Businesses spend a considerable amount of resources in developing unique aesthetic appearances for their products to distinguish them from those of others and to establish a brand. An industrial design registration protects those unique features, which may comprise one or more of shape, configuration, pattern, and ornamentation, including colour. These features may be those applied to a three-dimensional article or to a two-dimensional item, such as icons, graphical user interfaces, or computer-generated animated designs, on a display screen. Industrial design protection may cover the entire article or one or more portions to which the unique features are applied.
In Canada, the exclusive rights provided by an industrial design registration can last for up to 15 years and similar rights in the European Community can last for up to 25 years. As such, an industrial design registration can offer valuable protection in its own right as well as complementary protection to the patent rights associated with the function of an article.
Our patent agents and lawyers have extensive experience in obtaining industrial design protection for articles within a broad range of industries including, for example, communications devices, consumer products, and visual features used in association with software user interfaces. Our practitioners are also experienced in managing the legal requirements for obtaining protection of industrial designs around the world.
Our industrial design-related services include:
- preparation and prosecution of industrial design applications domestically and internationally
- preparation of opinions (such as registrability, freedom-to-operate, infringement, and invalidity)
- advising on industrial design enforcement
- advising on commercial transactions, including preparation of license and assignment agreements, and on due diligence issues