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IP Law Update | Image of several buildings

A New Era for Industrial Design: Buildings and Structures Now Recognized as Finished Articles

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) recently announced a shift in its practice regarding industrial designs applied to buildings or structures. This change promises notable implications for the field of industrial design.

Previous Stance

Previously, the Industrial Design Office (the Office) did not allow registration of designs applied to buildings or structures. The Office believed that these were not finished articles.

The New Practice

However, effective immediately, the Office now recognizes buildings and structures as finished articles. This includes buildings and structures constructed on site. Therefore, CIPO now allows registration of these designs.

Rationale for Change

The Office decided to change its practice after a comprehensive review of the industrial design legislative framework and relevant case law. It aims to better serve the needs of clients with this change. Also, it will align CIPO’s practice with international best practices.

Further Information

For more detailed information on how this change will be implemented, please refer to section of the Industrial Design Office Practice Manual. This section provides comprehensive guidance on the new practice and its implications for industrial design registration.

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