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What is Design Registration?

In order to grab the buyer’s attention, an article should be visually attractive. The reason behind this is that visual attraction enriches the marketability of the articles. Moreover, to obtain protection, the design of the article must appeal to the eye. This means that the design is mainly of an aesthetic nature.

Further, the Design Registration is governed and administered by the Design Act, 2000. Under the Design Act, 2000, things like configuration, pattern, shape, or composition of lines or ornament or colour or combination used in an article are registered. Moreover, Design Registration provides a right to the concerned owner for using his product and also restricts others from using such a product without his permission.

What is Design? And What is all Excluded from its Definition?

The term Design means only the features of shape, pattern, configuration, ornament or colours, or composition of lines applied to any article, whether in two dimensional or three dimensional or in the combination of both forms. But the definition of the term design does not include the following listed –

  • Any mode or principle of construction
  • Anything which is in substance a mere mechanical device
  • Any Trademark
  • Any “Property Mark” as defined in section 479 of the Indian Penal Code 1860
  • Any “Artistic Work” as defined in section 2 (c) of the Copyright Act, 1957

What are the Essential Requirements for obtaining Design Registration?

The following listed are the essential requirements for obtaining Design Registration –

  • The design must be new or original, not beforehand published or used in any country or nation before the date of application for registration.
  • The design must relate to features of shape, configuration, pattern, or the combination of lines or ornamentation or colour applied or applicable to an article.
  • Any industrial process can achieve design.
  • The features of the designs in the finished article must appeal to and are solely judged by the eye.
  • The design concerned must not include any trademark or property mark or any artistic works.
  • Lastly, the design should be significantly distinct from a recognized design or a combination of known or recognized designs.

Why is there a need to Register Design?

The following listed are the reasons why there is a need to register design –

  • Exclusive Rights – After obtaining Design Registration, the concerned design owner will have a set of exclusive or proprietary rights, which will include the right to use, explore and transfer the said product for commercial usage and gain profits. Moreover, the mentioned rights will accrue only after obtaining registration
  • Legal Protection - A registered design owner can easily approach the court in case of any infringement for claiming damages. But the same facility is not available in the case of unregistered designs.
  • Global Protection - After obtaining registration, the owner has the right to restrict all others from producing, selling, or distributing, importing products having an identical appearance or a fraudulent or apparent imitation. Moreover, the said protection is not only applicable in India but in any part of the world as design acts as a kind of Patent for the owner of the product.
  • Creates Monopoly – The term Monopoly here means that the competitors who sell goods of similar nature cannot use a similar design. As, all the right to use the said design for the commercial purpose vests with the owner.
  • Validity – Design Registration provides protection for a period of ten years which is extendable further by five years
  • Unique Selling Point – Design Registration provides the concerned owner with a Unique Selling Point (USP). This will help the customer in identifying the design of the owner’s product.
  • Creation of Asset - After obtaining registration, the design concerned will become an asset and can easily be licensed, sold, or contracted for commercial purposes.

Who is eligible to apply for Registration?

Both the proprietor and his authorized agent of the concerned product can apply for the registration of the design. Further, the term proprietor includes an individual, any partnership firm, any company, etc. Moreover, in the case where an authorized agent is applying for registration, then an affidavit by the actual owner or proprietor authorizing the said agent must be submitted together with the application and required documents.

What are the Documents required for obtaining Design Registration?

Following listed are the documents required for obtaining Design Registration –

  • Copy of the Aadhar Card, Pan Card of the concerned proprietor
  • Copy of the Aadhar Card of at least one of the partner or directors (In the case of a partnership firm or a company)
  • GST (Goods and Service Tax) registration of a firm, company
  • Certification of Incorporation of a company (in the case of a company)
  • Partnership deed (in the case of a partnership firm)
  • The proprietor, partner or director must sign a power of attorney (in Form -21) given to the agent
  • Pictures of Article from various angles, i.e., Front view, Back view, Down view, Side view
  • Description regarding the unique features of the article
  • Documentary proof (if in case any previous registration is there)

What is the Procedure for Obtaining Design Registration?

Following listed are the steps involved in the procedure for obtaining Design Registration –

  • Documentation and Preparation
  • Drafting of Design Application
  • Filing of the Design Application
  • Reply to the Examination Report and Objection
  • Departmental Objection Handling
  • Design Registration

Detailed Procedure for Obtaining Design Registration

  • Documentation and Preparation - For the Design registration, the first and foremost step is to prepare a list of the documents required for filing before the department. Further, these required documents include Design questionnaire, type and description of the work, Power of Attorney in Form-21, and colour photographs of the design from various angles.
  • Drafting of a Design Application - The Design concerned is a three-dimensional shape of articles, equipment, or goods, etc. based on the visual appearance. So, the application for the same needs to be drafted into a written specification, which requires experience and skill, hence requires an expert in this field. Furthermore, once the application is duly drafted containing all the specification, the same is required to be filed.
  • Filing of the Design Application - The said Design application is required to be filed online. Moreover, the application drafted is required to be attested by the attorney on each page of the design specification. Further, after making the successful submission, the applicant is asked to make a payment of Rs. 1000/- as filing fees have to be deposited, resulting in the issuance of acknowledgement.
  • Reply to the Examination Report and Objection - The final stage of this process includes the reply and redress of any departmental objection raised by the concerned Design department. If in case the department is satisfied with the application and documents submitted, then it will issue a Certificate of Registration of Design.
  • Departmental Objection Handling – If in the case in the final stage of reply and redress, any departmental objection is raised by the Design department, the same is need to be rectified by the applicant. After hearing the concerned applicant, if the department is satisfied, it will issue a Certificate of Registration of Design, which will be valid for ten years.
  • Design Registration – Lastly, a Design registration certificate is issued by the Design Office.

