Industrial designs

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Distinctive and attractive features can give your products a competitive edge in the marketplace. Industrial designs are about how things look. Manufacturers put a lot of money and know-how into their industrial designs and this is why a novel design is considered to be valuable intellectual property.

An industrial design registration protects the unique appearance of a product—its shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or any combination of these features.

Examples of industrial designs include the contour of a car hood, the graphical user interface on your phone or the shape of a stylish piece of furniture.

CIPO basic fees

Examination fee $400

Maintenance fee $350

Please visit CIPO's website for a detailed fee schedule.

Did you know?

An industrial design registration protects the product's appearance—not what it is made of, how it is made or how it works. Once the design has been disclosed in Canada or elsewhere, you have one year to file an application for registration in Canada.

A good first step to determine if your design is novel is to do a search of existing registered industrial designs by going on the Canadian Industrial Designs Database.

Taking your products abroad? The Hague Agreement allows you to file for industrial design protection in multiple countries through one application and pay fees in one currency through a single transaction with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Visit WIPO's website for more information.

Should I register my design?

Evaluating your creations and identifying your industrial designs is an important part of your business.

A novel product design can give you an edge over your competition.

Securing your design

Five reasons to register your design:

  1. It provides proof of ownership
  2. It gives you the exclusive right to use the design in Canada for up to 15 years
  3. It protects your products against manufacture, sale, rent or importation by others in Canada
  4. It gives you a legally enforceable right to use your product's design in order to gain a marketing advantage
  5. It protects the value of your design

You may wish to consider using a registered intellectual property agent to help you with your application.

Selling and licensing

Increase your revenue and market share by selling or licensing your design to industry partners interested in benefitting from it.

Enforcing your rights

Monitor the marketplace for any unauthorized use of your industrial design. Enforcement is the responsibility of the industrial design owner.

For more information on industrial designs, please go to or contact our Client Service Centre at 1-866-997-1936.

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