1. What is an Industrial Design?
An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or colour.
Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft: from technical and medical instruments to watches, jewellery and other luxury items; from house wares and electrical appliances to vehicles and architectural structures; from textile designs to leisure goods.
An industrial design is primarily of an aesthetic or visual nature, and does not relate to the technical features of an article.
2. Advantages of Registered Designs
The owner is able to prevent unauthorized copying or imitation of his or her design by third parties. In addition, as industrial designs add to the commercial value of a product & facilitate its marketing & commercialization, their protection helps ensure that a fair return on investment is obtained.
Protection of industrial designs encourages fair competition & honest trade practices. It leads to the production of more aesthetically attractive & diversified products, thereby broadening consumer choice.
Industrial design protection acts as a spur to a country’s economic development by contributing to the expansion of commercial activities & by enhancing the export potential of national product.
3. Disadvantages of Unregistered Designs
The owner is unable to prevent unauthorized copying or limitation of his or her design by third parties.
Non-protection of industrial designs discourages unfair competition & dishonest trade practices.
4. What may not be registered?
The following do not constitute registrable designs within meaning of the Ordinance:
- A design, which in the opinion of the Registrar of Designs is not new or original.
- A design which is the same as a design already registered or published anywhere in the world before the date of the application (or, in the case of an application claiming priority of date under Section 11, before the priority date), or which differs from such prior design only in immaterial details or in features which are variants commonly used in the trade.
But under Section 6 of the Ordinance, the following is an exception to this rule:
- “Where the registered proprietor of a design registered in respect of any article makes an application.
a. for registration in respect of one or more other articles of the registered design, or
b. for registration in respect of the same or one or more other articles of a design consisting of the registered design with modifications or variations not sufficient to alter the character or substantially to affect the identity thereof.
The application shall not be refused and the registration made on that application should not be invalidated by reason only of the previous registration or publication of the registered design:
Provided that the period of registration of a design registered by virtue of this section shall not extend beyond the expiration of the original and extended period of registration in the original registered design”.
- A method or principle of construction, or an improvement in the construction, arrangement or application of machinery.
- Anything, which is in substance a mere mechanical device. In other words, a design consisting features of shape or configuration which are dictated solely by the function which the article to be made in that shape or configuration has to perform.
- Any Trade Marks as defined in Section 2 of the Trade Marks Act, 1940.
- A mere adjunction of two or more known articles of known shape or patterns.
- Copyrights in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work within the meaning of Copyrights Ordinance, 1962. In other words, works of sculpture, other than casts or models used or intended to be used as models or patterns to be multiplied by any industrial process; wall plaques and medals; and printed mater primarily of a literary or artistic character including book-jackets, calendars, certificates, coupons, dressmaking patterns, greeting cards, leaflets, maps plans, postcards, stamps, trade advertisements, trade forms and cards, transfers and the like.
- A design containing a reproduction or imitation of the armorial bearings, emblems, seals, coat-of-arms, insignia, orders of chivalry, decorations or flags of any country, city, borough, town, place, society, body corporate, institution or person, or the name or portrait of a living or dead person, unless the consent of the appropriate official or person to the registration of design is furnished to the Registrar.
The Pakistan Names and Emblems (Prevention of Unauthorized Use) Act, 1957 specifically precludes from registration as Design or Patents (Under the Registered Designs Ordinance, 2000 and the Patents Ordinance, 2000) the following names or emblems, and their reproductions or imitations.