Annual Technical Report 2004 on Industrial Design Information Activities submitted by Canada (SCIT/ATR/ID/2004/CA)


Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

The expression "industrial designs" covers industrial designs and models. Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in this series of Annual Technical Reports.


I. Evolution of registration activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants (registrations) with respect to the previous year

Industrial Design Applications

Year 2000: Residents: 751; Non-residents: 2,665; Total: 3,416
Year 2001: Residents: 640; Non-residents: 2,058; Total: 2,698; % change: -21.1%
Year 2002: Residents: 752; Non-residents: 2,641; Total: 3,393; % change: 25.76%
Year 2003: Residents: 748; Non-residents: 2,951; Total: 3,699; % change: 9.02%
Year 2004: Residents: 636; Non-residents: 3,488; Total: 4,124; % change: 11.49%

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

Industrial Design Registrations

Year 2000: Residents: 511; Non-residents: 2,250; Total: 2,761
Year 2001: Residents: 479; Non-residents: 2,366; Total: 2,845; % change: 3.04%
Year 2002: Residents: 499; Non-residents: 1,679; Total: 2,178; % change: -23.44%
Year 2003: Residents: 460; Non-residents: 2,130; Total: 2,590; % change: 18.92%
Year 2004: Residents: 564; Non-residents: 2,546; Total: 3,110; % change: 22.15%

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of industrial design documents and of secondary sources of industrial design information, i.e., official gazettes

Publishing, including printing, copying techniques and electronic printing

CIPO does not publish an industrial design gazette at this time. The automated processing system called ‘DesignPlus’ (since June 2002) along with existing media such as word processing software, microfiche, fiche readers/printers, CD-Roms and photocopiers are used to produce searchable records of registered industrial designs.

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of industrial design information

On November 12, 2004 the Industrial Design Division implemented re-engineering changes to update and modernize work processes, practices and procedures. The objective to provide faster turnaround times in the face of increasing demand is now achievable without compromising quality service as a result of these key changes.

The formation of the “Partnership Committee for Industrial Design” was also a major achievement of the re-engineering process. The committee is composed of representatives of the ID Division and the Intellectual Property profession and its mandate is to identify, discuss and resolve problematic issues with respect to industrial design practices and procedures.

Mass storage media and microforms used

The archival of industrial design documents is done electronically in ‘DesignPlus’ as well as on paper, microfiche and CD-Roms.

Databases and office automation

Since the launch of ‘DesignPlus’ in June 2002, applications and requests have been entered, processed and stored electronically in the system. There is currently a project underway for the conversion of the pre-2002 Industrial Design Register into electronic format and creation of an on-line search database.

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of industrial design information according to the classification systems applied

Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification), other classification (please indicate whether industrial designs are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

Industrial design documents are classified according to the Canadian industrial design classification standard. Ongoing reclassification activities continue to take place in refining the various art classes.

The Locarno classification system is not currently used by CIPO, but will be reviewed as part of the Industrial Design Division’s continuous improvement initiative.

Bibliographic data and processing for search purposes

Designs are searchable by class and are organized according to the Canadian industrial design classification standard

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

File building

The Canadian industrial design prior art search file comprises approximately 100,000 registered designs.

Since the launch of ‘DesignPlus’, all designs registered since June 2002 are stored electronically in ‘DesignPlus’. For searching by the public there are ‘DesignPlus’ workstations located in the Client Service Centre search room.

Industrial designs registered prior to June 2002 are stored in paper (including document files and index cards), microfiche and CD-rom formats. They are available for public searching through the Client Service Centre.

The Industrial Design Division maintains a searchable record of registered industrial designs as follows:

Electronic search file: For designs registered since June 2002 in the ‘DesignPlus’ system, this search file includes the application as registered (owner name/address, title, description, agent and/or representative for service in Canada), drawings, and bibliographic data (filing date, priority date, registration date, classification). Registrations are searchable by registration number, title, agent name, owner name, and by class.

