Updates to Industrial Design Act and Rules

On November 5, 2018, Canada acceded to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague System) and implemented changes to significantly modernize Canada’s industrial design regime.

The Hague System provides a mechanism for acquiring, maintaining and managing design rights in multiple countries through a single application filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The Hague System allows users to save time and money by providing a simpler, faster and more effective way to apply for industrial design protection in multiple markets, as a single international application replaces a whole series of applications that would otherwise have been sent to different national (or regional) offices. There are 69 contracting parties to the Hague Agreement, including Canada’s major trading partners, such as the United States, the European Union, Japan and South Korea. A complete list of contracting parties is available on the WIPO website.

Joining the Hague Agreement means Canadian businesses and innovators will have access to an efficient and effective means of protecting their industrial designs around the world. Moreover, a modernized industrial design regime will lower the cost and increase the ease of doing business for companies looking to protect their industrial designs in Canada.

Modernizing Canada’s industrial design regime also has key benefits for businesses:

  • Increased term of protection: The maximum term of protection for industrial designs is increased from 10 to 15 years.
  • Less red tape: Application and filing date requirements have been simplified and streamlined. There are also increased flexibilities for error correction.
  • Enhanced e-services: The e-filing interface for clients is improved, which includes enhanced functionalities and streamlined processes.