An Industrial Design is a form of IPR which provides protection for the aesthetic features of an article derived from its visual appearance. A Design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation or composition of lines or colours applied to any article, whether in two or three dimensional (or both) forms. This may be applied by any industrial process or means (manual, mechanical or chemical) separately or by a combined process. The design in the finished article appeals to and is judged solely by the eye.

The registration of industrial designs is governed by the Designs Act, 2000 and Designs (Amendment) Rules 2014 and is carried out by the Designs Wing of the Patent Office located at Kolkata. Filing of design applications in branch offices at Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai is also permitted. The thrust of the modernization programme of the Design office includes transition from the essentially paper-based examination procedure to an IT based system which is supported by computerized records, online search facilities, a user-friendly website and a digital library.

In the context of designs, “article” is any article of manufacture and any substance, artificial or partly artificial and partly natural and includes any part of article capable of being made and sold separately Design does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is mere mechanical device. It also does not include any trade mark or any artistic work.

Registration initially confers this right for ten years from the date of registration. It is renewable for a further period of five years. The registration of a design confers upon the registered proprietor the exclusive right to apply a design to the article in the class in which the design has been registered. A registered proprietor of the design can sue for infringement, if his right is infringed by any person. He can assign or license his design as legal property for a consideration or royalty If the design is not renewed before the expiry of the initial period of registration, this right will cease. However, there is a provision for the restoration of a lapsed design.

In order to be registrable, a design

  • Should be new or original
  • Should not be disclosed by publication or by use or in any other way prior to the filing date , to the public in any part of the world
  • Should be significantly distinguishable from known Designs or combinations
  • Should not comprise or contain scandalous or obscene matter
  • Should not be a mere mechanical contrivance.
  • Should be applied to an article and should appeal to the eye.
  • Should not be contrary to public order or morality.

The requirements for filing a design application:

  • Details of the applicant i.e. name, address and nationality.
  • Details of the basic application from which priority is to be claimed. The Indian application is to be filed within six months of the basic application.
  • Photographs /Computer generated images/line drawings of the article. Different views are required (such as front, back, perspective, side, top, bottom etc.) which depict the article clearly.
  • The priority document and a certified English translation thereof is to be filed along with the application, but may be filed anytime thereafter with late fee.
  • The Power of Attorney of which may be filed anytime before the design is registered.

Geographical Indications Registry (GIR)

The GIR is a statutory organization set up for the administration of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which came into force on 15th September 2003. The Registry is situated at Chennai. As on 31st March, 2013, 193 Geographical Indications (Gls) have been registered.

Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB)

Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), a quasi judicial body was set up as statutory Board by the Government of India vide Gazette Notification No: S.O 1049 (E) Dated 15.09.2003. It has been established to hear appeal against the decisions of the Registrar and to hear applications for rectification of entries in the Registrar of Trade Marks under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, and Patents Act, 1970. IPAB has its headquarters at Chennai and besides Chennai, it holds the Circuit Bench Sitting at New Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata and Ahmedabad.

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