• Designs Act, 2000: Bare Act

  • CHAPTER I : PRELIMINARY

    2. Definitions.- In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-

    (a) "article" means any article of manufacture and any substance, artificial, or partly artificial and partly natural; and includes any part of an article capable of being made and sold separately;

    (b) "Controller" means the Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks referred to in section 3;

    (c) "copyright" means the exclusive right to apply a design to any article in any class in which the design is registered;

    (d) "design" means only the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or composition of lines or colours applied to any article whether in two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual mechanical or chemical, separate or combined, which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye; but does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is in substance a mere mechanical device, and does not include any trade mark as defined in clause (v) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 (43 of 1958) or property mark as defined in section 479 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or any artistic work as defined in clause (c) of section 2 of the Copyright Act, 1957.o(14 of 1957)

    (e) "High Court" shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (i) of section 2 of the Patents Act, 1970 (39 of 1970)

    (f) "legal representative" means a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person;

    (g) "original", in relation to a design, means originating from the author of such design and includes the cases which though old in themselves yet are new in their application;

    (h) "patent office" means the patent office referred to in section 74.of the Patents Act, 1970 (39 of 1970)

    (i) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

    (j) "proprietor of a new or original design",-

    (i) where the author of the design, for good consideration, executes the work for some other person, means the person for whom the design is so executed;

    (ii) where any person acquires the design or the right to apply the design to any article, either exclusively of any other person or otherwise, means, in the respect and to the extent in and to which the design or right has been so acquired, the person b whom the design or right is so acquired; and

    (iii) in any other case, means the author of the design; and where the property in or the right to apply, the design has devolved from the original proprietor upon any other person, includes that other person.

    CHAPTER II : REGISTRATION OF DESIGNS

    3. Controller and other officers.- (1) The Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks appointed under sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 (43 of 1958) shall be the Controller of Designs for the purposes of this Act.

    (2) For the purposes of this Act, the Central Government may appoint as many examiners and other officers with such designations as it thinks fit.

    (3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the officers appointed under sub-section (2) shall discharge under the superintendence and directions of the Controller such functions of the Controller under this Act as he may, from time to time, by general or special order in writing, authorise them to discharge.

    (4) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (3), the Controller may, by order in writing and for reasons to be recorded therein, withdraw any matter pending before an officer appointed under sub-section (2) and deal with such matter himself either de novo or from the stage it was so withdrawn or transfer the same to another officer appointed under sub-section (2) who may, subject to special directions in the order of transfer, proceed with the matter either de novo or from th stage it was so transferred.

    4. Prohibition of registration of certain designs.- A design which-

    (a) is not new or original; or

    (b) has been disclosed to the public any where in India or in any other country by publication in tangible form or by use or in any other way prior to the filing date, or where applicable, the priority date of the application for registration; or

    (c) is not significantly distinguishable from known designs or combination of known designs; or

    (d) comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter, shall not be registered.

    5. Application for registration of designs.- (1) The Controller may, on the application of any person claiming to be the proprietor of any new or original design not previously published in any country and which is not contrary to public order or morality register the design under this Act:

    Provided that the Controller shall before such registration refer the application for examination, by an examiner appointed under sub-section (2) of section 3, as to whether such design is capable of being registered under this Act and the rules made there under and consider the report of the examiner on such reference.

    (2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be in the prescribed form and shall be filed in the patent office in the prescribed manner and shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

    (3) A design may be registered in not more than one class, and, in case of doubt as to the class in which a design ought to be registered, the Controller may decide the question.

    (4) The Controller may, if he thinks fit, refuse to register any design presented to him for registration; but any person aggrieved by any such refusal may appeal to the High Court.

    (5) An application which, owing to any default or neglect on the part of the applicant, has not been completed so as to enable registration to be effected within the prescribed time shall be deemed to be abandoned.

    (6) A design when registered shall be registered as of the date of the application for registration.

    6. Registration to be in respect of particular article.- (1) A design may be registered in respect of any or all of the articles comprised in a prescribed class of articles.

    (2) Any question arising as to the class within which any article falls shall be determined by the Controller whose decision in the matter shall be final.

