Design Registration ideally refers to the protection of original designs and obtaining proprietorship over that under the Designs Act, 2000. A design would mean the outline, arrangement, pattern, shape, or décor of an article. Registering a design protects the exclusive rights of the registered owner of the design. This kind of registration is similar to the Intellectual property registration like the trademarks and patents. It is however easier to obtain and hence more attractive though it comes with a narrower scope. The registration protects the owner from infringement of his/her designs.
A design which is applicable to be registered should be original, new and undisclosed to public view in any publication or in any other concrete form before filing the application. It should be distinguishable and different from any design or a combination of designs of known or reputed origin. The design must not be disgraceful or obscene and must concede to the values and ethnicity of the local public. Lastly, the design must conform to the article or product on which it gets displayed and must be relevant.
The owner of the design or a person who is a legal representative can apply on behalf of the owner either separately or jointly to register the design. This process needs to almost immediate as this kind of registration follows a first-to-apply basis of priority. This means the first one to file the application to register the design would get the ownership rights of the design.
The application needs to be filled by the applicant or a legal representative on the prescribed form and needs to be submitted along with all the necessary documents, copies of the design and prescribed fee amount.
The application can be filed either at the design wing of the Kolkata’s Patent office or any of the branch offices located in Mumbai, Chennai or Delhi. The processing and prosecution of the application however will happen only in the Kolkata office and all documents submitted in the branch office will be sent to the Kolkata office for processing.
The application gets accepted after all the shortcomings are rectified and the Patent Office issues a certificate of design registration after which it gets notified in the Patent’s journal in the Patent office. The design registration has a validity of 10 years which is extendable to another 5years by filing the application with the prescribed fee again.
Ans: Design registration gives the property rights of the design to the owner of the design and confers on the person the right to use the design to an article. The owner can sue in the event of infringement of his rights and if the design is put to use under illegal circumstances without the permission of the owner. The owner also gets the rights to use or sell the design as a property.
Ans: The design registration is valid for a term of 10years and extendable for another 5years. The extension fee must be paid within the period of initial validity, else the registration ceases.
Ans: Any design which is not new, already published, or similar to an already registered design becomes ineligible for registration. Also in case the design contains obscene or vulgar matter, it can get rejected straight away. Certain forms of designs like that on book covers, calendars sheets, certificates, dress patterns, pamphlets, greeting cards, labels, cartoons to name a few are not eligible for registration. The main basis of eligibility is the independence of the article with respect to the design and removal of the design must not affect the article as a whole.
Ans: Yes. NRIs and people of Indian origin can file application through the help of an agent residing in India.
Ans: The fee for registration is Rs. 1000 when registration is done by individual & Rs. 4000 in case the registration is filled by Prop. firm, Partnership firm or Pvt. Limited company. The fee for renewal of the registration is Rs. 2000. The entire design registration takes around 3-6months to be completed.