A look at the procedure to protect your design and prevent misuse by others
Perfecting the design is the first step towards product success for any company. A massive amount of resources and time are spent in creating designs that stand out in the marketplace and catch the eye of the consumer. Quite naturally, companies would like these design rights to be protected so that their precious concepts are not stolen by third parties.
To protect intellectual property, industrial design registration is a must. The government department in charge of registration of the industrial design is the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks. Registration and protecting industrial designs in India are administered by the Designs Act of 2000.
The official definition of ‘Design’ means the features such as shape, configuration, pattern or color or a combination applied to any article by any industrial process, which in the finished article appeals to the eye. It does not include any principle of construction or any trademark, property mark or artistic works. The design should be new or original and should not have been published in any country before the date of application for registration.
Procedure for registration of design in India
Here’s the process for registration of industrial design in India.
- Check for previous registration:See if your design is not one that has been registered previously. For that, you will have to make an application to the Patent Office in Kolkata. It is ideal to register designs quickly since the system works based on the first-to-file rule.
- Application:Following this, make an application where you specify details like name and address, whether the applicant is an individual or company, description of the article and its class, claim of novelty etc. You may also have to enclose drawings or images of the article.
- Scrutiny and approval:The Patent Office later scrutinizes it. If it is in order, it gets accepted and registered, and then a certificate of registration gets issued to the applicant. After the filing of design, the article, along with other bibliographic data, gets notified in the Patent Office Journal, published every Friday. The entire concept could take around a year in case of complications.
- Registration of Designs:The registered design then enters the Register of Designs, a document maintained by The Patent Office, Kolkata. It includes the design number, class number, date of filing (in this country) and reciprocity date (if any), name and address of the proprietor and such other matters.
- Duration of the design: The term of the design is of 10 years, which can be extended for up to five years.
- Priority claim:India is one of the signatories to the Paris Convention, so the provisions for the right of priority are applicable. This claim allows you to file another application in a different country for a similar invention or trademark, relevant as of the date of filing the first application.
- Design infringement:In case of design infringement, the registered proprietor can turn it into a legal matter to stop exploitation and to claim any damages. The violator is liable to pay a sum not exceeding INR 25,000 for every damage.
As per the process, the registration of design gives the owner specific legal rights to bring an action against those who infringe the design right. This registration is critical if you want to protect your intellectual property.