How To Protect Your Designs? Tips & Tricks to Do It Right


A design registration or an industrial design right is an intellectual property right that protects the visual aspects or the aesthetics of any product. Shape and configuration protection warrants a design registration. The way an object looks, its shape, visual appearance, colour, texture, material, lines and contours are all part of the design aspect of a product.Design can mean either two dimensional or three dimensional or both forms of design, made by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical or chemical, separate or combined. Design is judged for the finished article’s appeal to the eye and is judged solely by the eye.

Designs Act, 2000 and the Designs Rules, 2001 contain provisions to help protection of design under the Indian laws.

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A Patent Agent or a Patent Attorney is licensed to represent a client before the State (Design Registry and Offices of that state).

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A design registration is for an "article". The design should relate to features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation applied or applicable to an article. Thus, designs of industrial plans, layouts and installations cannot be registered under the Act.

The design should be applied or applicable to any article by any industrial process. Normally, designs of artistic nature like painting, sculptures and the like which are not produced in bulk by any industrial process are excluded from registration under the Act.

How to determine infringement?

Always be on the lookout for similarities in the market. Gather evidence of dates of inception, use, continuous use, market size, market similarity, class similarity, goods and services.

Conduct an online Search – Google it. Create news alerts.

Refer to the patent document that you own. Refer to similarities in design. Find differentiations. Seek expert opinion.

Symbols: Design Registration No.

Read how to protect your trademarkpatent & copyright. Also read our other article on IP here.

About the author

Chirag Tanna is a registered patent agent and Director at INK IDEE. INK IDEE is a leading Intellectual Property Rights' (IPR) boutique firm that manages all forms of IPR related queries, focusing specially on trademark and patents across various industries and sectors. INK IDEE also has a 'start-up' arm that diligently helps start-ups and entrepreneurs with IPR related advice and services, across the globe.You can reach Chirag Tanna for any IPR related questions on the website, or at

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