    (3) Where a design has been registered in respect of any article comprised in a class of article, the application of the proprietor of the design to register it in respect of some one or more other articles comprised in that class of articles shall not b refused, nor shall the registration thereof invalidated-

    (a) on the ground of the design not being a new or original design, by reason only that it was so previously registered; or

    (b) on the ground of the design having been previously published in India or in any other country, by reason only that it has been applied to article in respect of which it was previously registered: Provided that such subsequent registration shall not extend the period of copyright in the design beyond that arising from previous registration.

    (4) Where any person makes an application for the registration of a design in respect of any article and either-

    (a) that design has been previously registered by another person in respect of some other article; or

    (b) the design to which the application relates consists of a design previously registered by another person in respect of the same or some other article with modifications or variations not sufficient to alter the character or substantially to affect the identity thereof, then, if at any time while the application is pending the applicant becomes the registered proprietor of the design previously registered, the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply as if at the time of making the application, the applicant, has been the registered proprietor of that design.

    7. Publication of particulars of registered designs.- The Controller shall, as soon as may be after the registration of a design, cause publication of the prescribed particulars of the design to be published in such manner as may be prescribed and thereafter the design shall be open to public inspection.

    8. Power of Controller to make orders regarding substitution of application, etc.-(1) If the Controller is satisfied on a claim made in the prescribed manner at any time before a design has been registered that by virtue of any assignment or agreement in writing made by the applicant or one of the applicants for registration of the design or by operation of law, the claimant would, if the design were then registered, be entitled thereto or to the interest of the applicant therein, or to an undivided share of the design or of that interest, the Controller may, subject to the provisions of this section, direct that the application shall proceed in the name of the claimant or in the names of the claimants and the applicant or the other joint applicant or applicants, accordingly, as the case may require.

    (2) No such direction as aforesaid shall be given by virtue of any assignment or agreement made by one of two or more joint applicants for registration of a design except with the consent of the other joint applicant or applicants.

    (3) No such direction as aforesaid shall be given by virtue of any assignment or agreement for the assignment of the benefit of a design unless-

    (a) the design is identified therein by reference to the number of the application for the registration; or

    (b) there is produced to the Controller an acknowledgment by the person by whom the assignment or agreement was made that the assignment or agreement relates to the design in respect of which that application is made; or

    (c) the rights of the claimant in respect of the design have been finally established by the decision of a court; or

    (d) the Controller gives directions for enabling the application to proceed or for regulating the manner in which it should be proceeded with under sub-section (5).

    (4) Where one of two or more joint applicants for registration of a design dies at any time before the design has been registered, the Controller may, upon a request in that behalf made by the survivor or survivors, and with the consent of the legal representative of the deceased, direct that the application shall proceed in the name of the survivor or survivors alone.

    (5) If any dispute arises between joint applicants for registration of a design whether or in what manner the application should be proceeded with, the Controller may, upon application made to him in the prescribed manner by any of the parties, and after giving to all parties concerned an opportunity to be heard, give such directions as he thinks fit for enabling the application to proceed in the name of one or more of the parties alone or for regulating the manner in which it should be proceeded with, o for both those purposes, as the case may require.

    9. Certificate of registration.- (1) The Controller shall grant a certificate of registration to the proprietor of the design when registered.

    (2) The Controller may, in case of loss of the original certificate, or in any other case in which he deems it expedient, furnish one or more copies of the certificate.

    10. Register of designs.- (1) There shall be kept at the patent office a book called the register of designs, wherein shall be entered the names and addresses of proprietors of registered designs, notifications of assignments and of transmissions of registered designs, and such other matter as may be prescribed and such register may be maintained wholly or partly on computer floppies or diskettes, subject to such safeguards as may be prescribed.

    (2) Where the register is maintained wholly or partly on computer floppies or diskettes under sub-section (1), any reference in this Act to any entry in the register shall be construed as the reference to the entry so maintained on computer floppies or iskettes.

    (3) The register of designs existing at the commencement of this Act shall be incorporated with and form part of the register of designs under this Act.

    (4) The register of designs shall be prima facie evidence of any matter by this Act directed or authorized to be entered therein.

    CHAPTER III : COPYRIGHT IN REGISTERED DESIGNS

    11. Copyright on registration.- (1) When a design is registered, the registered proprietor of the design shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have copyright in the design during ten years from the date of registration.

    (2) If, before the expiration of the said ten years, application for the extension of the period of copyright is made to the Controller in the prescribed manner, the Controller shall, on payment of the prescribed fee, extend the period of copyright for a second period of five years from the expiration of the original period of ten years.

