How can we protect Design Rights in India?

The Design Right is an Intellectual Property Right that protects the visible presence. In India, designs are registered and protected by the Designs Act, 2000. The Designs Act, 2000 was introduced on 11th May 2001, repealing the earlier Act of 1911.

To protect the design, the applicant needs to apply for registration to the “Controller” under the Design Act, 2000. This article is focused based on obtaining Design registration in the country.

What makes a Design eligible for Registration?

As per Section 2 of the Act, a design has to be:

  • Must have originality 
  • The attributes of pattern/shape/ ornament/configuration/composition of lines or colours
  • Applied to any article in 2D/3D or both through an industrial process
  • It does not include a mere mechanical device, artistic work, property mark, trademark
  • It should be easily distinguished from already known designs 

How can the Design be Registered?

Section 5 of the Act provides that any person shall make an application to the Controller where,

  • Such person owns the new/original design
  • Such design has not been published earlier in any country
  • Such design is not in conflict with the public order or morality
  • The application is made to the Patent Office in the prescribed manner
  • Statutory fees have been paid along with the application.

After which, the examiner appointed under the Act will examine the application. The examiner scrutinizes whether the design provided in the application is eligible for registration under the Act and the rules.

Further, after considering the above grounds and report of the examiner, the Controller may register the design.

What is the step-wise procedure for obtaining Design Registration?

The applicant needs to follow the below-mentioned steps to get his design registered:

  • Must confirm that there is no previous registration of such design.
  • File an application to the concerned office with all the necessary details.
  • After the application is submitted, the examiner examines the application and provides the report to the Controller.
  • After Controller is satisfied that the design is eligible to get the registration, he shall register the design, and the design gets published in the Patent Office Journal.
  • The details of registered designs are kept in the Register of Designs with the name and address of the proprietors.

After successfully completing registration formalities, the Controller shall grant the Certificate of Registration to the applicant (owner of the design). Suppose the original certificate is lost or, in other cases, where the applicant needs another copy of the certificate. In that case, he must apply to the Controller, and the controller may provide another copy of the Certificate after verifying the application.

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