of the design and article, an exception will be made allowing one view where "environment" is shown in stippled lines.

(For more information related to drawings and photographs, please refer to section 6.5 and Annex B of the IDOP)


Objection: The illustration of the article and the design with solid and/or stippled lines must be consistent throughout the drawings. The office practice to allow stippled lines in the drawings is only for the purpose of emphasis when the design resides in a portion of the article rather than in the entirety of the article. It was not intended for the purpose of illustrating variants.

It is not acceptable to show a portion of the article in solid lines in one view and then show the same portion in stippled lines in another view in an attempt to claim variants. What is identified as the design portion of an article must remain consistent throughout all variants.

Objection: Components of an article should not be added or removed in different views as a means of illustrating variants. The article to which the application relates (including all of its components) should remain consistent throughout the application.

For example, the article cannot be shown as a bottle with cap for the first variant and then as just a bottle for the second.

(For more information related to variants, please refer to sections 6.4.5 (e) and 6.7 of the IDOP)

Figure References

Objection: The figure references must be restricted to describing the views shown in the drawings. Other descriptive matter is unacceptable.

References to design features or other elements beyond simply identifying the view (e.g. figure 1 is a perspective view) are not acceptable. For example, wording such as "showing a bottom transparent portion" is not acceptable within the figure references. The fact that a portion of the article is transparent must be stated in the description.

(For more information related to figure references, please refer to section 6.4.5 (g) of the IDOP)

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