Article by Vijay Pal Dalmia, Advocate, Supreme
Court of India and Delhi High Court, Partner & Head of
Intellectual Property Laws Division, Vaish Associates Advocates,
Industrial Design, also known as Patent Design in some parts of
the world is protected in India under the (Indian) Designs Act,
Industrial Design refers to creative activity which results in
the ornamental or formal appearance of a product. It is to be noted
that India is also a member country of the Paris Convention for
Protection of Industrial Property, 1883 under the arrangement of
which a design from a member country is protected under the
(Indian) Designs Act, 2000 in a similar manner as an Indian design
is protected. It is important to note that India being a member of
the Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property, 1883
accords equal protection to the Industrial Designs which are
registered in Norway as provided under the (Indian) Designs Act,
However, registration of a design in India is a pre-condition
for claiming and enforcing any right under the (Indian) Designs
Act, 2000. Protection to any foreign Industrial Design is subject
to a precondition i.e. any design which is registered in a
country, must be applied for registration in India within a period
of 6 months from the date of the first convention application, i.e.
the first application in the foreign country. The advantage of
filing an application within a period of six months from the date
of first application is that the Indian application will be treated
to have been filed on the same date when the first application for
the registration of design was filed.
Registrable Industrial Designs
Features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or
composition of lines or colours applied to any article, whether in
two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms, can be
registered under the (Indian) Designs Act, 2000. However,
functionality aspects of a design are not protected under the
(Indian) Designs Act, 2000 as the same are subject matter of
Registration, Cancellation and Enforcement of Designs
Design of an article is not registrable in India, if it -
is not new or original;
has been disclosed to the public
anywhere in India or in any other country by publication
in tangible form or by use in any other way prior to the filing
date or priority date of the application;
is not significantly distinguishable
from known designs or combination of known designs;
comprises or contains scandalous or
The above grounds may also be used for cancellation of the
registration of any design, and as a defense in an infringement
It is advised that any foreign entity, interested in protecting
any of its Industrial Design in India, should file an application
for registration of design in India within 6 months from the date
of the corresponding convention application, i.e. the first
application filed in the home country. The advantage of filing an
application within a period of six months from the date of first
application is that the Indian application will be treated to have
been filed on the same date when the first application for the
registration of design was filed.
Duration of Protection of a Design
Initially a protection of 10 years is given to the proprietor of
a registered design with regard to exclusive rights to sell, make
or import the articles and initiating an action against an
infringer. This initial period of 10 years can be further extended
by a period of 5 years on the payment of renewal fees. In India the
maximum validity of a registration under the (Indian) Designs Act,
2000 can be 15 years.
The (Indian) Designs Act, 2000 also introduces international
system of classification for registration. Restoration of lapsed
designs or renewal of expired registration is also permitted under
the (Indian) Designs Act, 2000.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist professional advice should
be sought about your specific circumstances. The views expressed in
this article are solely of the authors of this article.
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