Features of Colour! Now part of a Combination of Features Protectable as a Canadian Industrial Design

We are excited to report that the Industrial Design Office now takes the position that colour may form part of a combination of features that constitute a design as defined in section 2 of the Industrial Design Act.  However, colour as the sole design feature is not considered to fall within the definition of a design.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) also announced changes to five (5) other industrial design office practices.

The six (6) practice changes are related to:

  1. applications for protection of computer-generated animated designs
  2. colour as a registerable feature of an industrial design
  3. time limits to respond to office actions 
  4. the search to assess the originality of an application where there is a priority claim
  5. the issuance of notices of possible refusal
  6. delaying the registration of an application

A fact sheet providing an overview of the changes is also available.

Privilege for Patent & Trade-mark Agents and Extensions of Time at CIPO for Unforseen Circumstances

By Katie Wei and Alexandra Lyn

Significant changes will be introduced to Canada’s laws on intellectual property as Bill C-59 received Royal Assent on June 23, 2015.

Privileged Communications

Client communications with registered Canadian patent and trade-mark agents will be privileged and confidential under the new legislation. This means that communications will be protected from forced disclosure in legal proceedings as long as the communication is (a) intended to be confidential, and (b) made in order to give or receive advice relating to the protection of inventions or trade-marks.

Communications between clients and foreign agents will also be privileged, provided that the communication is privileged under the laws of the foreign jurisdiction and the criteria above are met. These provisions will come into force on June 23, 2016; but will apply retroactively, as long as the communication remains confidential and are not subject to litigation before June 23, 2016.

Correction of Errors and Extension of Time Limits

The new legislation also provides for corrections to obvious errors in patent or industrial design documents, as well as extensions of time limits due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. floods or ice storms) in patent, trade-mark, or industrial design documents. These provisions will likely come into force at a later date.

For more information, please contact our office.