"Small Change" in Industrial Design Fees

       For those interested in filing or maintaining an industrial design this year, start checking under your couch cushions and in the pockets of your winter jacket.  Beginning January 1, 2020, fees for various stages of the industrial design registration process increased by 2.2%. Maintenance fees also increased by 2.2%.  The table below sets out the “change” to the affected fees:

Fee

2019 Cost

2020 Cost

Examination Fee

 

Each representation page in excess of 10 pages

$400

 

$10 (/page)

$408.80

 

$10.22 (/page)

Maintenance Fee

$350

$357.70

Reinstatement of Abandoned Application Fee

$200

$204.40

Request to Advance Examination Fee

$500

$511

 

     Why, you may ask, are current and would-be industrial design owners being asked to scrounge for dimes?  Pursuant to the Service Fees Act, most government fees over $150 are subject to an annual adjustment tied to the Consumer Price Index.  In effect, the eligible government fees are now subject to inflation.   Although the per page charge for excess representation pages is less than $150, it is also subject to the increase because it is always incurred simultaneously with the basic examination fee.

     Industrial design fees are merely the first Canadian Intellectual Property Office fees to increase.  Since the fees for patents and trademarks were fixed last year by the changes made to the Patent Rules and Trademark Rules in October and June, respectively, they are not yet caught by the annual adjustment provisions.  However, beginning sometime in 2021, eligible patent and trademark fees are also likely to be subject to the annual adjustment.

     Owing to the way the adjustment is calculated, the increase (or possibly, but implausibly, the decrease) each year will be similar, but not exactly the same.  Moreover, these increases will rapidly lead to some very inelegant fees.  For example, even if the industrial design maintenance fee were to increase by the same amount of 2.2% next year, this would result in the adjusted fee for 2021 totaling $365.57.  That pesky penny simply refuses to stay dead.

     The bottom line for your bottom line is that the cost of securing IP protection in Canada is increasing.  While the increases may look like pocket change at the moment, it is worth noting that, for industrial designs registered in 2019 or later, the maintenance fee actually due will be roughly 10% more than the amount listed in the Tariff of Fees at the time of registration.

     For more information on these changes and other recent changes to the Canadian IP regime, contact us at SMITHS IP.