The Designs Act 2000 defines designs to mean the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament, or composition of lines or colors applied to any article, whether in two or three dimensional, or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual or 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.
The design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two- dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicrafts such as technical and medical instruments, watches, jewelry, housewares, electrical appliances, vehicles, architectural structures, textile designs, leisure goods and other luxury items. To be protected under most national laws, an industrial design must appeal to the eye. This means that an industrial design is primarily of an aesthetic nature, and does not protect any technical features of the article to which it is applied.
The owner of a protected industrial design is granted the right to prevent unauthorized copying or imitation of the design by others. This includes the right of making, offering, importing, exporting or selling any product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied. He may also license or authorize others to use the design on mutually agreed terms. The owner may also sell the right to the industrial design to someone else. The term of protection under industrial design laws is generally ten years, with the possibility of further periods of renewal up to, in most cases, 15 years. Protecting an Industrial Design
Helps to ensure a fair return on investment;
Improves the competitiveness of a business against copying and imitating the design by competitors;
Helps to increase the commercial value of a company, as successful industrial designs constitute business assets;
Encourages creativity in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, as well as in traditional arts and crafts
Opinion on whether a design is suitable for registration
Filing and prosecution of a design application
Investigating the validity of registrations
Filing and Opposing
Technical support for licensing and litigation
Negotiating and settling registered design disputes
Organizing renewals, watch, technical drawing, translation and related services
Enforcing design registration rights against an infringer