An industrial design can add value to a product, as well as make it more appealing and engaging to buyers. It can even serve as a unique selling point. As a result, any manufacturer or designer's business strategy should include safeguarding valuable designs.
To protect an industrial design, you must first register it. Once registered, the owner of the design has the sole right to prevent others from using, copying, or duplicating it. This makes sense because it boosts the company’s competitiveness and, in many cases, generates additional income. The benefits of design registration in India will be discussed in this blog.
Before we go into the benefits of design registration, it’s important to first grasp what design is and why it’s important. Design is becoming increasingly important during the designing phase. It is obvious that a product’s design might have its own market niche. This is true not only for three-dimensional objects like bikes, tea bags, bowls, and other such items, but also for two-dimensional designs like schematics, wallpapers, and logos.
The visual representation of products or packaging is protected with design registration. Many businesses rely on copyright (which occurs automatically and frequently) to provide enough protection. However, in a debate, the opposing party will deny the existence of Copyright. As a result, design registration is the best option.
Importance of Design Registration
- Design registration is essentially a catalog of a product’s patterns, shape, design, and ornamentation
- Design registration is governed by the rules and procedures of various patent offices. In India, registration is done under the Designs Act 2000, which provides 10 years of design protection for registered designs, with the option to renew for an additional 5 years
- In the face of fierce market rivalry, design protection is an efficient way to protect industrial and product designs against copying or duplicating
- According to a survey by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), India has filed 65,447 industrial design applications in the last 9 years, with 51,225 of these being registered
- This simply goes to show how important and beneficial design registration is in helping businesses develop and investors invest their money & time in safeguarding their designs.
Benefits of Design Registration
As it’s evident that design registration is rather common nowadays, let us look at some of the advantages of design registration under a specific Patent office. Besides the benefit of securing protection from imitators, design registration has the following advantages:
Ability to Sue
Once a design is officially registered, the owner of the design has the right to sue any imitator. This guarantees that the owner of the Design may preserve their market share by retaining exclusivity over their product or industrial design. As of 2019, counterfeit items account for 3.3% of global trade, which means that registering designs gives businesses the ability to sue the growing number of counterfeiters.
A design registration certificate is valid for 10 years, after which it can be renewed or extended for a further 5 years.
Legal Protection Against Plagiarism
One of the most important advantages of design registration is that it provides legal protection against plagiarism. This process prevents other businesses from copying, selling, distributing, or duplicating their products with a similar design to the original.
Increased Commercial Worth
Design registration by a patent authority boosts the product’s commercial value and increases its marketability. This is due to the fact that a product with an owner’s design has higher product placement in the eyes of potential customers.
Fair Market Competition
From a broad perspective, when a large number of innovators register their designs, it creates a competitive spirit among market participants. This pushes R&D activity, which fosters more innovation and equal benefits for businesses and customers.
Induce Customer Response
Another important advantage of design registration is that it only appeals to customers and is judged or examined only by sight.
Return on Investment
The applicant company or organization receives the exclusive right to commercialize their product after registering a design. It also improves their intangible assets and contributes to their IP (Intellectual Property) portfolio. These assets frequently generate additional revenue streams, resulting in excellent returns on investment.
A registered design is accompanied by all essential documents that include the concept and design art that distinguishes it from others. This essentially gives the design’s owner a competitive advantage in their market due to a flawless business model view.
Ability to License-Out
Design owners who have their designs registered with a certain patent authority acquire the ability to license out their designs to third-party producers. They can do so inside their own patent jurisdiction in order to benefit from the lucrative royalties paid by the licensee company.
While there are certain advantages to design registration, it is important to note that the rules and procedures for design registration vary amongst IP jurisdictions. While the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) may have set norms, the Indian Patent Office (IPO) has its own set of rules. As a result, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with all of a jurisdiction’s rules and regulations before applying for design registration.