Celebrate World Industrial Design Day June 29

June 26, 2014 - Tags: Intellectual property Events

This guest blog post is provided by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) who is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada.

This year marks the seventh anniversary of World Industrial Design (ID) Day, an annual celebration recognizing the industrial design profession. This year's theme is Renew ID.

If you invest a lot of hard work producing distinctive new products, you will want to learn more about the benefits of registering your designs. An industrial design comprises those features of a product that appeal to the eye. Specifically, it is the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament, or a combination of these, as they are applied to a finished article. For example, your design could be a new shape for the hood and fenders of a car, the features of ornamentation of a piece of jewellery, the original pattern in a woven sweater, or all of the visual features of a computer monitor. The visual appeal of a product provides businesses with a competitive edge in the marketplace, setting their products apart from others and making their product the one consumers will buy.

It is important to note that a design must be registered in order to have protection against infringement. By registering your industrial design, you get exclusive rights for up to 10 years. A registered industrial design will give you a legally enforceable right to use your product's design to gain a marketing advantage. It also prevents others from manufacturing or selling the design without your permission. As owner of the design, you are able to sell those rights or license others to make, use and sell your design.

To be eligible for registration, a design must be original. That is, it must not closely resemble a design already registered. Also, industrial design registration is intended to protect new designs and not those that have been in the marketplace for some time. Apply to register your design as early as possible. Once the design has been made public, you have one year to file the application.

When seeking industrial design protection, you need to be aware that the protection you receive is for the appearance of the article. The protection does not extend to aspects protected by a patent such as how the product functions, how it is constructed or what materials it is constructed from.

What is the difference between a patent and an industrial design?

An industrial design relates to the appearance of a product or part of a product. A patent is concerned with the function, operation, manufacture or material of an item.

Visit CIPO's Industrial Designs web page to learn how to protect your designs and search the Canadian Industrial Designs Database.

For more information about World Industrial Design Day, visit the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design website. #renewID

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