The amended Industrial Design Act and Regulations will come into force November 5, 2018 to implement the Hague Agreement. These changes were first introduced in 2014 as part of budget legislation.
Canada can simplify this process by acceding to the Hague Agreement, and joining a system that allows applicants from member countries to register up to 100 IDs in multiple countries or regional associations through one application. Canada’s membership in the Hague Agreement would also provide foreign businesses in member countries reciprocal advantages in applying for ID protection in Canada.
Amendments to the Industrial Design Act, required for accession to the Hague Agreement, received royal assent in December 2014. While some of these amendments are directly dictated by the requirements of the Hague Agreement (e.g. extending the term of protection from 10 to 15 years), others were required to avoid a “dual track” system whereby, for example, international applications filed through the Hague would be assessed under one standard, and Canadian applications filed domestically would be assessed under another. The legislative changes also provided authority to make regulations carrying into effect the Hague Agreement, and to make regulations regarding, among other things, details pertaining to the processing and examination of applications, payment of fees, and requests for priority.
The changes include:
- changing the necessity for appointing an agent
- more flexibility in the form of application and reduce requirements for a filing date
- clarify divisional practice
- codifying examination practice
- clarifying amendments, priority claims and novelty test
- maximum term has been extended to 15 years and the renewal fee process clarified
- reduce requirements to evidence assignments
- implement “Hague applications” originating with WIPO
The amendments to the Industrial Design Act were introduced along with changes to the Patent Act as part of a 2014 budget bill to implement international treaties.