Protection of a Design Internationally

The design presents the appearance of a product, which adds value to such a product. To protect the market value of the effect, it becomes important to protect the design by obtaining the registration under Intellectual property rights.

The registration under IP protects the commercial value of the product and helps to strengthen its competitive spot by maintaining its customer base. The design needs protection not only in own country but also across the territorial boundaries. 

At present, there is no concept of international design, where a design is protected internationally with a single application. Therefore, an applicant needs to file a separate application in the countries where he needs protection for his design.

To ensure ease of obtaining protection in other countries, India became a member of the Paris Convention.

Paris Convention:

Paris Convention was formed in 1883. The Paris Convention is a significant step towards helping the creators of unique ideas protect their intellectual works in other countries. It applies to industrial property, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, etc.

India became a member of the Paris Convention (International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property) on December 7, 1998. India can apply to other countries to protect its intellectual property through this initiative.

Some features of the Paris Convention:

The countries to which this Convention applies constitute a Union for the intellectual-property-protection-scheme-for-startups">protection of industrial property rights.

  • Article 1 Para 2 has provided:
    Industrial designs consist of ornamental aspects or elements of an article, 2D/3D features of shape and surface, which present the article's appearance. The proprietor of such industrial design will obtain the exclusive right to make/sell/ use the articles embodying such registered design.
  • Article 2 Para 2 has provided:
    There is no requirement for establishment in the country to be imposed upon nationals of member countries, where protection is claimed to enjoy any industrial property rights.
  • Article 4 has provided:
    Where an applicant has filed an application for obtaining registration of a design in one of the countries of the Union or his successor in title, he will have a right of priority while making an application in other countries.
  • Article 4, Section C has provided:
    The priority period will be six months in case of industrial designs. The period shall begin from the date of filing of the first application. To calculate the days, the day on which filing was done shall not be included in the period.
  • Article 6 has provided:
    Where an agent or representative of a person (being proprietor of a mark in one of the union countries) makes an application for registration of the mark in other union countries without the permission of the original proprietor of the mark. The proprietor can ask for a cancellation of registration and other necessary actions as per the country's laws where a further application for registration is being filed. 

With all other steps taken towards ensuring the protection of the intellectual works of the citizens in other countries, India has also adopted the Locarno Agreement to harmonize the classification of industrial design with those adopted globally. 

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