MODULE 4 : INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
REGISTRATION IN INDIA
Industrial Design protection is provided for a surface pattern, shape, colour,
configuration, or line (or a combination thereof). These designs are then applied to any
functional article and increases or produces the aesthetics, and improves the visual
appearance of the design, be it a two-dimensional or a three-dimensional article. The
Designs Act, 2000, provides protection to original and aesthetically appealing designs
capable of being applied commercially and in consonance with the changes in
technology and economic advances.
According to the Act, Industrial Design protection is a type of intellectual property right
that gives the exclusive right to make, sell, and use articles that embody the protected
design, to selected people. In order to actually gain industrial design protection in India,
the design must be registered.
The pre-requisites for a design to qualify for protection are as follows:
1. It should be novel and original
2. It should be applicable to a functional article
3. It should be visible on a finished article
4. It should be non-obvious
5. There should be no prior publication or disclosure of the design.
How to obtain Industrial Design protection in India?
As mentioned, in order to actually gain protection of Industrial Designs in India, it is
integral that the design is registered. The registration process is fairly simple. The
Design office provides two options i.e. paper filing option as well as an online filing
option. All designs are categorized and then the filing is done as per the class that
pertains to the design in question. An application is to be submitted to the design office
with the desired designs, with a classification code and a description of the design.
1. Applicant or Agent submits a duly filled in registration form with the
prescribed fees along with four copies of the representation of the Design. The
drawing should clearly depict the features of the design from all the views and it
must state the view.
2. The Application along with the required documents must be submitted to the
Design Wing of the Patent Office in Kolkata or to any branch office of the
Patent Office in Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai.
3. On receipt of the application in the Patent Office, the Application is numbered,
dated and taken up for examination.
4. If any defects are noticed in the Application, they are communicated to the
Applicant or to his Agent.
5. The defects must be corrected within a period of 6 months from the official date
6. If the defects are not rectified, as required by the Controller, a personal
hearing is provided to the applicant. The Controller’s decision after the hearing
is communicated in writing (stating reasons) to the Applicant or his Agent.
7. The Applicant can appeal to the High Court (within 3 months from the date of
the Controller’s decision)
8. Once accepted the Application is notified in the Patent Office Journal.
The term of Design: Once registered a Design is valid for a period of 10 years from
the date of registration of the Design. This term is extendable for a further period of 5
years by filing an Application for extension along with the prescribed fee.
Why should one look into filing for Industrial Design?
Whenever we look at any product, it is the outer appearance of that product that makes
it the most attractive or what makes it draw out attention. This appearance can add
significant value which in turn increases the marketability of the product. This outer
appearance can often catch the eye of someone who actually wants to use it to increase
their own marketability. And this then results in the need for you to protect your design
from that third party so as to prevent them from taking advantage of your rights and
your creation. Many times it may happen that your design becomes an identity – could
be the shape of the Volkswagen Beetle or Coca Cola’s contour bottle.
When a product’s design is protected, it stops illegitimate products from destroying the
brand’s efficacy and safety. Also, when there is sufficient protection of industrial
designs, it promotes and encourages the creativity in the manufacturing and industrial
sectors, which leads to an expansion in commercial activities.
The product’s first impression becomes the basis of its judgement. It becomes the
characteristic on which someone judges your product even before someone finds out
the functionality. They say don’t judge a book by its cover – but it’s inevitable. If we
won’t find the cover appealing, why would we pick it up?