An article produced using an industrial process can be protected from counterfeiting by a new design registration, a form of intellectual property protection. Any article that has a shape, configuration, pattern, ornament, composition of lines, color or combination can be registered under the Design Act, 2000. A design must satisfy the following conditions before it can be registered: it must be original and new, the design should relate to a shape, configuration, pattern, or ornament applied to an article, and the design must be applied by an industrial process to any article, and the design must be visible on the article.
Registered design are exclusive for ten years, with the possibility of an extension for another five years. In case of infringement, the owner of a registered design can seek legal recourse under the Design Act.
Process of Registering Designs
Four specimen copies of the design should be submitted with the application for registration of the design. A statement of novelty should also be submitted, which describes how the design differs from other designs. In the ‘Representation of the design’, the design should be a precise copy of the design or an exact representation.
The Documents Required for the Registration of a Design
- Copy of original disclaimers or extracts from disclaimers certified as authentic
- Documents of affidavits
- The Declaration of Independence
- Fees can be charged for access to other public documents.
Design registration costs may be regulated by the Controller according to the Fourth Schedule, and the affidavits must be in paragraph form and contain a declaration of truth and verifiability.
Trademark vs. Design Registration
Designs are registered as trademarks to protect new and innovative ornamental designs, while trademarks are registered to protect words, names, symbols, and drawings used in commerce to distinguish one source of goods from another.
If you plan to sell a distinctive product to the public, a Design Registration would protect its physical appearance (as long as it does not affect the product’s function in any way). As a result of a trademark, you can protect the symbols or words you use to identify your product as coming from you. For a single design, both forms of protection may be accessible under certain conditions, providing the owner with potential rewards.
Aspects of Design Registration That are Important
Organize your files professionally
In order to protect a design properly, it is important to file a registration professionally. By filing a professional application, an experienced professional can significantly increase the chances of success by addressing all of the design registration requirements under the Designs Act.
Process of Government
Registrars do not guarantee that a design will be registered simply by filing an application. Design registration is an ongoing process and it can only be provided by the Registrar based on the facts and circumstances of each case. Hence, our professionals are only capable of filing a design registration application based on their expertise and experience.
In order to ensure that the Design Registration application is processed on the government’s end, it is important to check the application’s status periodically. During the application process, the applicant may be required to respond or take certain actions within certain time frames. Therefore, it is important to follow up on the application and take the necessary steps until it is registered.
Keeping a list of all registered designs is a part of the Patent Office’s mission to inform competitors of registrations and prevent counterfeiting. The Designs Act provides a legal remedy for registered design owners in the event of infringement or piracy.
A protection period of 10 years
For ten years, designs registered under the Designs Act will be protected, and renewable for another five years. Design Registration is mostly applicable to industrially applied designs, therefore items that are protected by the Trademark Act or Copyright Act cannot be registered as a design.