Design Registration

The oversight and safeguarding of designs in India are governed by the Designs Act of 2000 and the corresponding Design Rules, which came into effect in 2001. The enactment of the Design Act in 2000 led to the repeal and replacement of the Act introduced in 1911.

Furthermore, the Design Rules of 2001 underwent amendments through the Designs (Amendment) Rules in 2008 and 2014. A recent advancement in the regulations framed under this Act involves the inclusion of a new applicant category, specifically an entity incorporated under the small entity classification, in addition to a natural person.

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    Design registration is a form of safeguarding intellectual property, wherein a recently conceived design applied to an article crafted through an industrial process can be shielded from imitation. This registration bestows the right to the owner to utilize the design for a decade, with the possibility of extension for an additional five years. This article delineates the procedure for Design Registration in India.

    Definition of a Design As per Section 2(d) of the Designs Act 2001, a design encompasses solely the features of a shape, pattern, configuration, composition, or ornament of lines or colours applied to any article, whether two-dimensional, three-dimensional, or both, through an industrial process or any means, be it mechanical, manual, or chemical. These features are evaluated solely by visual inspection, excluding considerations of construction or anything merely mechanical.

    Also, explore the MSME Innovative Scheme (Incubation, Design, and IPR).

    Design Registration Eligibility Criteria

    To qualify for registration under the Designs Act, a design must satisfy the following six conditions:

    1. The design must be novel and original, with no prior publication or use in any country before the registration application date.
    2. It should relate to the features of shape, configuration, pattern, or ornamentation applied or applicable to an article. Designs of industrial plans, layouts, and installations are not eligible.
    3. The design should be applied or applicable to an article through an industrial process. Artistic designs not mass-produced through industrial processes are typically excluded.
    4. The features of the design in the finished article should be visually appealing and solely judged by the eye. The design must be visible and recognizable on the intended finished article.
    5. Anything essentially a mere mechanical device, including modes, principles of construction or operation, cannot be registered as a design.
    6. The design should not incorporate trademarks or copyrights.

    By fulfilling these prerequisites, you can proceed LLPregistration in India and access the benefits provided by this business structure.

    Items Ineligible for Design Registration

    The following items are not eligible for registration as a design:

    Books, jackets, calendars, certificates, forms, and other documents.
    Dressmaking patterns.
    Greeting cards, leaflets, maps, and plan cards.
    Postcards, stamps, and medals.
    Labels, tokens, cards, and cartoons.
    Any principle or mode of construction of an article.
    Mere mechanical contrivances.
    Buildings and structures.
    Parts of articles not separately manufactured and sold.
    Variations commonly used in trade.
    Mere workshop alterations of components in an assembly.
    Mere changes in the size of an article.
    Flags, emblems, or signs of any country.
    Layout designs of integrated circuits.

    Advantages of Design Registration in India

    The following are benefits accessible to an owner upon securing design registration in India:

    • Exclusive rights over the new and original design.
    • An asset for the proprietor/owner.
    • The ability to initiate legal proceedings in case of infringement by a third party.
    • Serving as prima facie evidence in an infringement suit.
    • The right to sell, transfer, and license the design effortlessly.
    • Essential Requirements Under the Designs Act, 2000, for a design to qualify for registration and protection, the following prerequisites must be met:
    • Originality and novelty.
    • Distinctiveness from known designs.
    • Absence of scandalous or obscene matter.
    • Not being a mere mechanical contrivance.
    • Application to an article, appealing to the eye.
    • Not contrary to public order or morality.

    Documents Required for Design Registration

    To obtain design registration, the following documents need to be submitted:
    Certified copy of the original or certified extracts from the disclaimer.
    Other public documents, available on payment of a fee.

    The affidavit should be in paragraph form, declaring truth and verifiability. The controller may regulate the registration cost as per the fourth schedule.

    Protection Given to Design Registration Upon registration, copyright protection is conferred for ten years, extendable by five years. This grants the proprietor exclusive rights over the design’s use in the registered class.

    Validity of Design Registration

    The registration is valid for ten years, extendable for an additional five years with the payment of necessary fees. Failure to extend within the stipulated time leads to lapse, but restoration is possible within one year of lapse by submitting Form 4 and paying the requisite extension fees.

    Applicant Classifications

    Since 2014, the Design (Amendment) Rules, 2014, introduced two classifications of applicants: – Natural person – Other than a natural person The significance of this categorization lies in the varied fee structures applied based on the respective category.

    Within the ‘Other than a natural person’ category, two sub-categories exist:

    • Small entity
    • Others, excluding small entities

    Small entities enjoy the benefit of reduced fees when seeking design registration. The advantage of registering a design lies in the fact that the certificate holder gains the legal authority to prevent unauthorized use of the design by others.

    If a third party uses the design without the certificate holder’s knowledge, the holder can seek damages through legal action. This empowers the holder to obtain compensation from the individual infringing upon their rights regarding the design’s usage.

    Sadique and Ameen Associates excel in guiding clients through the complexities of design registration and intellectual property laws in India. Their expertise spans the Designs Act of 2000 and subsequent amendments, including the innovative changes of 2014. With a client-centric focus, the firm provides strategic counsel, ensuring compliance with evolving regulations.