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The registration and protection of industrial designs in India is administered by the Designs Act, 2000 and corresponding Designs Rules, 2001 which came into force on 11th May 2001 repealing the earlier Act of 1911.
The Design Registration process restricts other entities to copy, reproduce, sell or distributetheir products bearing an identical design to the original one.
A Design registration certificate is valid for a period of 10 years. After the expiry of this validity period, the validity can be further extended up to 5 years more.
The products with registered designs are globally unique, which means they are not formerly published in any of the WTO member nations and are also not used by anyone in India before.
As uniqueness is the key criteria for Design registration, the product has to be alluring and unique enough from others, this promotes innovation and gives ultimate boost to healthy competition.
As per the Designs Act 2000 the term “article” refers to any article of manufacture and any substance, whether artificial, or partially artificial and partially original. This also includes all components of that article capable of being finished and sold separate to each other.
The main intent behind obtaining the Design registration under the Designs Act is to safeguard new or innovative designs that created for application on a particular article, which is to be manufactured by an Industrial Process or mode, from being copied. Sometimes the buying of articles for consumption is affected not only by their practical quality but by their outer look too. The significant purpose behind design Registration is to make sure that the artisan, inventor designer of a design having artistic look is not dispossessed of his bona fide prize by any other who are imitating his design to their own goods.
As per the Designs Act 2000 the term ‘Design’ refers only the characteristics of shape, configuration, patterns or adornments or the work of art including lines or hues or a blend thereof applied to any article. A design can be either 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional or in both types, by any industrial process or means, whether labor-intensive, automatic or chemical-based, separate or joint, which in the completed article attract and are recognized solely by the naked eye, but does not consist of any method or principle or manufacturing or anything which is in substance a simple mechanical device. This does not take account of any trade mark, as defined in section 2(v) of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act 1958, a property mark or a creative work as defined under Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act 1957.
Soon after submitting application for design registration in orderly format, it is accepted and the design is registered. Thereafter, a certificate of the design registration shall be issued to the applicant. However, a different request should be made by the applicant to the Controller of Designs for obtaining of a certified copy of that certificate for the purpose of legal proceeding, along with mandatory government fee.
The Register of Designs is a basically a document maintained by The Patent Office, Kolkata. It is a legal requirement. This register encloses the design number, its class number, date of filing (in India) and reciprocity date (if any), name and address of the Proprietor and other relevant matters that would influence the validity of proprietorship of the design and it is open for public assessment on the imbursement of the prescribed authoritative fee & excerpt from the designs register shall also be obtained on the request along with the prescribed government fee.
The date of registration except in case of priority document shall be the actual date of filing the design application. In case of the design registration of the priority document, the date of design registration shall be the date of making the application in the reciprocal nation.
No, even if the design is registered, but it’s the copyright has expired, cannot be re-registered under Designs Act 2000.
The validity of the design registration is initially 10 years from the date of registration. However, in case the claim to priority has been permitted, the validity if the design shall be 10 years from the priority date. The initial period of design registration can be extended further by 5 more years through an application made in Form-3 adjunct to the prescribed government fee to the Controller of designs before the expiry of the earlier initial period of 10 years. The proprietor of the design shall make the application for such expansion the moment the design gets registered.
The registration of a proposed design confers upon the registered proprietor’s ‘Copyright’ in respect of the design for the period of his registration. Here ‘Copyright’ means the special right to apply a design to his article falling under the class in which it has been registered.
Piracy of a design refers to the application of a design or its cheap imitation to any article belonging to the same class of the articles where the proposed design was registered, for the purpose of the sale or importation of such articles without the written consent of the registered proprietor. Publishing such articles or revealing the terms for the sale with information of the illicit application of the design to them also comes under the definition of design piracy.