1. Statutory Bars: Subject Matter – Time Limit After First Publication
Only features of shape or configuration that appeal to the eye and are judged solely by the eye may be protected by way of an industrial design registration. Industrial design registrations do not protect features that are dictated solely by a utilitarian function of the article or any method or principle of manufacture or construction. An application for registration of an industrial design must be filed within one year of the first publication, or display in public, or sale or offering for sale, anywhere in the world, of the design or of articles or photographs displaying, bearing or embodying the design.
2. Items Required to Obtain a Filing Date
- Name and address of the applicant;
- Title that identifies the finished article embodying the design;
- Written description of the design;
- Drawings or photographs of the design.
3. Formal Drawings
Although the Industrial Design Regulations provide for the filing of photographs, and either drawings or photographs may be filed to obtain a filing date, it is very difficult to satisfy the Industrial Design Office’s formality requirements with photographs. Therefore, formal drawings in black and white are strongly preferred. Drawings in a conventional electronic format (e.g. pdf) are preferred to paper copies of the drawings. The drawings must include a sufficient number of views to show the features of the design clearly and accurately. The drawings must show the entire finished article to which the design is applied, even though the design may relate to the appearance of only a portion of the article. The drawings must show the design in well-defined solid lines and non-design portions of the article may be shown either in well-defined solid lines or well-defined stippled (i.e., dashed or dotted) lines. The drawings must have margins of at least 2.5 cm.
4. Applicant – Proprietor
The applicant must be the first “proprietor” of the design or the proprietor by assignment. The first proprietor is the author of the design, unless the author created the design for another person for good and valuable consideration (e.g. under a contract of employment), in which case such other person is the first proprietor. If the rights to the design have passed from the first proprietor to another person, such other person should be designated as the applicant.
If the applicant is a non-author first proprietor, it is not necessary to register an assignment from the author to the first proprietor. An assignment in favour of a subsequent assignee should be registered. An assignment may be dated earlier than the date of registration.
6. Paris Convention Priority
A request for Convention priority must be filed within six months of the first-filed Convention application and must include: the name of the country in or for which the application was filed; the foreign application number and the filing date of the foreign application.