How to choose the best way to protect a design in India

By Manoj K Singh, Singh & Associates, Advocates & Solicitors

The design of an article can be registered as a design, a trademark or a copyright. Three laws provide protection, each from a different perspective. Design owners need to understand this to maximize their protection from the commercial point of view.

Manoj Singh
Manoj Singh

Designs Act, 2000: As per section 2(d), “design” means only the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or composition of lines or colours applied to any article, whether two or three dimensional or both, 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.

The term “design” does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is in substance a mere mechanical device, and does not include any trademark as defined in section 2(1)(v) of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958, or any property mark as defined in section 479 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, or any artistic work as defined in section 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957.

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Manoj K Singh is the founding partner of Singh & Associates, a full-service international law firm with headquarters in New Delhi.


N-30, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi -110017 India

Tel: +91 11 4666 5000, 2668 7993, 2668 0331

Fax: +91 11 2668 2883, 4666 5001