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. Under the Design Act, 2000, a shape, configuration, pattern or ornament or composition of lines or colour or combination applied to any article can be registered. For a design to be registered, it must satisfy the following conditions: it must be new and original, the design should relate to features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article, the design must be applied to any article by an industrial process and the design must be visible and should appear on an article.
Design registration provides the creator, exclusive rights over use of the design for a period of ten years, that can be further extended for a period of five years. In case of infringement, the owner of a registered design can seek legal remedy under the Design Act.
Design Registration Process
An application for the registration of design should be submitted along with four specimen copies of the design. A statement of novelty should also be submitted, which refers to a statement of how the design is unique. The design so represented in the ‘representation of the design’ submitted should be precisely similar to the design or exact copies of the design.
Documents Required for Design Registration
- A certified copy of the original or certified copies of extracts from disclaimers
- Declarations and
- Other public documents can be made available on payment of a fee.
The affidavits should be in paragraph form and should contain a declaration of truth and verifiability. The costs involved in the design registration process may be regulated by the Controller according to the Fourth Schedule.
Difference between Trademark and Design Registration
A design registration protects any new and innovative ornamental design of an article of manufacture. A trademark registration protects a word or words, name, symbol or drawing that is utilised in commerce to distinguish one source of goods or services from that of another.
Put another way; a design registration would enable the protection of the physical appearance of a distinctive product you are planning to sell to the public (so long as that appearance does not affect the product’s function in any way). A trademark would defend the symbols or words you use to identify the product as coming from your specific business. In certain conditions, both forms of protection may be accessible to cover a single design, providing potential rewards for the owner of these rights.
Important Aspects of Design Registration
It’s important that a professional file for the registration of a design to ensure that the design is properly protected. An experienced professional can help significantly improve the chances of successful design registration by filing a professional application, addressing all the aspects of the Designs Act.
Filing a design registration application does not guarantee registration of the design. Design registration is a process and registration is provided only by the Registrar – based on the facts and premises of each case. Hence, our professionals can only make best efforts for filing of design registration application based on experience and expertise.
Post filing of a design registration application, it is important to periodically check the status of the application until its processing on the Government side. Design registration application process sometimes requires various time-bound response or action from the applicant. Hence, it’s important to continually check the status of the application and take the required action until registration.
List of all registered designs is maintained and published by the Patent Office to put competitors on notice about registration of a design and prevent counterfeiting. In case of infringement or piracy of a registered design, the owner of the registered design can seek legal remedy under the Designs Act.
10 Year Protection
Designs registered under the Designs Act are protected for a period of ten years, renewable by another five years. However, design registration mainly applies only to designs applied by an industrial process on any article. Hence, items that are covered under the Trademark Act or Copyright Act cannot be registered as a design.