“Design” means and includes features of shape, patterns, configurations, ornamentations, compositions of lines and colours, anything that can be reduced to 2-d or 3-d format
Section 22 of the Design Act, 2000 gives a clear outline about piracy of designs. This section begins with a negative connotation, restricting any person who is not a “lawful proprietor” of the design to use the design for any purpose without the permission of the owner of the design. The section is divided into three sub-clauses stating the constituents of piracy.
If any person uses the registered design for sale of the product to which the design is applied or just the design without being applied to any product, without license or expressed consent of the proprietor;
If any person uses the registered design for import sale by fraudulent means or obvious imitations without the consent of the proprietor;
If any person uses, publishes, exposes or causes to be published or exposed any registered design without prior consent, whatsoever, will or shall cause piracy of design.
Exception to General Rule
If the design has in it a striking feature that over powers the imitated feature and catches the eye, such striking features alters the design so that it is not recognisable, will not constitute piracy of designs
In case of piracy of designs, the infringing party will have to bear liability of compensating the original registered proprietor of the design to an sum of not exceeding more than Rs. 25,000/- and in case of suit to be filed, the recoverable amount shall not exceed more than Rs. 50,000/-.
The registered proprietor may bring a suit for the recovery of the damages for any such contravention and for injunction against repetition of the same. Total sum recoverable shall not exceed Rs. 50,000/-as contract debt as stated in Section 22(2)(a).
The suit for infringement, recovery of damage etc should not be filed in any court below the court of District Judge.