This is the first step in the application procedure. Securing the earliest possible filing date is important, as this is the date used to determine if your design is new and distinctive. That means that publication by you, or anyone else, after this date will not affect the validity of the design registration. Instead of design registration, you can also choose to have the design published. Publication of a design does not give you any rights as its owner, but by putting the design on the public record it prevents anyone else from obtaining design rights for an identical or substantially similar design.
After filing, a design application undergoes a formalities check, and if it’s successful the design is registered. If the formalities check is not successful, the Designs Office will issue an objections report’. You must rectify all deficiencies in the application promptly. After you meet all requrements, the design is registered.
Once the design is published, it may attract opposition. Under the Design Act, oppositions are entertained only after registration has been granted.
Just as with trademarks, designs too are also susceptible to infringement. It is illegal to use a registered design, or a fraudulent or obvious imitation of a registered design, without approval from the registered owner of such design. In case of such an infringement, the registered owner may file a suit to recover damages from the infringer, and also ask that the infringement should be stopped with immediate effect.
There are similar systems for protecting designs in many other countries. In most countries, an application made within six months of an Indian application can be considered. Our attorneys regularly offer advice on overseas design filing for local clients.