Design Registration: Safeguard Your Unique Creations

Design registration offers a shield for your unique design, classifying it as intellectual property and ensuring it's safe from imitation. It grants the creator exclusive rights to use the design for a decade, possibly extending it for an additional five years. IndiaFilings guides you through the design registration, ensuring your creations are protected, and your rights are upheld.

Reach out to our experts today and make the registration process smooth and hassle-free.

Design Registration - Governing Law

The Designs Act, 2000, governs design registration and protection in India, and the subsequent Design Rules were introduced in 2001. The introduction of the Designs Act in 2000 served to repeal and supplant the earlier Act from 1911.

The Design Rules of 2001 have undergone amendments, with significant changes made by the Designs (Amendment) Rules in 2008 and 2014. A noteworthy update in the rules under this Act has been the addition of a new applicant category. This new category recognizes 'small entities' as distinct applicants, in addition to individual or natural persons.

Definition of a Design

As per Section 2(d) of the Designs Act 2001, a design is characterized as the distinctive features encompassing shape, pattern, configuration, composition, or ornamentation formed by lines or colors. This can be applied to any article, whether two-dimensional, three-dimensional, or a combination of both. The application can be achieved through various means, including industrial processes, whether mechanical, manual, or chemical, used separately or in combination. However, the defining factor of a design is its visual appeal when viewed in the final product, solely judged by the eye. It's essential to note that the design does not consider the underlying construction principle or anything that is essentially a mere mechanical contraption.

Basic Requirements of Design Registration

To register and safeguard a design under the Design Act, 2000, the following core criteria must be met:

Innovation Element

The design should possess a fresh and unique aspect. Only designs with this innovative trait are eligible for registration. Furthermore, combinations of existing designs can be considered, but only if the result presents a distinct visual appeal.

Originality and Non-disclosur

The design must be one-of-a-kind and not previously exposed to the public, either within India or internationally. This means it shouldn't have been previously published, used, or disclosed in any manner.

Application to an Object

The design must be attached or applicable to a specific product or object. A standalone design, without relevance to an item, cannot be registered.

Alignment with Public Values and National Security:

The design should not be in conflict with public morals, sentiments, or the security of India. Designs deemed inappropriate by the government or other authoritative bodies won't qualify for registration. It's essential that the design can be registered under section 5 of the Design Act, 2000.

It's important to ensure these criteria are met when seeking registration under the English language provisions of the Design Act, 2000.

Exclusions from Design Registration:

Design registration has certain exclusions and does not encompass everything. The following are explicitly excluded from the purview of design registration:

  • Literary or Artistic Work: Unlike copyright protection, design registration doesn't cover literary or artistic creations such as books, calendars, stamps, and tokens.
  • Buildings and Structures: Architectural works, including buildings and other structures, are not eligible for design registration.
  • Geographical Representations: Maps are excluded from the scope of design registration.
  • National Symbols: Designs that imitate or resemble national flags, emblems, or official signs of any country are not allowed for registration.

Who can Apply for Design Registration?

The following type of Persons can apply for Design Registration:

  • Applicants: Individuals, their legal representatives, or assignees can apply either individually or jointly for design registration.
  • Definition of Person: The term "person" encompasses a variety of entities, including firms, partnerships, small entities, and corporate bodies.
  • Non-Resident Indians (NRIs): For NRIs, the application for Design Registration should be made through their agent or legal representative.

All provisions should be understood and complied with as per the English language stipulations for the Design Registration process.

Documents Required for Design Registration in India:

To register a design in India, applicants need to provide the following documentation:

  • Applicant's Details: Name and complete address of the applicant.
  • Applicant's Nature/Status: Clear indication of the legal status of the applicant, specifying whether the applicant is an individual, a company, etc.
  • Startup Certificate (if applicable): Startups must provide a registration certificate.
  • Description of the Article: A detailed description of the 'article' to which the design pertains, accompanied by its classification according to the prescribed categories.
  • Visual Representation: A minimum of four visuals (images or drawings) showing the article from all angles should be included with the application.

Benefits of Design Registration in India

Benefits of registering a Design in India is explained in detail below:

  • Protection Against Design Infringement: Registering a design grants businesses legal protection, preventing others from replicating their design to produce, market, or distribute items.
  • Extended Validity Period: An online design registration certificate boasts a validity of 10 years. Post this duration, its validity can be renewed for another five years.
  • Competitive Edge: Design registration bestows a unique identifier to businesses. This ensures that a company's products stand out and are distinct from competitors due to the registered design.
  • Assured Originality: Products with designs registered under them are guaranteed to be original. This means such designs have neither been employed in India nor have they been published in any other WTO member nation.
  • Customer Appeal: A vital advantage of design registration is that it primarily focuses on visual evaluation, ensuring the design resonates with the broader public.
  • Encourages Innovation: One of the fundamental prerequisites for design registration is its distinctiveness. This implies that to get registered, the design must not only be captivating but also distinct enough from competitors, fostering innovation and constructive competition.

Procedure for Design Registration in India

The procedure to register a Design in India is explained in detail below:

Design Search

Start by conducting a comprehensive search of existing designs to confirm the novelty and uniqueness of your design. This helps in evading possible infringement complications.

