Designs protection is available for manufactured articles. The scope of protection is limited to the design’s shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation, or combinations thereof. Simply put, what you see is what you protect. To obtain an industrial design registration, the features of the design must be original and novel.
A registered Canadian industrial design provides an exclusive right to your design for up to ten years from the date of registration and are subject to payment of a renewal fee on the 5th anniversary of the design registration date. Designs must be registered to be enforced.
Design protection does not relate to the function of the manufactured articles. Novel and inventive functionality is protectable by a patent and not by a design.
Design protection is limited to the visual features of the design. As such the scope of protection afforded by design protection is limited to what you see. Any variations in the design shape, configuration, pattern, or ornamentation can result in a design registration being circumvented.
Design protection is often obtained for articles of manufacture, like the laundry appliances shown above, where you do not want you competition to simply copy the appearance of your design and sell an identical looking article in the marketplace in stores next to your article.
Design protection is relatively less expensive than patent protection and quicker to obtain protection. In our view, design protection should be sought after carefully consideration on whether the features of the design would have an aesthetic appeal to the consumer that provides a marketing advantage to your sale of the article over the sale of a similar article by your competitors.