Till recently, the provisions of the Design Act were being interpreted by the IPO as being applicable and giving protection only to the object applied for in the application, i.e. the registration was limited to only the model depicted in the application, or a limited application.
Let me illustrate by an example, if a particular class and sub-class example were used for a product, then the registration was limited to only the class and sub-class. This was a very limited registration and at times frustrating for both the Applicant / Agents.
Good news is at hand. Last week, our CGPDTM issued a clarification order expanding the manner in which the Act and Rules are applied.
Our Designs Act, 2000 provides for registration and protection for designs, and under Section 5, clause 3 of the Act, “A design may be registered in not more than one class.” Section 6(1) further provides, “A design may be registered in respect of any or all of the articles comprised in prescribed class of articles.” Reading the Act with the Design Rules 2001, Rule 11(2) provides, “The application shall state the class in which the design is to be applied.
The clarification states, A joint reading of the Act and Rules shows that one application can be made for one or all articles comprised in a class. Accordingly, the articles may come under one or more sub-classes listed under the same class.
The order clarifies, “[A]n application under Section 5 of the Act for registration of design can be made for any one or all of the articles in that particular class, irrespective of the sub-classes therein.
Further, if it is desired to register the same design in more than one class, a separate application for each class of the article must be made.
This is welcome news!