In our daily life, we come across various things and objects which we can recognize by noticing their design. Certain designs can attract the customers the moment they see them. These designs can be in the form of drawings, art, graphics, sculpture etc. These designs may be created by artists, engineers, architects etc. Earlier this Act was governed by the Design Act, 1911 but then to meet the international standards the Design act, 2000 came into being. The Design Act, 2000 consolidates laws relating to protection of designs. It was first published in the Gazette of India and came into force on 12.05.2000.
Design act 2000 definition
Design means attributes of shape, pattern, configuration, ornament or composition of colors or lines which is used in three dimensional or two dimensional or in both the forms using any of the process or procedure whether mechanical, chemical, manual, separate or consolidated which in the finished article appeal to or judged wholly by the eye.
Origin and Development of Design Act
The Design Act has its origin in the British period. The first Act that protected designs was the Patent and Designs Act, 1872. This Act augmented the Act of 1859 which the governor general of India passed in order to protect the industrial designs and grant privileges to inventors. The patent and Design Act, 1872 was repealed by The Inventions and Designs Act of 1888. The Act of 1888 was similar to the Designs Act of the United Kingdom in terms of certain provisions. In the year 1911, the British government repealed all prior legislation and enacted a new law The Patent and Designs act. This Act was further amended in 1930 and the government made some changes in the process of registration of designs in which the idea or concept of new or original design replaced the concept of new and original design.
This legislation used to govern the subjects related to both patents as well as designs. In 1970, the Patent Act was enacted to handle the
matters of patent specifically. All the provisions related to patents from this Act were repealed and it continued to deal with Industrial designs till 2000. India became a member state of the WTO in 1995 and consequently the Patents and Designs Act of 1911 was repealed and the Designs Act, 2000 was enacted on 11th May 2001 in adherence with TRIPS (Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) to make design laws for the country that are at par with international laws.
Significant features of Design act 2000
1. Locarno classification has been adopted under the Act of 2000 in which the classification is based solely on the subject matter of design. Under the earlier provisions, the classification was made on the basis of the material which has been put in to make that design.
2. As per the new law, a design can be restored which was not present in the earlier act. Now, the registration of a design can be reinstated and restored.
3. Now with the new act, district courts can transfer cases to the high courts where the jurisdiction is present but it is only possible in cases where a person is challenging the validity of any registration.
4. The new enactment also mentions laws regarding the substitution of the application before registering a design. The secrecy of two years of a registered design is also removed.
5. The registration is taken into consideration when it is brought in the domain of public records physically. Anyone can examine the records and can get a certified copy of it.
6. The new act contains provision for the avoidance of certain restrictive conditions to regulate the anti-competitive practices within contractual licenses.
Importance of a design
A design is a really important Intellectual property right as it reflects the artistry and creativity of a person which afterward becomes a valuable product. A design is what will make you different from your competition and help you garner the desired feelings and result from customers. A design can also make a long lasting impact on the mind of the consumers. This helps the consumers to recognize any product and distinguish between the products of different brands. If the design is alluring and attractive, then it adds value to the business of that product by increasing the product’s value. It adds value to the product and helps in gaining healthy returns on investment. It gives you a fair competition in the market. Thus, in order to prevent a design infringement, it is necessary to get it registered under the Designs Act, 2000. A mechanism has been fixed by the government to fulfill this purpose.
The views are that of author’s own and not necessarily the views of IPTSE Academy. This blog is a platform for academic discussions and hence authors have been given flexibility to convey their thought process.