    12. Restoration of lapsed designs.- (1) Where a design has ceased to have effect by reason of failure to pay the fee for the extension of copyright under sub-section (2) of section 11, the proprietor of such design or his legal representative and where the design was held by two or more persons jointly, then, with the leave of the Controller one or more of them without joining the others, may, within one year from the date on which the design ceased to have effect, make an application for the restoration f the design in the prescribed manner on payment of such fee as may be prescribed.

    (2) An application under this section shall contain a statement, verified in the prescribed manner, fully setting out the circumstances which led to the failure to pay the prescribed fee, and the Controller may require from the applicant such further evidence as he may think necessary.

    13. Procedure for disposal of applications for restoration of lapsed designs.- (1) If, after hearing the applicant in cases where the applicant so desires or the Controller thinks fit, the Controller is satisfied that the failure to pay the fee for extension on of the period of copyright was unintentional and that there has been no undue delay in the making of the application, the Controller shall upon payment of any unpaid fee for extension of the period of copyright together with prescribed additional fee restore the registration of design.

    (2) The Controller may, if he thinks fit as a condition of restoring the design, require that any entry shall be made in the register of any document or matter which under the provisions of this Act, has to be entered in the register but which has not be n so entered.

    14. Rights of proprietor of lapsed design which have been restored.- (1) Where the registration of a design is restored, the rights of the registered proprietor shall be subject to such provisions as may be prescribed and to such other provisions as the Controller thinks fit to impose for the protection or compensation of persons who may have begun to avail themselves of, or have taken definite steps by contract or otherwise to avail themselves of, the benefit of applying the design between the date when he registration of the design ceased to have effect and the date of restoration of the registration of the design.

    (2) No suit or other proceeding shall be commenced in respect of piracy of a registered design or infringement of the copyright in such design committed between the date on which the registration of the design ceased to have effect and the date of the restoration of the design.

    16. Effect of disclosure on copyright.- The disclosure of a design by the proprietor to any other person, in such circumstances as would make it contrary to good faith for that other person to use or publish the design, and the disclosure of a design in b each of good faith by any person, other than the proprietor of the design, and the acceptance of a first and confidential order for articles bearing a new or original textile design intended for registration, shall not be deemed to be a publication of the design sufficient to invalidate the copyright thereof if registration thereof is obtained subsequently to the disclosure or acceptance.

    18. Information as to existence of copyright.- On the request of any person furnishing such information as may enable the Controller to identify the design, and on payment of the prescribed fee, the Controller shall inform such person whether the registration still exists in respect of the design, and, if so, in respect of what classes of articles, and shall state the date of registration, and the name and address of the registered proprietor.

    20. Designs to bind Government.- A registered design shall have to all intents the like effect as against the Government as it has against any person and the provisions of Chapter XVII of the Patents Act, 1970 (39 of 1970) shall apply to registered design as they apply to patents.

    CHAPTER IV : INDUSTRIAL AND INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS

    21. Provisions as to exhibitions.- The exhibition of a design, or of any article to which a design is applied, at an industrial or other exhibition to which the provisions of this section have been extended by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette, or the publication of a description of the design, during or after the period of the holding of the exhibition, or the exhibition of the design or the article or the publication of a description of the design by any person elsewhere during or after the period of the holding of the exhibition, without the privity or consent of the proprietor, shall not prevent the design from being registered or invalidate the registration thereof:

    Provided that-

    (a) the exhibitor exhibiting the design or article, or publishing a description of the design, gives to the Controller previous notice in the prescribed form; and

    (b) the application for registration is made within six months from the date of first exhibiting the design or article or publishing a description of the design.

    CHAPTER V : LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

    22. Piracy of registered design.- (1) During the existence of copyright in any design it shall not be lawful for any person-

    (a) for the purpose of sale to apply or cause to be applied to any article in any class of articles in which the design is registered, the design or any fraudulent or obvious imitation thereof, except with the licence or written consent of the registered proprietor, or to do anything with a view to enable the design to be so applied; or

    (b) to import for the purposes of sale, without the consent of the registered proprietor, any article belonging to the class in which the design has been registered, and having applied to it the design or any fraudulent or obvious imitation thereof; or

    (c) knowing that the design or any fraudulent or obvious imitation thereof has been applied to any article in any class of articles in which the design is registered without the consent of the registered proprietor, to publish or expose or cause to be published or exposed for sale that article.

