Design Registration

A brief on Design Registration in India

Registration and protection of design in India are regulated by the Design Act, 2000 and the Design Rules that were enacted in 2001. The introduction of the Design Act, 2000, repealed and replaced the Act that was introduced in 1911.

The Design Rules, 2001, was further amended by Designs Rules 2008 and Designs Rules 2014. The latest development in the rules established under this Act is the introduction of a new category of an applicant that is incorporated under the identity of a small entity in addition to a natural person.

Legal definition of term “Design”

A design is defined under Section 2(d) of the Design Act 2001, as only the features of a shape, pattern, configuration, composition or ornament of lines or colours that are applied to any article that is two dimensional, three dimensional or both by an industrial process or any means whether mechanical, manual or chemical, separated or combined, in the finished article are judge by the eye; but is not taken into account upon the principle of construction or anything which is in substance a mere mechanical device.

Essentials for Design Registration

Under the Design Act, 2000 for a design to be registered and protected under the Act, the following are essential elements that need to be fulfilled:

  • Original and new design: This means that it should not have been used or published previously in any country before the date of application of registration.
  • The crux of the design is the features that are represented by shapes, patterns, configuration, composition or ornamentation that are applied or apply to an article.
  • The design should only be appreciated with the eyes. The method or process of creation and application is irrelevant.
  • It should not include artistic works, trademarks or property marks.
  • Significant differences must exist between your design and other design that have already been registered. Similar designs or designs with a likeness to already existing designs even if slightly different do not qualify to be registered.

Application process for Design Registration

The application to register a design may be applied to five different authorities:

  • Controller Designs Patent Office in Kolkata
  • Patent office in Delhi
  • Patent office in Ahmedabad
  • Patent office in Mumbai
  • Patent office in Chennai

When application is submitted at any one of the four offices are rerouted to the head office in Kolkata, the following is the procedure:

  • The application must be filed with Form-1 along with the following details: Name of the applicant, Address of the applicant, Nationality of the applicant, In case where the applicant is not a natural person, I.e. a company etc. must include all information.
  • The class and sub-class of the article under the Locarno Classification, of the article embodying the design.
  • The name of the article to which the design is applied upon.
  • If the application is to register the design in more than one class, each class of registration must have a separate application.
  • Statement of disclaimer or novelty must be attached to each representation with respect to mechanical process, trademark, numbers, letters etc.
  • After submission of the application, the patent office will examine the application and raise objections, if any. Upon the clearance or removal of all objections, the design shall be granted a copyright certificate by the patent office.
  • The registration of the design is valid for ten years from the registration, it may be extended for another 5 years.

Category of Applicants

As of 2014, the Design Rules, 2014 introduced two categories of applicant – Natural person and Other than natural person.  Under the category of ‘Other than natural person’, there are two sub-categories:

Small entity

Other except from a small entity

The advantage received by small entities is a reduction in the fee that needs to be paid when applying to register a design. The advantage of register a design is that the holder of the registration certificate has the legal right to stop anyone else from using the design without his permission.

In case the Design is being used by a third party without the knowledge of the holder of the certificate, the holder may claim damages in the court of law.

Documents required for Design Registration in India

  • Form 1 in prescribed format.
  • Form -21 (Power of Attorney/General POA) in original.
  • Form -24 in prescribed format.
  • Evidence of registration under MSME Act 2006 in case of India Entities.
  • Original priority documents under rule 15 of Design Rules. Authenticated translated copy of original priority documents if the original is in language other than English.
  • Any other documents if required on specific cases.

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