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. Any trademark or property mark as defined in Section 479 of the Indian Penal Code or any artistic work as defined in Clause (c) of Section 2 of the Copyright Act, 1957 also does not fall under the scope of design.
In order to protect a design in India, it must be new and original. "New" in this context means that the subject design must not have been previously published anywhere in India or in any other country in a tangible form or by use or in any other way. "Original" implies that the design should originate from the author of the design, but as a matter of fact, those old designs, which are new in terms of application, are also considered "original."
Essential requirements for the registration of design under the Designs Act, 2000:
Design applicants have been provided an electronic facility for the filing of new applications to register a design.
The foremost step in the process of design registration is the filing of Form 1, which includes: the applicant's full name, address and nationality; the name of the article, the class number and an address for service in India. The applicant or its authorized agent may sign the application.
The Design Office conducts both procedural and substantive examinations. It conducts a novelty search in the database of earlier designs applied for, registered and published in India. In case the applied design does not meet the legal requirements, an office action is issued, around one to two months after the date of filing. The applicant has to respond to such office action within six months from the date of filing of the application.
Pursuant to the examination and acceptance, the design is registered in the Register of Designs and a certificate of registration is generally issued within three months of acceptance. Thereafter, the registration is published in the Official Journal.
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