Protect Industrial design? In today’s market, design is very important in the visual appearance of an article or a product because people are more attracted to the design or appearance of the product these days and tend to buy the best design that catches their attention. The visual appearance of the product makes it more appealing, attractive, and distinguishable from others.
As a result, great designs are important for business since companies devote time and money to innovate, produce, and develop new or original products. An industrial design is concerned with the “appearance of an object,” that is, how the thing appears, and its appearance. It does not safeguard the product’s technical or practical characteristics, such as how it works?
Industrial designs are used on a wide range of industrial and handcrafted items. An industrial design includes two-dimensional elements such as lines, color, and patterns and three-dimensional elements such as the form of an item.
The Design Act of 2000 was enacted to bring the designs of the product up to date with international legislation, previously, the Design Act of 1911 regulated this Act. As a result, the Design Act of 2000 now governs design laws. This article is about ‘Industrial Designs,’ a type of intellectual property. Let’s go through the definition of industrial designs, their protection, advantages, period of protection, prerequisites for protection, design registration and application procedures, piracy of registered designs.
INDUSTRIAL DESIGN PROTECTION IN INDIA
The aesthetics of any product or commodity are protected and registered in India under the Designs Act, 2000 and Designs Rules, 2001, as modified in 2008. Design refers to the features of shapes, patterns, configurations, ornaments, or composition of lines or colors applied to any article, whether in 2 dimensional or 3 dimensions, by any means or industrial process, whether hand-operated, chemical, or mechanical, separate or combined, that is addressed to and attracted solely by the eye, i.e. tangible in nature. Industrial designs, on the other hand, do not protect designs that are intangible in nature.
The Design Act’s objective is to preserve a product’s “look,” therefore it excludes any manner, technique, or principle of manufacture or process of an article or a product. As a result, this Act exclusively protects and registers designs that are purely aesthetic in character and applied to products, rather than designs determined by a practical element.
EXAMPLES OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
- The Hasselblad 500C is one of the most well-known cameras in the world, having been utilized by NASA during the Apollo lunar landings. The 500C is based on A German surveillance camera found from a crashed plane.
- The Coca-Cola contour bottle is an industrial design classic that goes back to 1915 when the Coca-Cola Company requested its bottle suppliers to create a new bottle that would be unique and easily recognized – even in the dark.
- The magnificent, undisputable, game-changing, and iconic design of the Apple products i.e. iPhone, iMac, and iPod, etc.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR INDUSTRIAL DESIGN?
In order to be safeguarded, industrial designs must be protected. The following are some elements that must be present in the industrial design:
It has to be exclusive or unique.
In India or any other country, no tangible (physical) publication should be made available to the public.
Should not be utilized before the filing date or if the registration application is applicable on the priority date.
Significantly different from previous designs or combinations of previous designs.
Public order, morals, and honesty should not be harmed.
It must not damage or harm the security or any law of India.
THINGS THAT ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE SCOPE OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
Following are the elements that are excluded from the scope of the industrial design:
- Stamps, maps, books, calendars, papers or forms, certificates, patterns, cards, pamphlets, medals, and a variety of other items that come under the category of artistic or literary works;
- Labels, tokens, cards, and cartoons.
- Any principle or method of item structure or construction.
- Any part of a machine
- Structures and buildings.
- Parts of products that have not been produced and are being offered individually.
- Simple changes to an assembly’s components in the workshop.
- A simple adjustment in the article’s size.
- Any country’s flags, symbols, or signs.
- Integrated circuit layout designs.
DURATION OF THE INDUSTRIAL DESIGN PROTECTION
The TRIPS Agreement states that protection should last at least ten years. The term can be extended for an additional five years by completing an Application for Extension together with the required fee.
ADVANTAGES OF PROTECTING THE DESIGN
In an aesthetic-driven customer base, the aesthetics of a stylish product can sometimes be as essential as or more important than its utility. As a result, it’s essential to keep the design from being copied. Obtaining exclusive rights to a product or commodity with a certain appearance may provide a significant return on investment since it allows the owner of the design to prohibit others from copying a popular design. The following are some of the advantages of design protection:
- It becomes a source of income
- Exclusive rights protection
- Investment Returns
- Enhances the value of the brand
- Supports the marketing and commercialization of products.
- Selling concepts that are unique
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR DESIGN PROTECTION?
Any person (company, partnership, minor business, and body corporate) or the legal representative or assignee can apply alone or jointly for the registration of a design under Section 5 of the Design Act, 2000. Any matter to be entered in the registration is prima facie evidence. Any individual can view the Register of Designs by submitting a request to the Controller and paying the required costs.
REGISTRATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF THE INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
Every design application for registration is subjected to the Act and Rules, as modified, on a timely basis. Anyone seeking to register a design must submit the following documents to the Patent Office’s Design Wing or any of the Patent Office’s branch offices in Delhi, Mumbai, or Chennai. The Branch Offices’ applications would be forwarded to the Patent Office for processing and prosecution. Under Sections 5 and 44 of the Design Act of 2000, applications are considered in the order in which they are filed.
- In order to apply for design registration, the following documents/forms must be submitted:
- Form 1 of the application
- Power of Attorney
- Representation sheets are a crucial document that must be included with the registration application and feature various elements and perspectives of the product that clearly illustrate the fresh and unique design. Photographs, computer images, charts, sketches, or design specimens can all be included on the representation sheets.
- Details on the types of articles that require design protection
- Details about the applicant, such as full name, permanent residence, nationality, article title, and advertisement
- A copy of the priority document that has been certified (if priority is claimed from a foreign application)
- On a case-by-case basis, extra documents may be requested.
- The classes and subclasses of commodities must be done, according to the Locarno Classification, for which registration is requested.
- The filing fee must be paid.
INFRINGEMENT OF THE PROTECTION
Section 22 of the Designs Act of 2000 deals with the infringement of registered designs. Any clear or fraudulent replication of a design that has already been registered without the permission of the owner is illegal, according to this section. It is also illegal to import any material that closely resembles a registered design. Publishing such materials or presenting conditions for sale with knowledge of the unauthorized use of the design, constitutes an infringement of the design.
This section also states that if a civil complaint is filed for design infringement, the compensation shall not exceed Rs. 50,000 for each registered design that is infringed upon, or the compensation is set by statute, it can be used as a basis for an interim injunction even before the trial begins.
Industrial designs are protected in India by the Design Act 2000, which also protects designs of small and medium-sized enterprises. Customers are influenced by the product’s design, which allows them to recognize the brand name connected with it. It is critical that everyone understands the importance of registering their design in order to protect their brand name and avoid duplication.