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Does Your Business Need Industrial Design Registration?

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Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Divya

Design is crucial in today’s fiercely competitive corporate environment. Design includes the visual characteristics of a product or object, which have a direct impact on consumer decisions and purchase decisions. Recognizing this influence, both startups and established companies prioritize creating unique and visually appealing designs. Investing resources in innovative products with unique characteristics is critical for achieving success.

Nevertheless, safeguarding these designs from imitation or plagiarism is equally important.  The Design Act of 2000, enacted to align with international standards, governs design protection in India, replacing the earlier Design Act of 1911. This blog delves into various aspects of industrial design registration, including its significance, the duration of protection offered, relevant regulations, legal precedents, and more.

Exploring Industrial Designs and Examples

Industrial designs primarily concern an article’s visual aspects or appearance rather than its operational or technical features. They encompass a wide array of industrial and handmade goods, ranging from 2-D patterns to 3-D shapes.

Examples of industrial designs include:

  • Fancy things you wear: This covers jewellery and other ornamental
  • Medical tools with a special look: This highlights the unique visual design of some medical instruments.
  • Everyday goods that are stylish: This encompasses electronic devices, furniture, and tableware with unique looks.
  • Fun things to play with: This refers to the visual design of toys.
  • Screens that show you the way: This simplifies the concept of graphical user interfaces used in GPS systems.

Protection of Industrial Designs

In many jurisdictions, industrial designs must be officially registered to be covered under industrial design laws. Some countries classify industrial designs as “design patents” under patent legislation.

Alternatively, these designs may be safeguarded as creative works under copyright laws, depending on the specific policies of each jurisdiction. Owners of registered industrial designs typically have the authority to prevent third parties from manufacturing, selling, or importing goods that feature the protected design or a replica of it, especially for commercial purposes.

To acquire legal protection for such designs, registration with the state’s design registration office where the application is filed is necessary.

What are the necessary conditions for Design Protection?

To protect an industrial design, it must meet the following criteria:

  • It should be unique and original.
  • It should not be made widely available in India or any other country.
  • It should not have been used before the submission date or publication date relevant to the registration application.
  • It should be noticeably different from previously known designs or combinations of design features.
  • The design must comply with social norms, ethics, and integrity.
  • It should not pose a threat to national security.
  • Any trademark, logo, or other copyrighted elements cannot be part of the industrial design.
  • It should not contain offensive or provocative content.

What is the duration of design protection?

According to the TRIPS Agreement, protection is normally valid for ten years. This period can be extended for an additional five years by submitting a renewal request together with the appropriate price. In several nations, the term may be longer, ranging from 15 to 25 years. However, the particular duration is determined by national jurisdiction, with the average duration separated into successive renewal periods.

Further Insights into Industrial Design Registration

The incorporation of design enhances the artistic value of any product. Registration of the design provides the owner with the exclusive right to utilize it for the specific item for which it has been copyrighted.

In practical terms, this signifies that the owner possesses the sole authority to utilize the design for the registered items. Infringement on a patented good allows the owner to take legal action against the infringer for financial recompense.

According to the Locarno Agreement, industrial designs are divided into certain classifications. These classifications serve the purpose of organizing industrial designs for documentation and facilitating design research. These categories primarily serve a utilitarian function.

Consequently, design registration is imperative for safeguarding the aesthetic appeal of your merchandise. It is important to recognize that the design exists independently of the product itself.

This implies that products can continue to exist even if the design is not applied to them. Therefore, items such as labels or stamps are ineligible for design registration.

Who is Eligible for Design Registration?

Section 5 of the Design Act of 2000 states that any individual, corporation, or legal representation may file a petition for design registration, either alone or collectively. Once the petition is registered, the information included within it is considered a genuine allegation. Anyone can access the Register of Designs by getting it from the Controller and paying the appropriate fees.

Required Documentation for Industrial Design Registration

When applying for design registration online, the following documents may be necessary:

  1. Power of Attorney
  2. Application Form 1
  3. Representation Sheets: These are crucial documents that should be attached to the registration application. They contain various viewpoints and aspects of the article, fully illustrating the new and unique design. Representation sheets may include images, drawings, illustrations, computer graphics, and samples of the design.
  4. Additional documents may be required depending on the specific circumstances.
  5. Personal details of the applicant, including full name, permanent address, article name, etc.
  6. Class and subclass of products under the Locarno Classification for which design registration is sought.
  7. Payment of processing fee.

Registered Design Infringement

Section 22 of the Design Act of 2000 handles infringement of registered designs. This provision forbids the unlawful replication or imitation of an existing registered design without the owner’s permission.

It also forbids the importing of products that closely mimic copyrighted designs. Furthermore, it includes the act of advertising or selling such things after being informed that the design has been illegally applied to them.

Conclusion

Safeguarding your innovative designs is crucial for success in today’s competitive market. Kanakkupillai offers extensive guidance and regulatory advice on industrial design registration. Our team caters to both seasoned professionals and those new to the field, providing personalized support throughout the process. Visit our website to explore our services and take the first step towards securing your designs with confidence.

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Divya

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.