Skip to Main Content

What happens during the industrial design registration process?

Once you are sure that you have an industrial design and you want to register it in order to protect your exclusive right to it, you will have to go through the registration process that is conducted through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

In order to register the design, you must be the owner of an industrial design or else you have to be an agent who is filing an application on behalf of the owner.

The registration process

Under the Industrial Design Act you can register your design under the Register of Industrial Designs by making an application.

First you have to fill out the application and include all the required material. Once you have submitted your application then the registration process for your application begins.

The registration process consists of six steps:

  • Initial processing (this includes the issuance of a filing certificate);
  • Classification;
  • Preliminary examination;
  • Search;
  • Examination;
  • Registration.

Initial processing

Your application will be reviewed to make sure you complied with the basic requirements for filing the application. If you are found to be in compliance, you will be issued a compliance certificate. The compliance certificate will tell you that you have been given a filing date and gives you an application number.


Your application will be classified into the right type of article.

Preliminary examination

This is the stage at which your application will be reviewed to make sure the design is correct as to description, drawings, title or photographs. Your design has to clearly show the design and composition and the article.


The design goes through a database search to make sure the same or very similar design isn’t already published, registered or is pending registration.


The title, drawing or photograph and description of your design will be reviewed to ensure they meet the requirements of the Industrial Design Act and Industrial Design Regulations.

The examination will include a search on the originality of your design and how long it has been published, if at all.

After this process is complete your application will either be approved for registration or you will receive a report that will tell you what the issues are you need to clear up (if you can) before your design can be registered.


If your application has been approved your design will be registered and you will receive a certificate of registration, which will include a copy of the registration as well as any drawings or photographs you submitted.

When do I have to file for registration?

If your design has been published then you have to file a registration within 12 months of it having been published. If it has never been published, then you can file at any time.

If you have questions during the registration process you can contact the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Read more:        

Industrial design registration – filing online

What is an industrial design