Paper drawings search file: For designs registered prior to June 2002, this search file includes the drawings with bibliographic data such as filing date, registration date, classification, title and owner name. The paper drawings are arranged by class according to the Canadian industrial design classification standard.

Microfiche / CD-rom search file: For designs registered prior to June 2002, this search file includes microfiche and CD copies of the registration certificate, the application as registered, assignments and maintenance documents. It is maintained in numerical order by registration number.

Paper correspondence file: This search file includes a complete file document history including prosecution and correspondence. These files are maintained in numerical order by application number.

Index cards: For designs registered prior to June 2002, an alphabetical index card system arranged by owner, assignee and licensee is maintained as a means of obtaining the registration number of a particular design.


The Canadian industrial design prior art search file is updated on a daily basis.

Storage, including mass storage media

Industrial design documents are currently stored electronically in ‘DesignPlus’(designs filed and registered since June 2002), as well as on paper, microfiche, and CD-Rom.

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

CIPO maintains a collection of WIPO International Design Bulletins and United States patent gazettes.

V. Activities in the field of computerized search systems for industrial designs

In-house systems (online/offline)

The Industrial Design Division has automated the operational and administrative processes of the office. The automated system ‘DesignPlus’ was launched in June 2002. For electronic search purposes the Canadian Patent Database is used for internal searching

External databases

The design patent database maintained on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Internet website is accessible to industrial design searchers for search purposes.

Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics, administrative support, etc.)

The ‘DesignPlus’ system provides statistics for customized reports, file tracking (location of all paper and electronic application/registration files), and status information.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), data carriers used

Pentium 2.4 Ghz computers and the Windows 2000 operating system are used. WordPerfect, Freelance Graphics, Lotus 123, MS Outlook, and Microsoft Word comprise the standard ID desktop software. Industrial design staff are connected via a Novell network. ‘DesignPlus’ was created using Oracle.

VI. Administration of industrial design services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering designs, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Planning, administration, automation, security

The Industrial Design Division within the Copyright and Industrial Design Branch of CIPO manages the industrial design product line. The primary function is the granting of exclusive industrial design rights and the maintenance of the Canadian Register of Industrial Designs. The Division also provides certified documents for use in civil proceedings and criminal investigations, furnishes information to the public by making the registers accessible, answers detailed questions, distributes information materials, advises on appropriate legislative change, and manages new and revised regulations.

The industrial design search files are located in the Client Service Centre search room at CIPO Headquarters at 50 Victoria Street, Gatineau, Québec. K1A 0C9.

Collection management, preservation

The Industrial Design Division maintains a complete historical register in electronic form for designs registered since June 2002, and for designs prior to June 2002 in paper form as well as on microfiche and CD-Rom. Archival material is disposed of in accordance with National Library and National Archives requirements.

Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and industrial design information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web).

The CIPO Internet website was first established in 1995, and has continued with major enhancements since 1999. These enhancements included the use of the website for major consultations on new intellectual property legislation, the posting of new industrial design regulations and office practice notices and the provision of electronic filing services.

The Industrial Design Guide and procedures manual can be found under the Industrial Design link of the CIPO website.

The CIPO Client Service Centre provides general information to clients interested in applying for industrial design registration as well as assisting clients to perform searches in the prior art.

Industrial design examination staff are available to provide additional guidance and assistance to the public interested in searching the prior art.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of industrial design documentation and information

There is no mutual exchange of industrial design documentation and information at this time. However, information exchange with respect to classification issues and other matters of mutual interest continue to be exchanged with counterparts from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Discussions are continuing with the USPTO with respect to the potential exchange of registered designs between Offices over the Internet.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

The Information Branch of CIPO is responsible for coordinating and carrying out activities related to promoting the benefits of intellectual property and disseminating the associated technological and business information to Canadians. Like other product lines of CIPO, the Industrial Design Division provides input on publications (paper or web) destined for clients pertaining to industrial design.

IX. Other relevant matters