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INTA Bulletin

March 15, 2017 Vol. 72 No. 5 Back to Bulletin Main Page

CANADA: Industrial Designs: New Changes Result in Faster, Broader, and More Cost-Effective Protection

On January 16, 2017, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) implemented changes that modernize and streamline Canada’s design protection system. These changes include the following:
  • Color as a registrable feature: Previously, references to color were not permitted; only differences in tone were registrable as features of a design. Color is now a registrable feature in combination with other design features. 
  • Animated designs as registrable: Previously, each state of an animated design was treated as a separate design, providing poor protection for the animated design. An animated design will now be considered to be a single registrable design and will be examined and protected as such.
  • Expedited examination available for Paris Convention applications: The CIOP does not normally commence substantive examination of an application until six months from the Canadian filing date; however, if a certified copy of the priority application is filed, examination will now commence as early as six months from the priority date (no additional fee required).
  • Deadline for responding to Office actions shortened to three months: With the aim of speeding up prosecution, the initial time limit for filing a response to an office action has been reduced from four months to three months. 
These changes are part of the Canadian government’s efforts to align Canada’s design law and practice with those in the rest of the world, and to provide applicants with a system that provides faster, broader, and more cost-effective design protection in Canada.

Within the next two years, the Canadian government is expected to bring into force changes which will enable applicants to secure design registrations in Canada through the Hague System, permit the filing of multiple designs in a single application, and lengthen the term of a registration from ten years from registration to (in most cases) 15 years from the filing date.

INTA has recently passed a Board Resolution that promotes adherence to the Hague System. The INTA Designs Committee continues to monitor future developments in Canada.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. Law & Practice updates are published without comment from INTA except where it has taken an official position. 
© 2017 International Trademark Association