Industrial Design Registration in India
What is Design?
According to the Designs Act, 2000 an Industrial Design is defined as “the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament or composition of lines or color 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”
Simply put, a design is the overall visual appearance of the product that is unique to the product. The uniqueness to the appearance may be rendered by the shape, combination of colors, composition of lines and the like. The important point is that the design must be capable of being applied to an article. Therefore, the design cannot exist in abstract; it must be applied whether to a two-dimensional or a three-dimensional article.
Why register a Design?
Design enhances the aesthetic value of a product. Most consumers base their purchase decisions on the way in which a product looks. Given the importance a design has on the decision-making of consumers, it is only fair to protect original and unique designs by conferring their right to use on the creators. Even if the design of a product is copied, it can have an adverse effect on the business of the creator of the design.
What are the requirements for registering a Design?
The Designs Act, 2000, lists the following requirements to be met, before a design can be registered:
1.Novelty– the design should be original and cannot be published or in use in any country. However, an existing design on a new subject-matter can be registered.
2.It should be applied or applicable to an article. This excludes industrial plans or layouts from registration as designs.
3.The design should be applied to an article by an industrial process. This excludes paintings and sculptures that are not produced in bulk by an industrial process from registration.
4.The design should be visible on the final article. This is because the design is judged solely by the eye.
5.Any mode of operation; a mechanical device cannot be registered.
6.Design cannot include a trademark, property mark or any artistic rights as defined under the Copyright Act, 1957.
What are the rights conferred by registration of a Design?
Registration of a Design confers on the owner a copyright to use the design for the article for which it was registered. This, in effect means that the owner has an exclusive right to use the design for the article under which it was registered. Any infringement of a registered design confers on the owner a right to sue the infringer for damages.
Thus, registering a design is important to protect the appearance of your product. An important point to note is that an article must have its existence independent of the design. This means that even if the design is not applied to the article, the article can continue to exist. Thus, stamps, labels and the like cannot be considered as articles for the purpose of registration of designs.
To learn more, how Intepat can help in protecting your product design, you can find details in our industrial design services.