    (2) If any person acts in contravention of this section, he shall be liable for every contravention-

    (a) to pay to the registered proprietor of the design a sum not exceeding twenty-five thousand rupees recoverable as a contract debt, or

    (b) if the proprietor elects to bring a suit for the recovery of damages for any such contravention, and for an injunction against the repetition thereof, to pay such damages as may be awarded and to be restrained by injunction accordingly: Provided that the total sum recoverable in respect of any one design under clause (a) shall not exceed fifty thousand rupees: Provided further that no suit or any other proceeding for relief under this sub-section shall be instituted in any court below the court of District Judge.

    (3) In any suit or any other proceeding for relief under sub-section (2), every ground on which the registration of a design may be cancelled under section 19 shall be available as a ground of defence.

    (4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the second proviso to sub-section (2), where any ground on which the registration of a design may be cancelled under section 19 has been availed of as a ground of defence and sub-section (3) in any suit or other proceeding for relief under sub-section (2), the suit or such other proceeding shall be transferred by the court, in which the suit or such other proceeding is pending, to the High Court for decision.

    (5) When the court makes a decree in a suit under sub-section (2), it shall send a copy of the decree to the Controller, who shall cause an entry thereof to be made in the register of designs.

    23. Application of certain provisions of the Act as to patents to designs.- The provisions of the Patents Act, 1970 (39 of 1970) with regard to certificates of the validity of a patent, and to the remedy in case of groundless threats of legal proceedings patentee shall apply in the case of registered designs in like manner as they apply in the case of patents, with the substitution of references to the copyright in a design for reference to a patent, and of references to the proprietor of a design of references to the patentee, and of references to the design for references to the invention.

    CHAPTER VI : GENERAL

    24. Fees.- (1) There shall be paid in respect of the registration of designs and applications therefore and in respect of other matters relating to designs under this Act such fees as may be prescribed.

    (2) A proceeding in respect of which a fee is payable under this Act or the rules made there under shall be of no effect unless the fee has been paid.

    26. Inspection of and extracts from registers.- Every register kept under this Act shall at all convenient times be open to the inspection of the public, subject to the provisions of this Act; and certified copies, sealed with the seal of the patent office, of any entry in any such register shall be given to any person requiring the same on payment of the prescribed fee:

    Provided that where such register is maintained wholly or partly on computer, the inspection of such register under this section shall be made by inspecting the computer print out of the relevant entry in the register so maintained on computer.

    28. Prohibition and publication of specification, drawings, etc., where application abandoned, etc.- Where an application for a design has been abandoned or refused, the application and any drawings, photographs, tracings, representations or specimens left in connection with the application shall not at any time be open to public inspection or be published by the Controller.

    29. Power of Controller to correct clerical errors.- The Controller may, on request in writing accompanied by the prescribed fee, correct any clerical error in the representation of a design or in the name or address of the proprietor of any design, or in any other matter, which is entered upon the register of designs.

    31. Rectification of register.- (1) The Controller may, on the application in the prescribed manner of any person aggrieved by the non-insertion in or omission from the register of designs of any entry, or by any entry made in such register without sufficient cause, or by any entry wrongly remaining on such register, or by an error or defect in any entry in such register, make such order for making, expunging or varying such entry as he thinks fit and rectify the register accordingly.

    (2) The Controller may, in any proceeding under this section, decide any question that may be necessary or expedient to decide in connection with the rectification of a register.

    (3) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from any order of the Controller under this section and the Controller may refer any application under this section to the High Court for decision, and the High Court shall dispose of any application so referred.

    (4) Any order of the Court rectifying a register shall direct that notice of the rectification be served on the Controller in the prescribed manner who shall upon the receipt of such notice rectify the register accordingly.

    (5) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to empower the Controller to make any such order canceling the registration of a design as is provided for in section 19

    CHAPTER VII : POWERS AND DUTIES OF CONTROLLER

    32. Powers of Controller in proceedings under Act.- Subject to any rules made in this behalf, the Controller in any proceedings before him under this Act shall have the powers of a civil court for the purpose of receiving evidence, administering oaths, enforcing the attendance of witnesses, compelling the discovery and production of documents, issuing commissions for the examining of witnesses and awarding costs and such award shall be executable in any court having jurisdiction as if it were a decree o that court.

