What is design patent or design registration?

Patent rights granted to the appearance of goods or article i.e., shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation is known as design patent or registration of design. The main objective of design registration is:

  • to check that the creator of the unique design shall not be deprived of the reward for inventing and applying of unique design to his/her goods and articles;
  • to promote the manufacture of new and innovative designs in the market so that a healthy competition in the market is maintained.

Note: As per Design Act, 2000, any object which is manufactured is known as article. The object can be made of any substance which is either artificial or natural and that object must be capable of being made and sold separately.

What is subject matter of a design

Design as defined in Design Act, 2000 includes:

  • Feature of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or;
  • Composition of lines or;
  • Colour

applied to any product or article whether two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms. This means that design is a new idea or suggestion of pattern, shape, combination of colour which is applied to the goods or articles. It shall not be misunderstood that the article or good is capable of registration under the Designs Act, 2000 but it is the idea or suggestion of some new shape, configuration, pattern or colour applied to an article or a good, which is solely judged by the eye of an individual, which is registered under the Design Act, 2000.

The design in India is regulated by The Designs Act, 2000 and Rules which give several rights to the owner of the registered design and comprehensively describes the procedure for registration of design.

Prerequisite for registration of Design

There are several prerequisites which are to be fulfilled for a design to be registrable, which are as follows:

  • The essential prerequisite of a design to be registerable is that design shall be new, novel and original which basically means that it should not have been registered earlier by anyone else anywhere in the world.
  • The design should be visible and should be appealing to the eyes of a person. It will be solely judged by the eyes.
  • The design should not include any Trademark, Property Mark or an Artistic work.
  • The design does not include any mode or principle of construction or mere a mechanical device;

What is Classification of articles

For the purpose of registration, the design has been classified into 31 classes and one miscellaneous class i.e. 99 as described in third schedule of the design rules, 2001. The classification is mainly based on International Classification system also known as Locarno Classification. The design must fall under one of these classes to be registerable.

Term of a design patent in India

The term of design patent from the date of registration of design is 10 years. This can further be extended for a term of 5 years if request of the same is made in prescribed form before the expiry of 10 years.

Role of IP Attorney in Design registration

  • The IP attorney assist in design research and let the client know that whether it can be registered or not.
  • The IP attorney facilitate the complex design registration process and gives techno legal suggestion during several stages of registration of design.
  • The IP attorney helps the client in meeting the requirement as provided in design act and rules.
  • There are several mistakes which can be made by an individual while filing design application. An IP attorney helps to avoid these registration mistakes.
  • An IP attorney helps in enforcing the designs.
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