Why register a design?
Creation of a novel and original outer appearance (shape, configuration and pattern or ornamentation) of an article can be protected through a registered design that recognizes and protects the exclusive rights of the registered proprietor in the design. He can then apply the design to the article in the class in which the design has been registered. This form of IP protection, albeit narrow in scope, is rendered very attractive, because it is swift, procedurally simple and cheap to obtain.
The purpose of the design registration is to see that the artisan/creator/originator of the design having aesthetic look is not deprived of his bonafide reward of applying it to his goods. Once the design is registered it gives the legal right to take action against the infringer and stop piracy of the design.
Who can register a design?
A proprietor or the legal representative or the assignee can apply separately or jointly for the registration of a design.
When to file for a Design registration?
First-to-File principle is applicable here. This means the right to obtain a design registration lies with the first person to file the design application.
Essential requirements for registration
A design should:
- Be new and original
- Not have been disclosed to the public in a publication in tangible form or by use or in any other manner prior to the filing date, or where applicable, the priority date of the application for registration
- Be significantly distinguishable from a known design or a combination of known designs
- Not comprise or contain scandalous or obscene matter
- Be applied to an article and should appeal to the eye
- Not be contrary to public order or morality Exclusions from registration - Design of artistic nature like painting and sculpture
- Stamps, labels, tokens, cards, cartoons, medals
- Any principle or mode of construction of an article
- Mere mechanical contrivance
- Buildings and structures
- Parts of articles not sold separately
- Variations commonly used in the trade
- Mere workshop alterations of the components of an assembly
- Mere change in size of article
- Flags, emblems or signs of any country
- Layout designs of integrated circuits
Types of Design Applications
A first application made for a design without claiming priority from any application is called an ordinary application.
By virtue of the Paris convention, an application filed that claims a priority based on a convention application(s), is called a convention application. To get a convention status, an applicant should file the application in an Indian Design Office within6 monthsfrom the date of first filing in the convention country.
Why register a design?