What is a design under Indian law?

A ‘design’ according to Designs Act, 2000 means the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or composition of lines or colors applied to any article. It may be in two-dimensional or thee-dimensional or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical or chemical, separate or combined. Further, the features of finished design should and must only be judged by the eye and not by its functionality. Hence it is only supposed to appeal visually regardless of its practical use.

How is Designs different from Patents?

Patents are granted for a new, useful and non-obvious invention or an improved article or a new method of process of an article. This is completely different than a design that is applied to an article and not an article itself. Design by its definition is not any process or method or device but the external shape and configuration of an article. 

What are the benefits of design registration?

The registered proprietor is granted an exclusive copyright to apply the design to any article in any class in which it is registered.  Registration of design will also restrict anyone else from using the same design. It also allows the proprietor of the registered design to sue for infringement against any unauthorized use of the design or any similar design. 

What designs can be registered under Designs law in India?

A design, fitting the definition given in Designs Act 2000, which is new and original, has not previously been published in India or any other country, is not similar to any existing and known designs and is not in any way immoral or offensive can be registered in India. 

Who can apply for a designs registration in India?

Anyone who claims to be the proprietor of a new and original design can apply for a design registration in India. 

Where do I file a design application in India?

The Designs Office in Kolkata examines all design applications. However, design application can also be filed at the Patent Offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, who then forward the application to the Designs Office at Kolkata for examination. 

What is the government fee for designs registration in India?

For all natural persons, the government fee for filing a design application is Rs. 1000/-. For all entities other than a natural person, in case the entity is a small entity, the government fees is Rs. 2000/- and for all entities other than a small entity, the fees is Rs. 4000/-.

What is the procedure to register a design in India?

After filing the application for registration of designs, the Kolkata Office may issue an examination report raising objections in the application, for which a formal response needs to be submitted. If satisfied, the design will be registered in due course. A design is not advertised in this process of registration unlike the registration process of a trademark.

How long does the design registration process take?

Generally, it takes around four (4) to six (6) months for a design to get registered. However, the time period vary on a case-to-case basis. 

What is piracy of a registered design?

Piracy of a design occurs if any person, unlawfully and without the consent of the registered proprietor of the design, applies the design to any article, or any fraudulent of obvious imitation thereof, or if he imports such article for the purpose of sale, or publishes or exposes such article for sale. 

What are the remedies for infringement of a registered design?

As a remedy, a registered proprietor can file an infringement suit against the infringer and seek injunction and damages. Under Section 22 of Designs Act, 2000, any person liable for piracy shall be liable to pay a sum of Rs. 25,000 recoverable as a contract debt, provide the same shall not exceed Rs. 50,000/-.

What is the term of a design registration in India?

Designs can be registered for a maximum period of 10 years that can be extended by 5 more years.

Disclaimer: All information provided above is for educational purpose only and must not be construed as legal advice. The answer may change when applied to a particular case. 

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