Designs

Category: WTO Sub-category: Intellectual Property
Document type: article

2010-03-11

  • Overview
  • FAQs
  • Steps involved in a Design registration process

Overview

Industrial designs refer to creative activity which result in the ornamental or formal appearance of a product and design right refers to a novel or original design that is accorded to the proprietor of a validly registered design. Industrial designs are an element of intellectual property. Under the TRIPS Agreement, minimum standards of protection of industrial designs have been provided for. As a developing country, India has already amended its national legislation to provide for these minimal standards.

The essential purpose of design law it to promote and protect the design element of industrial production. It is also intended to promote innovative activity in the field of industries. The existing legislation on industrial designs in India is contained in the New Designs Act, 2000 and this Act will serve its purpose well in the rapid changes in technology and international developments. India has also achieved a mature status in the field of industrial designs and in view of globalization of the economy, the present legislation is aligned with the changed technical and commercial scenario and made to conform to international trends in design administration.

This replacement Act is also aimed to intact a more detailed classification of design to conform to the international system and to take care of the proliferation of design related activities in various fields.

A Design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation or composition of lines or colors applied to any article, in two or three dimensional (or both) forms. This may be applied by any industrial process or means (manual, mechanical or chemical) separately or by a combined process, which in the finished article appeals to and judged solely by the eye. Design does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is mere mechanical device.. It also does not include any trade mark or any artistic work.

The registration of design confers upon the registration proprietor the exclusive right to apply a design to the article in the class in which the design has been registered.

A registered proprietor of the design is entitled to a better protection of his intellectual property. He can sue for infringement, if his right is infringed by any person. He can license or sell his design as legal property for a consideration or royalty. Registration initially confers this right for ten years from the date of registration. It is renewable for a further period of five years. If the fee for extension is not paid for the further period of registration within the period of initial registration, this right will cease.There is a provision for the restoration of a lapsed design if the application for restoration is filed within one year from the date of cessation in the prescribed manner.

A design should :

  • Be new or original
  • Not be disclosed to the public any where by publication in tangible form or by use or in any other prior to the filling date, or where applicable, the priority date of the application for registration
  • Significantly distinguishable from known design or a combination of known designs
  • Not compromise or contain scandalous or obscene matter
  • Not be a mere mechanical contrivance.
  • Be applied to an article and should appeal to the eye
  • Not be contrary to public order morality

FAQs

What is meant by Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property is the Property, which has been created by exercise of Intellectual Faculty. It is the result of persons Intellectual Activities. Thus Intellectual Property refers to creation of mind such as inventions, designs for industrial articles, literary, artistic work, symbols which are ultimately used in commerce. Intellectual Property rights allow the creators or owners to have the benefits from their works when these are exploited commercially. These rights are statutory rights governed in accordance with the provisions of corresponding legislations. Intellectual Property rights reward creativity & human endeavor which fuel the progress of humankind. The intellectual property is classified into seven categories i.e.

  1. Patent
  2. Industrial Design
  3. Trade Marks
  4. Copyright
  5. Geographical Indications
  6. Lay out designs of integrated circuits
  7. Protection of undisclosed information/Trade Secret according to TRIPs agreements.

What is meant by ‘Design’ under the Designs Act, 2000?

‘Design’ means only the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament or composition of lines or colour or combination thereof applied to any article whether two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical or chemical, separate or combined, which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye, but does not include any mode or principle or construction or any thing which is in substance a mere mechanical device, and does not include any trade mark, as define in clause (v) of sub-section of Section 2 of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958, property mark or artistic works as defined under Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957.

What is meant by an article under the Designs Act, 2000?

Under the Designs Act, 2000 the "article" means any article of manufacture and any substance, artificial, or partly artificial and partly natural; and includes any part of an article capable of being made and sold separately;

What is the object of registration of Designs?

Object of the Designs Act to protect new or original designs so created to be applied or applicable to particular article to be manufactured by Industrial Process or means. Sometimes purchase of articles for use is influenced not only by their practical efficiency but also by their appearance. The important purpose of design Registration is to see that the artisan, creator, originator of a design having aesthetic look is not deprived of his bonafide reward by others applying it to their goods.

What are the essential requirements for the registration of ‘design’ under the Designs Act, 2000?

  1. The design should be new or original, not previously published or used in any country before the date of application for registration. The novelty may reside in the application of a known shape or pattern to new subject matter. Practical example:The known shape of "Kutub Minar" when applied to a cigarette holder the same is registrable. However, if the design for which application is made does not involve any real mental activity for conception, then registration may not be considered.
  2. The design should relate to features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation applied or applicable to an article. Thus, designs of industrial plans, layouts and installations are not registrable under the Act.
  3. The design should be applied or applicable to any article by any industrial process. Normally, designs of artistic nature like painting, sculptures and the like which are not produced in bulk by any industrial process are excluded from registration under the Act.
  4. The features of the design in the finished article should appeal to and are judged solely by the eye. This implies that the design must appear and should be visible on the finished article, for which it is meant. Thus, any design in the inside arrangement of a box

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