An Overview on Protection of Industrial Design in India

“A thing of beauty” – the poem that gives a message that beauty of a thing is a joy forever and never turns into nothingness has a great significance in today’s world where the appearance of a product counts more than its quality and utility. In the present age, most people select products, which attract them with the beauty of their designs. Besides, the liberalization and globalization have flooded the Indian markets with a wide variety of products, thus providing the consumers with numerous alternatives for whatever commodity they want. It has ultimately made consumers more selective. Therefore, the producers have to not only prove the reliability of their products but also satisfy the consumers’ aesthetic appetite. That’s why creators nowadays spend large capital on designs that enhance their products’ appearance, which then catches the attention of viewers/consumers. In other words, outer appearance/design plays an imperative role in the market by increasing the competitiveness of the product’s owner and enhancing societal life. Hence, the Industrial Product Design protection is essential to reward the owners’/designers’ creativity, encourage their future contributions, and prevent others from making earnings on their creations.  

Industrial Design Protection: Indian Law Perspective

As per the Intellectual Property Law in India, industrial design protection under Design Act 2000 refers to a type of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) that gives the exclusive rights to make, use, and sell products embodying the protected design to the selected people only. In general, these protection rights have a life span of 10 years, but if needed, the owner can get them renewed for an additional time slot of five (5) years. Industrial design protection is for the shape, color, line, configuration, and surface pattern that either improves the visual appearance or increases the aesthetics of the design.

Requirements to be met for Obtaining Design Protection

To attain the protection under Indian law, a design must:

  • Be non-obvious,
  • Associate with shape, pattern, ornamentation, or configuration of any product
  • Suffice the novelty and originality, that is, before the date of applying for the registration, the design should not be published or used anywhere
  • Be non-contrary, i.e., doesn’t hurt the feelings of anyone.

Procedure to Obtain Industrial Design Protection

In India, almost every design application is filed before the Design registry. It is advisable to proceed to the application filing after recognizing the class/category of the design to be protected. Once identified the class, you can go for either paper filing or online filing. After the application has been filed, it will be examined by the concerned office, which can issue objections following the examination report. You have to respond to the objections within three months. The office, if finds the response satisfactory, will grant the protection, which will rest with you for ten years. 

Designs that Can’t Get Protection

The Industrial Design Protection in India doesn’t protect the designs:

  • Opposing to others moral values
  • Describing the process of construction of an object
  • Related to the appearance of books, calendars, jackets, certificates, forms, dressmaking patterns, greeting cards, leaflets, maps, plan cards, postcards, stamps, and medals.
  • Associated with flags, emblems, or national symbols/signs of any country
  • Of integrated circuits.

Importance of Industrial Design Protection

The industrial design used to be the most overlooked pillar of the Intellectual Property Protection, including patents, industrial designs, copyrights, trademarks, etc.  But now, as the present era is the age of creativity, aesthetics, and design, where the visual appeal of products is very significant, industrial design protection has become a crucial need for designers, manufacturers, and vendors. The rapidly turning competitive marketplace, objectives of copycats or infringers, and requisite to maintain a brand’s integrity are some aspects that will help you in understanding the importance of design protection. For instance, the visual appearance of a product is a vital thing that not just attracts the viewers but also helps them in distinguishing one brand from others. Once protected under deign law, the appearance/design will communicate the message that the product is genuine, and thus, attract more and more buyers. In other words, it will create a reputation that makes customers buy from you without hesitating. Besides, protecting the design of any product or packaging gives legal powers to stop the counterfeit products from destroying the relevant brand’s reputation and defaulting on the brand’s promise of efficacy and safety. It can provide many other significant benefits, including ownership of exclusive rights to make, use, and sell the design. Hopefully, you have understood the importance of securing your design under industrial design protection. If yes, then what are you waiting for? File the application now! For more visit:

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