Application Preparation and Filing

The application for design registration will be drafted and filed, incorporating all requisite documents as mentioned above.

Application Examination

Post-submission, the Indian Design Office will scrutinize your application, ensuring it adheres to all mandatory stipulations.

Official Gazette Publication

Upon acceptance of your application, the design is published in the official gazette. This publication offers the general public an opportunity to voice any objections concerning the proposed design registration.

Registration Approval

If no objections arise, or if raised objections are successfully addressed, the Indian Design Office will bestow the design registration. A certificate confirming the registration will be provided, holding validity for a decade.

Registration Renewal

Following the initial tenure of 10 years, the design registration can be extended for an additional five years.

IndiaFilings expert will guide you through the renewal procedure, ensuring the sustained validity of your design registration.

How IndiaFilings can help in Design Registration

IndiaFilings has a team of experienced professionals adept at navigating the complexities of design registration in India. Our dedicated team will guide you from the initial stages of understanding the significance of your design to the meticulous documentation and filing process. With our expertise, we streamline the registration process, ensuring timely submissions and continuous updates.

By choosing IndiaFilings, you opt for a hassle-free, comprehensive approach to safeguarding your design's uniqueness.

Ready to protect your design? Talk to our Design Registration experts today and start the process!

Trademark vs Copyright vs Patent

Trademark Patent Copyright
What’s protected Any word, phrase, symbol or design that recognizes and differentiates the source of one party's goods from those of another. Inventions, such as procedure, manufacturer, composition, machines of matter as well as improvements to these. Books, articles, music, photography, sculptures, dances, sound recordings, motion films and other original works of authorship.
Requirements for protection A mark must be distinguishable, in the sense that it must be able to identify the source of a certain good. A fresh, valuable, and unusual invention is required. A work must be unique, original, and created in a tangible manner.
Term of protection As long as the mark is used in commerce. 20 years Author’s life span+ 70 years.
Rights Granted Right to use the mark and to prohibit others from using identical marks in a way that could create confusion about the goods or services' origin. Right to restrict others from manufacturing, selling, or importing the patented invention. Copyrighted works have the power to dictate their reproduction, creative works, circulation, public performance, and display.

Design Registration FAQ's

What is design registration?

Design registration protects the unique visual appearance of products, granting exclusive rights to the creator for 10 years, extendable by 5 more years.

What law governs design registration in India?

The Designs Act, 2000, and the subsequent Design Rules, 2001, along with amendments in 2008 and 2014, govern design registration in India.

How is a 'design' defined under the Designs Act, 2001?

A 'design' under this act includes the shape, pattern, configuration, or ornamentation that gives a product its unique appearance and visual appeal.

What are the key requirements for design registration?

The design must be new, original, not disclosed to the public before, applicable to a product, and should not violate public order or morality.

Can literary or artistic works be registered as designs?

No, literary or artistic works, architectural designs, maps, and national symbols are excluded from design registration.

Who can apply for design registration in India?

Individuals, legal representatives, firms, partnerships, small entities, and corporate bodies, including NRIs through representatives, can apply.

What documents are needed for design registration?

Documents include the applicant's details, legal status, startup certificate (if applicable), article description, and visuals of the design.

What benefits does design registration offer?

It provides legal protection, a competitive edge, ensures originality, appeals to customers, and encourages innovation.

What is the design registration process in India?

The process involves a design search, application filing, examination, publication in the official gazette, and upon approval, registration.

How can IndiaFilings help with design registration?

IndiaFilings offers expert guidance through the registration process, ensuring compliance and ease in obtaining design protection.

Is design registration renewable?

Yes, design registration is initially valid for 10 years and can be renewed for an additional 5 years.

How does design registration protect against infringement?

It gives the owner legal rights to prevent others from copying or closely imitating the design.

What is the significance of the 'small entity' category in design registration?

It provides a distinct applicant category with possibly different fees and considerations, encouraging small entities to protect their designs.

Can a design be registered after being disclosed publicly?

No, a design must be kept confidential until registered; public disclosure before filing can disqualify it.

How are designs classified for registration?

Designs are classified according to the product category they are applied to, based on a predefined classification system.

What is the role of visual representations in design registration?

Visuals are crucial as they demonstrate the design's appearance from multiple perspectives, aiding in the examination process.

Can foreign nationals or entities apply for design registration in India?

Yes, foreign nationals or entities can apply, typically through an authorized agent or legal representative in India.

How does design registration encourage innovation?

By protecting new and original designs, it motivates creators to develop unique products without fear of imitation.

What happens if a design registration is opposed?

If opposed, the matter is examined, and a decision is made based on the merits of the opposition and the originality of the design.

Can a registered design be revoked?

Yes, a registered design can be revoked if it is found to not meet the necessary criteria, such as originality or novelty, post-registration.

Can a registered design be sold or licensed?

Yes, the owner of a registered design can sell (assign) or license the rights to use the design to others, subject to legal agreements.

What constitutes design infringement?

Design infringement occurs when a design that is substantially similar to a registered design is used without authorization, potentially misleading or deceiving the public.

How can one check if a design is already registered?

One can conduct a search in the public records of the Indian Design Office or utilize online databases to check for prior registrations.

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