The Government of India has circulated on October 18, 2019 draft amendments to the Designs Rules, 2001 to seek suggestions from the stakeholders. The salient features of the proposed amendments is to follow the current edition (12th Edition) of Locarno Classification as published by WIPO. The change is proposed to harmonise the Indian design classification systems with the internationally accepted classification and the major change that this proposal may bring is to introduction of Class 32 of Locarno Classification in Indian design laws. Class 32 of Locarno Classification includes Graphic symbols and logos, surface patterns, ornamentation and the Indian Design law may not be very clear with respect to the registrability of graphic symbols and logos if they are not applied on any article as the case with Graphical User Interface (GUI), designs displayed on computers or mobile devices as icons. The applications for GUI are currently being objected and refused by the Design Office. The proposed amendments extends us the opportunity to raise this issue with the appropriate authorities to seek clarification and/or to suggest inclusion of those design for registration in India.
The amendments also propose to add start-ups as a new category of applicants which can avail discounted fees currently applicable to natural persons or small entities.
The draft Rules are accessible at https://dipp.gov.in/sites/default/files/draft_DesignRules_2001_23October2019.pdf and if you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to let us know as we propose to file comments with the Department by November 10, 2019