What is the Validity Period of Design Registration?

The duration for which a design registration will be valid is ten years starting from the date of registration. However, it is significant to note that this initial period of registration can further be extended to 5 more years. The same can be obtained by filing an application in Form- 3, together with the requisite fees. Moreover, the concerned application has to be made prior to the expiry of the initial period.

What are the grounds on which a Design Registration can be cancelled?

Following listed are the grounds on which a design registration can be cancelled –

  • A Design Registration can be cancelled at any time by just filing a petition for the cancellation in form 8. 
  • If in case the design is previously registered, then it is a sufficient ground for obtaining cancellation.
  • If the said design has been published in India or elsewhere before the date of registration
  • If in case the design is not original or unique in nature, then it stands to be cancelled.
  • If in case the design is not registrable or the same t is not a design as per the provisions of Clause (d) of Section 2.

Difference between Design Registration and Trademark


Design Registration

A Trademark denotes a mark that signifies as a symbol of the trade. This mark differentiates one product from the others. Trademark registration helps in protecting these marks from infringement.

A Design is an exclusively diagrammatic depiction. In order to provide protection to the designs, registration is done.

A Trademark can be anything starting from a word, mark, logo to a shape. In simple terms, it does need to be unique in nature, but it does not need innovation.

A Design serves a particular purpose and is not merely a representation. Hence, it is required to designed by experts. Thus, it needs to be innovative.

Trademark registration is obtained to protect the mark that denotes a business. Here, in this case, the look of the trademark depends upon what a trademark is all about. The term protection means to restrict other companies from using the same mark.

Design registration is obtained in order to protect the design of the product. Here, in this case, we are not only talking about how a specific product looks, but also about what the product does.

A Trademark is protected and governed by the provisions of the Trademark Act 1999.

A Design is protected and governed by the provisions of the Design act 2000.

A Trademark has some exclusive statutory rights.

A Design also has some statutory rights. However, these rights are not as powerful as a trademark.

How much is the Penalty Imposed for the Piracy of the Registered Design?

If anyone contravenes or infringes the copyright in a design, then he or she is liable for every offense committed and to pay a sum not exceeding Rs 25,000/- to the registered proprietor subject to a maximum limit of Rs 50,000/- recoverable as a contract debt regarding any one design.

The registered proprietor may also file a suit for recovery of the damages in the case of the repetition of any such contravention or infringement. However, the total amount recoverable shall not exceed the threshold of Rs 50,000/-as contract debt, as mentioned in Section 22(2)(a).

Lastly, the suit for the infringement or recovery of damage, etc. must not be filed in any court below the rank of District Judge.

How will LAWYERINC assist you?

  • Firstly, you are required to fill a query form
  • You will receive a call from our expert
  • Make payment
  • Get a confirmation mail in this regarding
  • You are then required to submit all the prescribed documents with us
  • Our executive will process your application
  • Track progress of your order
  • Completion of the order

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Which are the articles not eligible for Design Registration?

    The following listed are the type of articles not eligible to Design registration-
    1. Postage stamps,
    2. Labels,
    2. tokens,
    4. cards,
    The reason behind this is that only those designs are considered whose physical existence does exist. Moreover, once the alleged Design, i.e., ornamentation is removed only a piece of paper, metal or like material remains and the article mentioned does not exist. Hence, the concerned article must have a separate existence that too independent of the Designs applied to it.

  • 2. What is the date of registration?

    The date of registration other than the case of a priority claim is the actual date of filing the application for Design registration. Whereas in the case of registration of priority claim, the date of making an application in the reciprocal country is the date of registration.

  • 3. How one can determine whether registration exists in respect of any design?

    For determining whether registration exists in respect of a design, a request is required to be made to the Patent Office, Kolkata. However, if in case the applicant knows the Design number, then the request should be made in Form 6, otherwise in Form 7, along with the prescribed fees. Moreover, each such request must be confined to information regarding a single design.

  • 4. Why is it important for filing the application for registration of design at the earliest possible?

    First-to-file rule is applied in case of registration of a design. This means that if in case two or more applications concerning a similar or an identical design are filed on different dates, then only the first application will be counted for registration of a design.

  • 5. Can the same applicant file an application for the same design again, if in case the prior application has been abandoned?

    Yes, the same applicant can again file an application since no publication of the abandoned application is made by the concerned Patent Office, provided the applicant in the meantime does not publish the said design.

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