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Difference Between Trademarks and Design Registration


Building a strong brand and protecting concepts need businesses to protect their intellectual property. In India, the two main pillars supporting intellectual property protection are trademarks and designs. Designs preserve distinctive features and visual appeal, but trademarks distinguish a business and increase customer confidence. Companies that want to succeed in the Indian market must understand the value of trademarks and designs, as well as the registration requirements. Seek expert counsel to guarantee total protection of intellectual property rights and hasten the registration process. With the help of specialists, businesses can handle the intricacy of designs and trademarks.

Trademarks and designs are both forms of intellectual property, yet they serve distinct purposes:

Trademarks: Representing Brand Identity

A trademark acts as a distinctive symbol for a business, differentiating it from rivals. It could include a term, mark, or image that customers quickly identify with the business, such as Nike’s recognizable swoosh.

Designs: Defining Product Aesthetics

On the other hand, designs focus on the visual aspects of a product, including its shape, pattern, or unique features. Throughout the production process, these components influence how the result looks. The famous design of the Coca-Cola bottle is one such example of a protected design.

In simple words, trademarks identify the source of a product (the manufacturer), whereas designs protect the product’s aesthetic qualities.

Safeguarding Your Designs and Brand in India

While not mandatory, trademark and design registration is strongly advised in India. This is the reason why:

The Designs Act (2000) and the Trademark Act (1999): Your Legal Guardians

These regulations control the registration procedure for designs, which protect a product’s aesthetics, and trademarks, which identify brands.

Why Register? Peace of Mind & Protection

Although it is not required, registration provides a strong defence against unwanted use by third parties. This suggests that you have legal recourse if someone takes your brand logo or product design.

In the Indian market, registering your trademarks and designs provides strong protection for your intellectual property. In the event of unlawful use or infringement efforts, such preventative actions can avert possible losses of time, money, and annoyance.

Increasing Brand Awareness: Indian Trademark Registration

Imagine a lively market where companies are fighting for attention. A strong trademark acts as a lighthouse in this fast-paced market, setting your company apart from its competitors. This difference is made easier in India through the trademark registration process:

  • Creating a Distinctive Mark: Your trademark can be a word, logo, symbol, or even a catchy jingle. It’s the unique identifier that instantly connects your brand with your products or services. Think of the iconic red Coca-Cola can or the bitten apple logo of Apple.
  • Locking in Legal Protection: Once registered, your trademark becomes legally protected. This means no one else can use a similar mark that might confuse customers. It’s like a legal shield that safeguards your brand identity and prevents copycats.
  • Possessing Your Brand Assets: You get exclusive rights when you register your trademark. Whether you keep it for your personal use or provide others permission to use it through license agreements, you are in charge of how it is utilized. This gives you the ability to develop a solid and dependable brand image.

Registering a trademark in India is like making an investment in the future of your company. It offers the structure needed to legally safeguard your intellectual property, promotes brand awareness, and creates opportunities for further development.

Standing Out from the Shelf: Design Registration in India

In today’s competitive market, a product’s appearance can be just as important as its function.  Think about it – would you be drawn to a plain white water bottle or one with a sleek, colourful design? Design registration in India helps businesses protect the unique visual aspects of their products.

Here’s what design registration entails:

  • Preserving the Appearance: This pertains to the elements that lend your product a unique look, such as its contours, design, or special arrangement of hues and outlines. Imagine a Dyson vacuum cleaner’s inventive curves or the instantly identifiable Coca-Cola bottle design.  Each and every one of these designs is protected.
  • New and Original is Key: To be eligible for registration, your design must be original and novel.  It cannot be a straightforward replica of an existing work. Consider it as the unique spark that makes your goods stand out from the crowd.
  • A Unique Selling Point (USP): A registered design becomes a selling point for your product.  It tells consumers that they’re getting something special, something with a unique visual identity.  This can give you a competitive edge and attract customers who value distinctive design.
  • Legal Defense Against Imitators: Above all, registering your design gives you legal defence. You have the complete freedom to file a case and sue the one who tries to copy the design of your product. This helps to prevent duplication and safeguards what you have spent in developing a unique product.

One can make sure that the visual identity of your product is protected by registering your design in India. This provides you with the capacity to compete efficiently, build your brand, and finally blossom in the market over time.

Trademark vs Design Registration: A Clear Distinction

Choosing between trademark and design registration can be tricky. Both offer legal protection for intellectual property, but they cover different aspects. This table simplifies the key differences:

Particulars Trademark Design
Meaning A mark representing goods or services provided by an entity or individual. Features of a shape, pattern, or ornamentation applied to an article for visual appeal.
Innovation It can be a brand, logo, word, phrase, or sound mark; uniqueness is required. It requires innovation, created by artists or experts, and must have visual appeal.
Protection Protects the mark representing a business. Protects the design of the product.
Purpose Identifies the source of goods or services for consumers. Enhances the commercial value of a product.
Governing Law Under the Trademark Act of 1999. Under the Designs Act of 2000.
Registration Granted to a mark capable of graphical representation and distinguishing goods/services. Granted for features of configuration, shape, pattern, or ornament applied to an article.
Evaluation Based on uniqueness and class of the mark. Based on attractiveness, ingenuity, and originality of the design.
Authority Trademarks Registry provides registration. The Patent Office provides registration.
Renewal Initially granted for ten years, it is renewable for another ten years. Initially granted for ten years, it is renewable for five more years.

The Indian Companies use trademarks and designs as vital tools to safeguard the intellectual property. It is very important to comprehend the differences between the two. Trademark usually protects the slogans, logos, and other characteristics and functions as company’s identity. On the other hand, designs cover the obvious feature of your products, including its form, patterns or distinctive features.

By registering your designs and trademarks wisely, you provide yourself with a significant competitive advantage. Consumer trust is increased, and brand recognition is promoted through trademark registration. By providing legal defence against imitations, design registration makes sure your one-of-a-kind product stands out from the competition. In the end, securing your company’s intellectual property through trademarks and designs positions it for long-term success in the dynamic Indian market.


Businesses in India looking to register their trademarks and designs as a means of safeguarding their intellectual property can receive professional advice and help from Kanakkupillai. Kanakkupillai guarantees that firms handle the registration process efficiently since they have a thorough understanding of Indian intellectual property rules and procedures. Kanakkupillai offers thorough assistance at every stage, from paperwork preparation to filing and legal compliance. Kanakkupillai also provides businesses with timely updates on needs and changes, as well as information about the progress of their applications. Businesses can also guarantee the long-term protection of their intellectual property rights by using Kanakkupillai’s renewal services. Businesses can protect their products and brands by utilizing Kanakkupillai’s experience, positioning themselves for long-term success in the Indian market.


Telecom engineer turned content creator with a knack for crafting compelling narratives. Experienced in client management and community engagement, and ventured into freelance content creation, contributing tailored and impactful content across diverse industries. Currently, collaborating with companies like Kanakkupillai, dedicated to delivering inspiring technical content rooted in a solid foundation.