Legal Guide

Patenting a Design in India 

by Digant Sharma · 3 min read

design patent

Introduction

A design patent is a type of legal protection for a manufactured item’s distinct aesthetic attributes. If the product has a distinguishing configuration, surface decoration, or both, a design patent may be obtained. A design patent, in other words, protects the decorative design of anything with practical value.

Comparison between Utility patent and Design patent

A design patent is not to be confused with a utility patent, which protects an item’s distinct mode of operation or functioning. A design patent protects the appearance of an object. A single product may be granted both a design patent and a utility patent. One of the primary distinctions between the two patents is their duration.

A design patent may last 14 or 15 years, depending on when it is filed. A utility patent is valid for 20 years and requires maintenance costs on a regular basis. Maintenance payments are not required for a design patent.

In India, a design patent is a patent awarded on the ornamental design of a practical object. Industrial design rights include design patents. A design patent covers just an invention’s decorative expression, not its functional aspects.

A utility patent would protect the way an item is used and functions. It might be difficult to discern between a design patent and other sorts of property. A design patent is issued to any individual who has imagined any novel and no obvious decorative design for an object of production, according to USPTO patent law. The design patent covers simply how an object appears, not its structural or functional aspects.

A design patent is a patent granted in India for the decorative design of a useful product. Design patents are examples of industrial design rights. A design patent protects just the ornamental manifestation of an innovation, not its useful components. A utility patent would safeguard how an object is used and works. It may be difficult to distinguish between a design patent and other types of intellectual property.

According to USPTO patent law, a design patent is awarded to any individual who has envisioned any original and no obvious ornamental design for an article of production. The design patent only covers the appearance of an object, not its structural or functional characteristics.

What are Designs?

As per the Designs Act 2000, “Design” means only the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament, or composition of lines or colors applied to any article, whether in two-dimensional or three-dimensional or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical or chemical, separate or combined, which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye; but does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is in substance a mere mechanical device, and does not include any trade mark as defined in clause (v) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 or property mark as defined in section 479 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or any artistic work as defined in clause (c) of section 2 of the Copyright Act, 1957.’

Filing, Prosecution and Grant of a Design patent

The registration of a design is covered in depth in Chapter II of the Designs Act, titled ‘Registration Of Designs.’ Sections 3-7 of the Act govern the registration procedure. A design patent application in India should be written in accordance with the Indian Design Act. The title of the design patent application should accurately depict the product for which the design patent application is being filed. The design patent application should include high-quality images with white backgrounds (preferably) in a variety of perspective views, including front, back, right side, left side, top, bottom, and perspective or isometric views.

The design patent application must be accompanied by a general form for design filing and submitted with the design application drafted to the Indian design office in Kolkata.

If there are no objections, the industrial design application might be granted in as little as four months. In the event of an objection to an industrial design, a response must be written and sent to the Design office, where it will be reviewed by the examiner.

The product’s design must meet all of the standards outlined in the Indian Design Act of 2000. The examiner scrutinizes the submitted design application against each of the requirements and, if identified, raises a series of queries that might be regarded as objection grounds. Consult a lawyer/ patent agent to apply now.

The inventor must respond and clarify to the Examiner that the objections are invalid, the submitted design application must be allowed based on the inventor’s position, and a design patent may be granted.

Rules for getting a Design patent

  • Novelty
  • No prior publication
  • Utility
  • Aesthetic value
  • Should improve something
  • Non-offensive
  • It should have a mark
  • Purposeful

Benefits of getting a Design Patent

There are several obvious advantages of having a design registered under the Design Act of 2000, as follows:

  • Legal Protection Against Design Plagiarism: The Design Registration procedure prevents other businesses from copying, reproducing, selling, or distributing items with identical designs to the original.
  • Validity Period Extending: A design registration certificate is good for ten years. After the validity term has expired, it can be renewed for an additional five years.
  • Provides a Differentiating Selling Point: There is little doubt that design registration provides a business owner with a distinct selling point. This means that with a registered design patent, a business entity’s products have a distinct personality and look from its competitors, and it can be monetized by selling the design or allowing it to be used under an MOU.
  • Conserves Creativity: Products with registered designs are globally unique, which means they have never been published in any WTO member country and have never been utilized by anybody in India.
  • Elicits client response: Another significant advantage of registering a design is that it only appeals to the general public and is assessed exclusively by the sight.
  • Encourages Innovation: Because uniqueness is a major criterion for Design registration, the product must be appealing and distinct enough from others to enable innovation and healthy competition.

Conclusion

The design of an item is what makes it appealing and appealing. As a result, it boosts a product’s commercial worth and marketability.

When a design is protected, the owner, i.e., the person or business that registered the design, is guaranteed an exclusive right against third-party illegal reproduction or imitation of the design. This helps to guarantee that the design of the product is unique to the owner and that the buyer can immediately identify the design of the product as someone’s intellectual property. Get advice on getting a Design Patent now!

A registered design patent can be monetised by selling the design or allowing it to be used under an MOU. To know more about this, get online legal advice.

Digant Sharma

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