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Nelligan O’Brien Payne gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Paul Taylor-Sussex in co-writing this blog post.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has just announced changes to six industrial design office practices based on various feedback from stakeholders.

The changes include the following:

  1. Computer-generated animated designs: under the new practice, the Industrial Design Office (IDO) will now consider computer-generated animated designs as one design applied to a finished article.
  2. Colour as a registrable feature: the Office starts to recognize that colour may be a forming part of a combination of features of an industrial design.
  3. Reducing time limits to respond to office actions: the deadline for applicants to respond to an examiner’s report is now three months (reduced from four months).
  4. Search to assess originality where there is a priority claim: the Office will now conduct the prior art search as early as six months from the date of priority when an applicant voluntarily submits certified priority documents that support the priority claim.
  5. New notices of possible refusal: the Office will now issue a notice of possible refusal informing an applicant that the Minister may refuse the industrial design application as it does not meet the requirements for registration. This is to replace the current final rejection notice.
  6. Delaying the registration of an application: the Office will now grant a delay of registration of up to six months from the latest of a) the date of allowance, b) the date on which a previous delay of registration has expired, and c) the date of the receipt of the request by IDO.

To read more about these changes, take a look at the fact sheet issued by CIPO here.

And for more information and industrial designs and registrations, contact our Intellectual Property Group.


This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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