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Industrial Design Protection Act/ Designs Act, 2000: An Analysis


The industrial designs act, 2000 is a complete code in itself, it is of statutory nature. Its role is to protect the visual design of the objects. This act extends to the whole of India. This act gives out certain definitions to clarify the meaning of the act: 

What does design mean here?[i]

1. Design refers to the shape, configuration, ornament, or composition of lines or colors applied to any article.
2. The design can be two dimensional or three dimensional or both.
3. Can be produced by industrial processes; manual, mechanical, or chemical.
4. Designs can be separate or combined.
5. Includes original work.

What does the original mean?[ii]

1. Original here refers to what is coming from the author originally.
2. Such designs may be old in themselves but their application is new.

What does the article mean?[iii]

1. Any article of manufacture.
2. Artificial or partly artificial.
3. Partly natural
4. Contains article capable of being made and sold separately.
So, according to the act any kind of design that has its originality in its application and belongs to the maker or author, and can be produced by nay methods of any nature and can be sold or made, comes under this act. Design is the physical characteristic of an article.
The design doesn’t include mode or principle of construction.
Major focus is visual appearance.

The objective of the act:

We live in a world where there is a lot of competition in the market. People have different views and ideas to bring something new every day. We tend to see unique articles every day being available to us. So where does the idea come from? These ideas are from the people who design a particular product and then manufacture it. Designing is a long process and includes a lot of effort and creativity. Here comes the need of preserving the uniqueness of the design. Whenever anyone creates something new, they register their designs for copyright, which gives them the benefit of keeping their designs unique and also gives them the legal right to sue anybody who tries to copy their designs.

The intellectual property rights cover a number of laws that help the creators to prevent piracy of their designs;
1. Trademarks
2. Copyrights
3. Patents
4. Designs
5. Geographical indications of goods
These laws give the legal right to sue any person who breaches them. 


· Protect the new or original designs created to be manufactured.
· Help against piracy.
· Showcasing the importance of registration of the design.
· Amplifying the scope of designs, restoration of lapsed designs, the lapse of design, duration of registration, etc.
· Promote design activity.
· The act also amends laws relating to the protection of design.
· To prevent loss of proprietor caused by piracy.
· To see that the originator of the design is not deprived of his reward.
· Helping in drawing customer’s attention.

What are the criteria for the registration of a design?


1. Originality: 

According to the act only work that is original or their application is completely new, are eligible for registration. In some cases, old designs can be mixed but the visuals of the designs should be new. The only change in the form and shape without any applicability originality, are not eligible under this act.
· Should be original work
· Application should be new.
· Visuals should be new.
· Mixture of old designs allowed but the manufactured product should be unique.
These are the requirements to be eligible for registration.

2. Design must be unique, prior publication is not acceptable:

When a design is made, it’s very important that should not be published or any copy of the design should not be present already in society. If such a case happens, then the design is not applicable to be published and registered. Showing the design in any platform or show is publication. Personal use of design for experimental purposes is allowed.
· Design should be unique.
· It should not be published on any platform.
· The copy of the design should not be there in the market already.
· Personal and experimental use allowed.

3. The design must follow the moral standards:

The design must follow the terms of the design act 2000, and should not be banned by the government or by any authority. The designs should not hurt the sentiments of the people. And the designs should follow the rules in section 5 of the act.

4. Design should relate the article:

The design made should be directly applicable to the article, in 3-dimensions or 2- dimensions. Thus all these, are the criteria for the acceptance of a design for registration.
What cannot be registered under this act?
· The work should be able to be sold and manufactured.
· The work should be original and new to the market.
· The designs should be unique from others.
· The design should not be inappropriate.
Things that cannot be registered:
· Structure of buildings
· Size of any article
· Trade variations.
· Mechanical contrivance.
· Parts of any article which is not manufactured or sold.
· Signs emblems or flags of any country. Etc.

Process of registration:

Application for registration (along with fees) -à to the patent office-à controller will give the application for examination-à if accepted will proceed further If rejected then will be asked for amendments (objection must get removed within three months)
After registration, the proprietor shall create the copyright of the design for 10 years.

Duration of registration:

The complete time for which an article can be registered is 15 years.


The act design 2000 is a great activity for the protection of the creators in the market today. Whenever anyone is making an article, the designs have the chances of being infringed which would cause the proprietor a tremendous rate of loss. Thus to claim for such an incident there should be proper laws that would be a part in looking into the issues and helping the creators.

[i] The designs act 2000, Section 2(d)
[ii] The design act 2000, section 2(g)
[iii] The design act 2000, Section 29(a)
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Author: Prajakta Panda

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