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Design Registration: Protect your Unique Designs

Design registration

Design Registration: Protect your Unique Designs

Design registration is a type of intellectual property protection under which a newly created design applied to an article created under an industrial process can be protected from counterfeiting. This registration provides authority to the owner to use the Design for ten years, and the time can be further extended for the next five years. Understanding the importance of design registration ensures that creators protect their intellectual property rights effectively. The present article briefs the Design Registration process in India which helps you to protect your unique designs.

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For more details on Intellectual Property Laws in India, click here

Definition of a Design

A design is defined under Section 2(d) of the Designs Act 2001, as only the features of a shape, pattern, configuration, composition, or ornament of lines or colors 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, which in the finished article are judged solely by the eye; but is not taken into account upon the principle of construction or anything which is in substance a merely mechanical device.

Also read MSME Innovative Scheme (Incubation, Design, and IPR)

Advantages/Importance of Design Registration in India

Recognizing the importance of design registration emmphasiz the significance of securing legal ownership over innovative designs. Following are some advantages that an owner can avail of after completing the design registration process in India:

  • Exclusive rights over the new and original design
  • An asset of the proprietor/owner
  • Can initiate a legal proceeding in case of infringement by a third-party
  • Serve as a prima facie evidence in an infringement suit
  • Right to sell, transfer and license the design with ease

Essentials Requirements 

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

  • A design should be 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.
  • A design should be significantly distinguishable from known designs or a combination of known designs
  • A design should not comprise or contain scandalous or obscene matter
  • A design should not be a mere mechanical contrivance
  • A design should be applied to an article and should appeal to the eye
  • A design should not be contrary to public order or morality

Eligibility Criteria

  • Any person or the legal representative or the assignee can apply separately or jointly for the registration 
  • The term “person” includes firm, partnership, small entity, and a body corporate.
  • In the case of an NRI, his agent or legal representative needs to initiate the Design Registration process in India.

Documents Required for Design Registration

The following documents are to be submitted to get design registration India:

  • A certified copy of the original or certified copies of extracts from the disclaimer
  • Affidavits
  • Declaration
  • Other public documents can be made available on payment of a fee.

The affidavit should be in paragraph form and should contain a declaration of truth and verifiability. However, the controller may regulate the cost involved in registration of design in India according to the fourth schedule.

Protection Given to Design Registration

When a design is registered, copyright is bestowed upon the registered design for a period of 10 years (extendable by 5 years). Through this, the proprietor enjoys an exclusive right over the use of the design in the class in which it’s been registered.

What is excluded from the scope of a design registration?

Unlike copyright protection, the registration for design in India doesn’t protect any literary or artistic work like books, calendars, stamps, tokens, buildings and structures, and maps. Further, an application cannot be made for designs similar to the national flags, emblems, or signs of any country.

Validity of Design registration

Design registration in India is valid for a period of 10 years and can be extended for a further term of 5 years with the payment of the necessary fees.  The design will lapse if the extension is not done in time, but can be restored in the following manner:

The application for restoration is to be made within one year from the date of the lapse of the design via Form 4, only in the case of non-payment of the extension fees. Once the application for restoration is approved, the necessary extension fees are to be paid.

Process for Design Registration in India

The first thing to be noted is that the application to register a design may be applied to five different authorities:

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

The application for design registration must be filed with Form-1 along with the following details:

  • Name of applicant
  • Address of the applicant
  • Nationality of the applicant
  • In the case of a company, information regarding the place of incorporation and the legal status of the entity
  • The required fee is applicable
  • The class and the 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
  • Representation of the design
    • In the case where the design is two-dimensional, two copies of the design are to be submitted.
    • In the case where the design is three-dimensional, two copies of the design from the viewpoint of the front, back, top, bottom, and the two sides must be submitted.
    • Further, the applicant must also highlight the unique features of the design that sets it apart from any other existing designs.

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 processes, trademark, numbers, letters, etc. it should also be endorsed and duly signed and dated on each representation by the applicant or the authorized person on behalf of the applicant.

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.

Cancellation of Design Registration

Under the provisions of Section 10 of the Design Act, 2000, the registration of design in Indiaregistration can be canceled if:

  • The design is unoriginal and if similar designs already exist
  • The design has already been registered in India
  • The design has already been published in another country prior to the date of registration
  • Does not comply with the characteristics of a design as mentioned under the Design Act.

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