Indian Design (Amendment) Rules, 2021

The Design Rules, 2021 published by DPIIT under The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the Official Gazette of India on 25th January 2021 have come into force with immediate effect. A gist of these revised rules is summarized as under:

  • The startup has been recognized as one of the entities for filing and prosecuting Design Applications. To be qualified as a startup, the applicant must comply with any one of the following:

(a) an entity in India recognized as a startup by the competent authority under Startup India initiative;

(b) in case of a foreign entity, an entity fulfilling the criteria for turnover and period of incorporation or registration as per Startup India Initiative and submitting declaration to that effect.

The Official fees applicable for startup is at par with that applicable to natural person.

  • The Official fees for filing and prosecuting Design Applications for the applicants under small entity have been reduced and made at par with that applicable to the natural persons/startup.
  • In case of a full or part transfer of an Application from a natural person and/ or startup and/ or small entity to a person other than a natural person, startup or small entity, the difference of fees charged, if any, shall be paid by the new applicant with the request for transfer.
  • For the purposes of the registration of designs and for these rules, articles shall be classified as per the current edition of “International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification)” published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), provided they fulfill the criteria of registration as per the provisions of Designs Act.

These Amendments will hopefully encourage startups and small entities to seek design protection for their newly designed articles notably contributing in design filing trends.