By Saad Shaikh, Fence IP
Designs, the cornerstone of product aesthetics, are safeguarded by the Designs Act, 2000, in India. This article delves into the intricacies of design registrations, exploring the fundamental aspects, scope, sections, rules, timelines, and fees associated with the process.
1. What is Design Registration in India?
Design registration, a legal process in India, bestows exclusive rights upon the visual elements of a product. It safeguards the ornamental and aesthetic features, including shapes, configurations, surface ornamentation, or any combination thereof, granting a product a distinct visual identity.
2. Who can Apply for Design Registration?
– an author of the design;
– an exclusive assignee of the design;
– the original proprietor of the design jointly with another person to whom rights have been transferred.
3. Where to File the Application
Design registration applications can be filed at any branch of the Indian Patent Office (IPO). However, subsequent processing and prosecution of the Design Application occur at the Kolkata Branch of IPO. Also read about patent registration in India.
4. Representation of Designs
The representations of a design applied to an article, submitted for registration, should be in a standardized format — drawings, photographs, or computer graphics. It is recommended to include a comprehensive set of views, such as perspective, front, back, right side, left side, top, and bottom, along with the application.
5. Types of Design Applications
- Ordinary Application: Filed without claiming any priority from another application.
- Priority Application: Filed with the claim of priority from a previously filed design application(s) in a convention country or group of countries or inter-governmental organizations. The priority design application must be filed within 6 months from the date of the earliest priority application.
- In priority applications, the applicant must furnish the original certified copy of the priority document along with the application or within an extended time limit of 3 months from the date of filing.
- A separate request is required to seek an extension of the time limit.
- A verified English translation of the priority document is required if it is in a language other than English.
6. Examination and Timelines for Design Registration in India
Following the submission of a registration application, the patent office initiates a direct examination. The design registration process typically takes 6 to 9 months, subject to potential extensions under specific circumstances. Notably, design registration is considered the fastest intellectual property right a proprietor can secure.
7. Marking Requirements
8. Some additional noteworthy points
- Design is a right created by the statute, distinct from Trademark and Copyright.
- Without registration, the creator or owner of a design may be left without any right.
- An online search in the records of the Controller of Design is possible.
- It is crucial to file complete and correct information for faster processing.
- The application requires information like the name and address of the applicant, legal status, description of the article, identification of the class, etc.
- Nature of the applicant determines the official fee.
- A 10% discount is provided for online filing compared to paper filing.
- Precautions for filing the image/drawing of the article include clarity, a contrasting background, and multiple angles for a comprehensive view.
- It is possible to file a convention application from the priority date of the design application filed outside India.
- A registered design is valid for 10 years, renewable for another term of 5 years.
- The entire design registration process is completed within 10 to 12 months in straightforward cases
9. Detailed Evaluation and Publication
- After filing, the Design Office conducts a formal evaluation, checking for formal compliances.
- Detailed evaluation verifies the registrability of the applied design and its novelty.
- The applicant has an opportunity to respond to the examination report/office objection and make amendments.
- Accepted designs are published in the Official Gazette, making the public aware.
10. Costs for Design Registration
|Drafting and filing a design application (one single application)
|Drafting and filing a design application (more than 5 at a time)
|Drafting and filing a design application (one single application) for individual
|Drafting and filing a design application (more than 5 at a time) for individual
|Drafting and filing a design application (one single application) for company
|Drafting and filing a design application (more than 5 at a time) for company
The cost of filing a patent in India through the iPNOTE platform starts as low as $134, which includes all government fees and filing stage. Find the best IP attorney in India on iPNOTE.
Design registration in India is a pivotal measure for businesses aiming to shield the visual facets of their products. A grasp of the Designs Act intricacies, adherence to timelines, and fulfilment of requisite fees are imperative for a successful registration process. By securing design rights, businesses can protect their innovative and distinctive designs, fostering creativity and competition in the market.
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