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Trademark & Copyright Services > Industrial Design FAQ

FAQ - Industrial Design

Q. What are industrial designs? 
  Under the Designs Act, 1911, design means only the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by an industrial process. Shape and configuration refer to the form of the article and is usually three-dimensional in nature. Pattern and ornament are decorative features applied to the surface of articles and are usually two dimensional in nature. The application of such a design makes the final products appeal to the observer?s eye. The design, in order to be registrable, must be judged solely by the viewer?s eye and should not be a mere mechanical device. A manufacturer may use a particular design with reference to a product in order to ensure that the same catches the consumer?s eye easily. It is this design which is protected under the Designs Act, 1911. Designs which are functional, i.e. articles made in a particular design, not with a view to appeal to the consumer, but to render it functional, is not registrable. Further the design in order to be registrable should be new and original and not previously published in India.  
  Q. Isn?t an industrial design protected as an artistic work under the Copyright Act?   
  f a design is registered under the Designs Act, it will not be granted protection under the Copyright Act, even though it is an original artistic work. In case the design is not registered under the Designs Act and it is an original artistic work, copyright protection under the Copyright Act will automatically subsist. However, copyright protection under the Copyright Act, will cease to exist as soon as any article to which the design has been applied has been reproduced more than fifty times by an industrial process by the copyright owner. Therefore, it is highly recommended that industrial designs are registered under the Designs Act.


  Q. What is the procedure for registration of designs?   
  Any person who claims to be the owner of a new or original design that is not previously published in India, can apply for registration of design. For the purpose of registration, goods are classified into fourteen classes. The applicant may include in the application, a brief statement of the novelty he claims for the design. If the application is in order and satisfies all requirements of the Designs Act and the Rules, the Controller will register the design.


Q. What is the term of registration for designs?
  Registration of the design in the first instance is for a period of five years. This can be extended by two periods of five years each. Thereafter, the copyright in the design becomes public property and anyone can use it.


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