Design Overview

Introduction

The Design Act, 2000, was made effective from May 11, 2001, and the Designs Rules, 2001 govern the registration of designs in India. According to the Act, the design registration protects the features of shape, pattern, ornamentation or composition of lines or colours that are applied to the articles. Since a design registration tries to protect only the design’s visual appeal, it does not include any scope or feature that is a mode of construction or a mere mechanical device or any artistic work that is covered under the Copyright Act or any trademark included under the Trademarks Act.

Importance of registration of designs 

Often we come across products and articles which are recognizable simply by looking at their designs. Unique designs attract the attention of people and people tend to recognize the product primarily through its form, shape or structure. “Design” means features of shape, pattern, configuration, ornament or composition of colours or lines which is applied in three dimensional or two dimensional or in both the forms using any of the processes whether manual, chemical, mechanical, separate or combined which in the finished article appeal to or judged wholly by the eye.

Industrial design essentially is the uniqueness of an article which makes it stylish, appealing and attractive, making it stand out and facilitating its potential in any industry as well as increasing the commercial value of that product or article. There are so many valid reasons to protect designs under the Design Act, 2000. First of all, industrial design protection favours fair competition in the industry by encouraging creativity, originality and novelty. The design of a particular product increases its marketability as well as its commercial value. When a design is registered, it becomes exclusive to the owner and the consumer can easily identify that the product belongs to a particular brand. Registered designs can be sold in the market or can be used for paying liabilities as it becomes a business asset.

The most important benefit and basic purpose of a registered design are if anyone infringes your design, you can file a case or suit upon the infringer for the loss to your sales as well as damage to your goodwill in the market. When a design is registered it gives its owner the exclusive right against unauthorized copying or imitation of the design by third parties. Another benefit is that an owner can license the design or sell the design if he is in need of money or if he has limited production capacity.

The design registration applications must be filed with the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks at Kolkata under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This office conducts an investigation and grants the registration if the application meets all formal and substantive requirements specified in the Designs Act.

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