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1. What is the object of registration of Designs?

The object is to protect the appearance of articles that are produced by an industrial process.

2. Can stamps, labels, tokens and cards be considered as articles for the purpose of registration of Design?

Yes, they can be considered provided they have a new shape, configuration or surface pattern.

3. When does the applicant for registration of Design get the registration certificate?

When an application for registration of a Design is in order, it is accepted and registered and then a certificate of registration is issued to the applicant. However, a separate request needs to be made to the Controller for obtaining a certified copy of the certificate for use in legal proceedings or for registrations abroad.

4. What is the Register of Designs?

The Register of Designs is a document maintained by the Patent Office, Kolkata, as a statutory requirement.It contains the design number, class number, date of filing (in India), reciprocity date (if any), name and address of proprietor and other such information as would affect the validity of proprietorship of the Design.

5. Is the Register of Designs open for inspection?

Yes, the Register of Designs is open for public inspection on payment of the prescribed fee. An extract from the Register may also be obtained on request along with the prescribed fee.

6. What is the effect of obtaining a Design registration?

The registration of a Design confers upon the registered proprietor 'Copyright' in the design for the period of registration. Copyright means the exclusive right to apply a Design to the article belonging to the class in which it is registered.

7. What is the term of a Design registration?

The term is 15 years from the date of registration of the Design.

8. What is the date of the Design registration?

Normally, the date of making the application for registration is the date of registration of the Design. In other words, the Design right starts from the date of making the application. However, in the cases of a Design application claiming priority from a previously filed application in a convention country, the date of filing the application in the convention country is the date of registration of the Design.

9. Is it possible to re-register a Design in respect of which Copyright has expired?

No, once the term of the Design expires, it falls into the public domain and cannot be renewed.

10. How can one ascertain whether registration subsists in respect of any Design?

For ascertaining whether registration subsists in respect of a Design, a request needs to be made to the Patent Office, Kolkata. If the serial number of the registered Design is known, the request should be made on Form 6, otherwise on Form 7, together with the prescribed fee.

11. Is it compulsory to mark an article whose design is registered under the Designs Act?

No, it is not compulsory but if the article is not marked, the Design-holder is not likely to receive damages in an infringement case.

12. Is it mandatory to make the article by an industrial process or means, before making an application for registration of Design?

No it is not mandatory. Applications can be made even for concepts such as a computer-rendered concept or drawing as long as the concept can be reproduced on the article by an industrial process eventually.

13. Why is it important for filing the application for registration of Design at the earliest possible?

First-to-file rule is applicable for registrability of Design. If two or more applications relating to an identical or similar design are filed on different dates, only the first application will be granted registration. Secondly, the delay to file may also increase the chances of loss of novelty through publication.

14. Can the same applicant make an application for the same Design again, if the prior application has been abandoned?

Yes, the same applicant can apply again since no publication of the abandoned application is made by the Patent Office (and provided the applicant does not publish the said design in the meanwhile).

15. How does one get information on registered Designs?

Registered Designs are published every Friday in the Patent Journal. In addition, it is now possible to conduct searches through the Register of Designs to ascertain whether a particular design is registered or not.

16. Is it possible to transfer the right of ownership of a registered Design?

Yes, it is possible. Transfer takes place by means of an assignment deed which must be in writing. The request for transfer must be made within 2 months from the date of the assignment.

17. What is meant by priority claiming?

India is a party to the Paris Convention. If an application is first filed in another convention country on a particular date, and then subsequently filed in India within 6 months, the Indian application will be treated as if it was filed on the same date as in the other convention country.

18. Can the name, address of proprietor or address for service be altered in the Register of Designs?

Yes, all these particulars can be altered in the Register of Designs.

19. How does a registration of a design stop other people from exploiting the design?

If a registered Design is exploited in an unauthorised manner, such exploitation can be stopped in a court of law (not the Patent Office) by a civil suit. The Design-holder may also ask for damages to the extent of INR 50,000 for each case of Design infringement.

20. What artistic work is not considered as subject matter of a Design registration?

Artistic works that are not capable of being applied on an article by an industrial process are not considered as subject matter of a Design registration.

21. What is meant by classes under the Designs Act or Rules?

All articles have been classified in the Indian Design Act into various classes for the convenience of both the applicants and the Design Office for the purpose of Design registration. Applications for Design registration have to be made in a particular class. One cannot apply for the same Design in more than one class.