AN OVERVIEW: Various industrial designs are registered and protected in India via the Design Registration process. The entire process is governed by the Designs Act-2000 and the Designs Rules-2001.
By any manufacturing procedure or mode, “design” refers to the unique aspects of shape, figure, blueprints, or decorations that an article has, whether they are two-dimensional or three-dimensional, or in both formats. By using a combination of manual, mechanical, automated, or chemical processes, the design process can be separate or all-inclusive, resulting in an article that appeals to the eye alone and can be identified by it. This, however, does not contain any mode, standard, construction, or anything that is in material merely mechanical. It also does not include any registered trademark, as defined in Section 2(v) of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958, nor any property mark or artistic work, as defined under Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957.
REGISTRATION OF DESIGNS: WHY IS IT NEEDED?
According to section 11 of the Designs Act, 2022, registering design grants the registered owner ‘copyright’ in the period of registration. The term ‘copyright’ refers to the exclusive right for a registered design to be used in the article of the section where it is registered. In order to prevent the loss of your sales as well as damage to your goodwill in the market, if anyone infringes upon your design, you can file a lawsuit against the infringer. Upon registration of a design, the owner holds exclusive rights against third parties’ unauthorized copying or incorporating it. In addition, if an owner needs money or if he does not have enough production capacity, the design can also be licensed or sold. Furthermore, this provision stipulates that an extension of the copyright period may be granted if an application is submitted to the controller before the expiration of the given term and if the fee is paid in the prescribed manner. Following the expiration of the original period of ten years, the controller can extend the copyright period for another five years. Below are a few reasons why businesses need a Design Registration:
- Get an effective and well-positioned legal shield to protect unique designs from being copied and misused in India.
- Developing creativity and originality.
- Those companies that have signed the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) must comply with it.
REGISTRATION LAW APPLICABLE TO DESIGNS
In India, industrial designs are registered and protected under the Designs Act, 2000 and its corresponding Rules, 2001, which came into force on May 11, 2001, and repealed the 1911 Industrial Design Act. As amended by the Designs (Amendment) Rules 2008 and the Designs (Amendment) Rules 2014, the Design Rules, 2001 were further amended.
REGISTRATION OF DESIGNS PROVIDES BENEFITS
In the wake of the Design Act 2000, there are several evident benefits to having a design registered
The validity period for a design registration status certificate is 10 years. The validity can be extended by five years after the original ten years expire.
Provides a competitive advantage
Having a registered design gives your business a Unique Selling Point. So, your products will have a distinctive character and appearance that makes them stand out from your competitors.
Creates a creative environment
In India, there are no previously published or used products with registered designs, which means they are globally unique.
Responds to client needs
The registration of a design also has the important benefit of appealing to general customers and allowing it to be judged solely based on its appearance.
Develops innovative ideas
Uniqueness is the key criterion for design registration, so the product needs to be alluring and unique from others in order to promote innovation and healthy competition.
With the rise in competition in the industry, it is pertinent to protect one’s designs in order to gain an edge in the market as designs play a crucial role in visually differentiating one’s products from its competitors. When a design is considered to be visually appealing, the consumer will associate the design with the owner alone over time. In order to keep pace with the global industrial and technological sector, the Designs Act, of 2000, was formulated with the intention of promoting innovation and creativity. With its streamlined application process and period amendments, the niche and comprehensive framework ensure proprietors/owners have statutory rights. As part of the 2014 amendment to the Designs Rules, small entities are now included in addition to natural persons as a new category of applicants. In addition, we are looking forward to having start-ups included in the list of applicants in the Indian Design Laws.