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Section 5 of the Designs Act


Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Swetha LLM

In India, a system for registering and protecting designs is provided under the Designs Act. It creates a systematic application process and outlines registration requirements, including uniqueness and originality. For efficiency, the Act creates a single-class registration system and gives the Controller the authority to refuse applications on a discretionary basis. Such rulings are subject to appeal by applicants. The Act also creates a ten-year protection period for registered designs and addresses the repercussions of incomplete applications. All things considered, it protects design rights, encourages innovation, and fosters creativity in India.

What is a Design?

“Design” refers to characteristics of form, pattern, configuration, ornamentation, or composition of colors or lines that are applied in two or three dimensions, or in both, using any kind of process, whether manual, chemical, mechanical, separate, or combined which in that, in the end, appeals to or is entirely judged by the eye.

Comprehending Design Protection

The idea of design protection as intellectual property has its origins in colonial undertakings. These businesses brought in fabrics with strange cultural patterns and motifs from far-off colonies. Laws governing design rights were developed in response to the necessity to protect these ornamental elements.

The Designs Act of 2000 provides the legal foundation for intellectual property rights related to designs in India, mirroring the international development of IPR.

Section 5 of the Designs Act: Application for Registration of Designs

Important guidelines for the registration of design are included in Section 5 of the Designs Act. The criteria for design registration, the Controller’s responsibilities, and other procedural details are described in this section.

The main provisions of Section 5 of the Designs Act are listed below:

1. When someone claims to be the owner of a design, the Controller registers it under this Act only after confirming that the design is new and original, has never been published before, and does not violate any public policy or morality as long as the design can be registered under this Act.

  • According to this clause, the Controller can approve a design to be registered under the Designs Act. In order to ascertain if a design qualifies for registration under the Act, the Controller must evaluate the application using the established criteria. As this part begins, there are two criteria that should be noticed. First, it should be a fresh or unique design. Secondly, the design has never been released in print. Therefore, a design that is new or original but looks like one that has already been published cannot be registered under the Act.

2. The applications under the Act shall be filed in the Patent Office in the recommended manner, along with the prescribed fee for filling out the form.

  • Form-1, the required form, is available on the government’s intellectual property portal. The form must be completed in the prescribed format, and it contains all the information and supporting paperwork needed to meet its criteria. Since the original legislation governing patents and design covered both, there isn’t a separate office for design. The requirement for a wider scope for each of the laws as a result of numerous international trade accords led to their separation. However, the Patents Office continues to oversee the operation. The application needs to be submitted here.

3. The design ought to be filed under a single class, not many classes. If there is any uncertainty about which class the design should be registered in, the Controller will make the final decision.

  • To facilitate intellectual property registration, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has categorized all products into several types. Which product to use the design for in a business setting is up to the design owner. A design can only be registered under one class at a time since the owner of the design must show that it is being used industrially on a product in order to even apply for registration. The class under which the registration needs to be completed is the one that this product falls into.

4. Any design submitted to the Controller for registration may, in his discretion, be refused registration; however, any party who feels wronged by such a decision may file an appeal with the High Court.

  • This section outlines the Controller’s authority to reject an application. In the event of any grievances, it also establishes the applicant’s right to appeal to the Supreme Court.

5. An application that has not been completed in order for registration to take place within the allotted period due to an applicant default or neglect will be considered abandoned.

  • The Controller will reject the application as abandoned if any errors in the application are identified, a time for correction is given, and the applicant misses this deadline.

6. A design is registered as of the date the registration application is submitted.

  • There is an expiration date on the certificate of registration. This provision, therefore, states that the application date, not the registration certificate’s issuance date, is when the ten-year expiry countdown starts.

Certificate of Design

Section 9 provides that a certificate will be granted following the Controller’s approval and registration of the application.

(1) Upon registration, the Controller will issue a certificate of registration to the design owner.

(2) The Controller may provide one or more copies of the certificate in the instance that the original is lost or in another situation where he thinks it appropriate.


Section 5 of the Designs Act is pivotal for the registration and protection of designs in India. The design eligibility criteria are stringent and focus on three factors: originality, novelty, and non-publication. This section lays out an application process that is easy to follow and emphasizes the need to follow paperwork and deadlines. Designs are efficiently categorized through the use of a single-class registration system. Applications may be rejected at the Controller’s discretion, although applicants may appeal to the High Court. The part makes it clear when the ten-year protection period begins and explains the repercussions of incomplete applications. All things considered, Section 5 is crucial to protecting design rights, encouraging innovation, and maintaining creativity in India.


1. According to the Designs Act of 2000, what constitutes a “Design”?

As per Section 2(d) of the Act, Design is precisely defined as the form, pattern, and color lines that are applied to a product, along with the manual or mechanical technique involved.

2. Under the Designs Act of 2000, what is the application process?

A properly represented and described design, in addition to the payment of fees, a list of the classes and articles that the design refers to, and any more supporting documents, are required as part of the application process for design registration under Section 5 of the Designs Act, 2000.

3. What is the registration requirement for the Design?

The design needs to stand out from other designs and not be symmetrical. A Design could not be made available to the public.

4. Is it possible to submit many Designs with a single application for registration?

Multiple Designs may be filed under a single application as long as they are associated with the same class of objects and belong to the same Locarno categorization class.

5. Whom should I send my application?

To register a design, submit an application to The Controller of Designs, The Patent Office, Kolkata.

Swetha LLM

Swetha, LLM, a lawyer with skills in writing legal content, is passionate about simplifying complex legal concepts and engaging readers with her insights of nuanced legal ideas. She is able to preserve the accuracy of legal material while adjusting the tone and style to fit the audience.