Basics of Design Law
In order to provide effective protection to designs in India and foster Indian design industry, the Designs Act was enforced by the Government of India. Based on the provisions, designs means a shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation, applied on any finished article which can be in two and/or three dimensional form. The design should appeal to eyes and be judged solely by the eye and does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is in substance a mere mechanical device. In addition, design does not include trademarks and artistic works, as defined under Trademarks Act and Copyright Act, respectively.
In order to be registrable the designs should be new or original and significantly distinguishable from known designs or combination of known designs. The designs which contain scandalous or obscene matter are not registrable under the designs act. A design is new or novel, when it has not been disclosed to the public anywhere in the world by any means, prior the date of filing of the first application for design protection.
In order to promote the small medium scale industries and start-ups, the Government of India has introduced provisions of reduced official fee akin to other jurisdictions. However, the applicants belonging to such sections have to provide necessary/prescribed documents for claiming the fee benefit.