Design Legislation – Indian Perspective


The Indian Intellectual Property Rights comprises five basic rights- Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents, Geographical Indication, and Design Rights. Apart from these, they also consist of Plant Variety Rights, Semiconductor layout, etc. Coming back to design rights, design can be defined as a feature of shape, configuration, patterns, ornaments or composition of lines or colors applied to any article, by industrial process or means- whether manual, mechanical or chemical- missed or individual and a finished article which is appealable and solely judged by the eyes. It is anything but does not include any trademark, property mark, or artistic work. The filing, prosecution, and registration of the industrial design are regulated by the Indian legislative law- Design act, 2000 and design rules, 2001.

Nature of Design Rights

  1. It is territorial in nature.
  2. It is enforceable upon registration.
  3. It prevents others from producing, importing, selling or distributing products having similar or identical appearance.
  4. It restricts fraudulent and obvious imitations.
  5. It can also be related to graphic symbols, GUI and logos.
  6. They can be applied from packages and containers to furnishing and household goods.

Where to file design application?

The application to design registration can be filed at Indian Intellectual Property Office comprising of Trademark office, patent office and design office. The Design office is situated in five different branches having its head office in Kolkata. All major processing of applications takes place in Kolkata Office while other branches perform only the accepting application functions.

Who can file the design application?

Any person or his legal representative or assignee can apply for registration of design in India. Once the design is registered, the registered proprietor can claim all the rights and benefits conferred by law on the registered design.

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