Along with the globalization and liberalization in India, there are a variety of products for the customers of the Indian market to choose from. In today’s materialistic world, appearance is more important than its utility or quality. Manufacturers and producers have to keep in regard the appearance along with the reliability. It is well said that a thing of beauty is a joy forever. In a survey, it was established that people nowadays would blindly choose an article that catches their eyes by its beautiful design. Indian consumers have numerous alternatives for a single product which have made them quite selective. Due to which producers nowadays spend a huge amount of money on the appearance of the product, in developing innovative designs to make their product’s appearance enhanced. They hire professional designers whose job is to put intellectual efforts in creating attractive and enhanced designs. Not only appointing a professional designer but also registering their design with the authority is also becoming important day by day. Design registration is done to prevent shapes, features, patterns, or ornaments. Usually, intellectual property is protected under project registration. Design can be three-dimensional objects, such as the shape or suspension of an article, or two-dimensional elements including patterns or ornaments. The words “pattern” and “decoration” refer to those items that were embossed, engraved, or embroidered.
Where a project is protected, the author has the right to sue the person or business who copies that design. This ensures that the design of the product is genuine and authentic and unique to the owner. Design registration protects the physical features of products or packaging. There are many companies that rely on ownership and provide them with adequate coverage. However, when a conflict arises another party will oppose copyright infringement. Project registration can therefore be considered as a separate way to prove the validity of certain rights. When a designer adds something different to their product it becomes a form of adding each character to the design. What is different is its approach to the market to help a new product build its position within all existing products.
There certain requirements for a design registration that are beneficial to the applicant only.
The Design Should Be Used in News: Design is the object used in an article and not the article itself. The design should be included in the article itself as in the form of a three-dimensional stand or suspension, e.g. The shape of a bottle or vase of flowers or a dual design case, e.g., wallpaper for decorative purposes. The article in which the project will be used should be something that will be presented to the consumer as a completed article.
Eye Catching: The design should be able to be applied to the article in such a way that the article in which it is used will appeal and be judged only by the eyes. A particular shape, suspension, pattern or decoration should have a visible appeal. The element of registration must be “eye-catching” and “judged by eye”. It can be constituted that,
• to attract the eye, the features must be visible from the outside.
• The feature should attract the eye of the customer.
• An eye appeal does not have to be artistic or aesthetic, as long as a particular appeal is made in a variety of form, pattern, or decoration calculated to influence the consumer’s choice.
Novel or Real: The design can only be registered if it is new or original and not published in India. The design can only be registered, if the pattern, even though is already known is used in the new article. For example, the shape of an apple when placed in a school bag would not be registered. It was held in a case, that registration could not be considered valid unless the design, which required protection, was new and original and not of the standard type that existed before. And if it contains obscene content, it will not be registered under the Act. It was argued that the experiments with novelty and originality depended on finding the type of psychological activity involved in the conception of the project in question. If the design is just a commercial variation of the previous design then the designer can be said to have retained the existing design and made some changes. There has to be a specific psychological process involved in conceiving a new design. The newness or ownership of a particular part of the article is not enough to introduce the character of youth and emergence in all. The combination of previously known designs can be registered if there is a visible impact of the whole new combination.
No Previous Publishing: The design can only be registered if it has not previously been published in India. It was held in a case that publication means the opposite of confidentiality. Exposure to even one person is enough to make a publication. Design cannot be registered under the Design Act if it is not widely separated from known designs or combinations of known designs. Creating a publishing design must be publicly available and discontinued. Eg: – The display of a design in a saree at a fashion show is the publication of that design.
Registration of design
1. The application under Section 5 will be accompanied by four copies of the suspension of the project and the application stating the phase in which the project will be registered. In India, we follow Locarno’s division of project registration consisting of 32 classes, listed 1 to 31 and additional Class 99 to include articles not falling below the 31 classes mentioned above. The process is as follows:
2. The design owner will submit an application for registration to the patent office. The application will be in the prescribed form and will be subject to the prescribed fees of Rs.1000/-. In terms of section 5 (1), an administrator on application by any person claiming to be the owner of any new or original project that has not been previously published in any country and who does not object to public order and conduct, may register the construction under the Act. The application must be accompanied by the prescribed fee and the prescribed form. The application will specify the category in which the project will be registered.
3. Prior to registration, the Controller will send an application to an inspector appointed under this Act, to determine whether such project is able to register under this Act. The Regulator will consider the inspector’s report and if the controller is satisfied that the design complies with all the requirements for registration under this Act the controller will register it. The controller may deem it appropriate to refuse the registration of construction. A person who is aggrieved by such a refusal may apply to the High Court . The Regulator may refuse to register a design, the use of which would be contrary to public order or ethics.
4. If the application is processed any objection arises from the Controller, a statement of the objection will be sent to the applicant or his or her agent. The applicant must remove the objection within one month and the communication of the opposition has failed when the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn. He or she may also apply to the Regulator for a hearing on the matter. If the Regulator rejects the application after submission, the applicant may apply directly to the Central Government.
5. The Central Government’s decision on the registration of the project is final.
6. As soon as the design is registered, the Controller will direct the publication of the details of the design, and thereafter it would be open for public inspection. A design register is kept in the patent office containing information such as the names and addresses of registered design owners, share notices and other details. The controller shall issue a registration certificate to the applicant after completion of the above procedure.