Rules Governing the Law of Designs Amended!

Our Associate, Rishikaa discusses “Rules Governing the Law of Designs Amended!

On January 25, 2021, the Government of India announced some significant amendments to the rules governing the law of designs.  The most significant changes introduced by the new rules are as follows:

  1. Application of the Locarno Classification: India now adheres to the 13th edition of the International Classification of Industrial Designs also known as the Locarno Classification. For most part, this change will help applicants that file in many countries because of the uniformity of classification of articles. Moreover, this welcome change will make searching easier. 
  2. Recognition of Startups: The new rules also create a new category of applicants, namely, start-ups that are defined as ‘an entity in India recognized as a startup by the competent authority under the Startup India Initiative’. Notably, foreign entities can also claim start-up status subject to certain conditions.  
  3. Revised fees and costs: The new rules announce a new fee structure for startups, small entities and natural persons, distinct from large entities. As per the new fee structure, startups, small entities, and natural persons pay the same amount of fees, which is one-fourth of the fee paid by large entities.
  4. Other amendments: In an effort to carry on business digitally, the Designs Office now requires that an address of service must include the e-mail address and the mobile number of the agent or the applicant.

Some of these changes are long awaited and, therefore, very welcome.  These rules are yet another attempt by the government to strive towards harmonization and modernization of the rules governing the law relating to designs.  Moreover, there is no doubt, that the reduced fee structure for start-ups will only encourage them.