    33. Exercise of discretionary power by Controller.- Where any discretionary power is by or under this Act given to the Controller, he shall not exercise that power adversely to the applicant for registration of a design without (if so required within the prescribed time by the applicant) giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard.

    35. Refusal to register a design in certain cases.- (1) The Controller may refuse to register a design of which the use would, in his opinion, be contrary to public order or morality.

    (2) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from an order of the Controller under this section.

    36. Appeals to the High Court.- (1) Where an appeal is declared by this Act to lie from the Controller to the High Court, the appeal shall be made within three months of the date of the order passed by the Controller.

    (2) In calculating the said period of three months, the time (if any) occupied in granting a copy of the order appealed against shall be excluded.

    (3) The High Court may, if it thinks fit, obtain the assistance of an expert in deciding such appeals, and the decision of the High Court shall be final. (4) The High Court may make rules consistent with this Act as to the conduct and procedure of all proceedings under this Act before it.

    CHAPTER IX : AGENCY

    43. Agency.- (1) All applications and communications to the Controller under this Act may be signed by, and all attendances upon the Controller may be made by or through a legal practitioner or by or through an agent whose name maintained under section 125 of the Patents Act, 1970 (39 of 1970) and address had been enter d in the register of patent agents (2) The Controller may, if he sees fit, require-

    (a) any such agent to be resident in India;

    (b) any person not residing in India to employ an agent residing in India;

    (c) the personal signature or presence of any applicant or other person.

    CHAPTER X : POWERS, ETC., OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

    44. Reciprocal arrangement with the United Kingdom and other convention countries or group of countries or inter-governmental organizations.- (1) Any person who has applied for protection for any design in the United Kingdom or any of other convention countries or group of countries or countries which are members of inter-governmental organisations, or his legal representative or assignee shall, either alone or jointly with any other person, be entitled to claim that the registration of the said design under this Act shall be in priority to other applicants and shall have the same date as the date of the application in the United Kingdom or any of such other convention countries or group of countries or countries which are members of inter-governmental organisations, as the case may be:

    Provided that-

    (a) the application is made within six months from the application for protection in the United Kingdom or any such other convention countries or group of countries or countries which are members of inter-governmental organisations, as the case may be; and

    (b) nothing in this section shall entitle the proprietor of the design to recover damages for piracy of design happening prior to the actual date on which the design is registered in India.

    (2) The registration of a design shall not be invalidated by reason only of the exhibition or use of or the publication of a description or representation of the design in India during the period specified in this section as that within which the application may be made.

    (3) The application for registration of a design under this section has been made in the same manner as an ordinary application under this Act.

    (4) Where it is made to appear to the Central Government that the legislature of the United Kingdom or any such other convention country or a country which is member of any group of countries or inter-governmental organisation as may be notified by the Central Government in this behalf has made satisfactory provision for the protection of designs registered in India, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that the provisions of this section, with such variations or additions, if any, as may be set out in such notification, shall apply for the protection of designs registered in the United Kingdom or that other convention country or such country which is member of any group of countries or inter-governmental organisation, as the case may be.

    Explanation 1.-For the purposes of this section, the expression "convention countries", "group of countries" or "inter-governmental organisation" means, respectively, such countries, group of countries or inter-governmental organisation to which the Pari Convention for Protection of Industrial Property, 1883 as revised at Stockholm in 1967 and as amended in 1979 or the Final Act, embodying the results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, provided for the establishment of World Trade Organisation applies.

    Explanation 2.-Where more than one application for protection referred to in sub-section (1) has been made for similar protections in the United Kingdom or one or more convention countries, group of countries or countries which are members of inter-governmental organisations, the period of six months referred to in clause (a) of that sub-section shall be reckoned from the date of which the earlier or the earliest application, as the case may be, of such applications has been made.

    46. Protection of security of India.- Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Controller shall-

    (a) not disclose any information relating to the registration of a design or any application relating to the registration of a design under this Act, which he considers any action regarding the cancellation of registration of such designs registered under this Act which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in the interest of the security of India. prejudicial to the interest of the security of India; and

    (b) take Explanation.-For the purposes of this section, the expression "security of India" means any action necessary for the security of Indian which relates to the application of any design registered under this Act to any article used for war or applied direct y or indirectly for the purposes of military establishment or for the purposes of war or other emergency in international relations.

  • Designs Act, 2000: Bare Act

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