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Intellectual property protection at a glance Add to ...

In Canada, as in many other jurisdictions around the world, intellectual property rights are grouped into six categories. Here’s what they cover:

T rademark

Covers words – such as names, slogans and taglines – and designs, such as logos, that identify the goods and services of a person or business. Term of protection: Renewable 15-year period.


Refers to the right to an invention which prevents others from making, using or selling it in Canada. Term of protection: Up to 20 years after filing.


Applies to original works of music, art, drama, performances, communication signal, sound recordings, and computer programs. Term of protection: Throughout the right holder’s lifetime, plus an additional 50 years.

Industrial design

Refers to the shapes and patterns that are applied to a product – for example, the shape of a perfume bottle. Industrial designs that are original and visually appealing can be registered with the Canadian government and protected under the Industrial Design Act. Term of protection: Up to 10 years.

Integrated circuit topographies

Cover original layout designs of integrated circuits. Term of protection: 10 years.

Plant breeders’ rights

Cover plant varieties and prevent reproduction of these varieties without permission from the rights holder. Term of protection: Up to 18 years.

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