Basics of Design Search


Design search is prudent when you want to protect the aesthetic configuration of an object. In most jurisdictions, a design patent or registration is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. The Office grants design patent if the design doesn’t change the functionality of the object but gives it a novel appearance.

That is, design patents are the ornamental aspects of surface decoration, aesthetic configuration, appearance and shape of an item. Unlike utility patents, design patents protect aesthetic features for a new or an improved outward appearance. However, the subject claimed in the design patent may have some practical utility.

For example, India’s Design Act, 2000 was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to the protection of design. Moreover, it encourages compliance with the articles 25 and 26 of TRIPS agreement. The previous act was Patent and Design Act, 1911. The new act repealed the previous act. Now, it defines “design” as only the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament, or composition of lines or colours applied to any article. The design can be 2-D, 3-D, or in both forms. Moreover, you may use any industrial process or means whether manual, mechanical, chemical, separate, or combined. Only eyes should judge the finished article. However, it should not include any mode or principle of construction.

‘Original’, in Relation to Design, means (Design Search)

  1. Originating from the author of design, and
  2. Include the cases, which though old in themselves yet are new in their application. For instance, the figure of Taj Mahal is centuries old. If a person conceives for the first time, the idea of making a flower vase or an ashtray in the form of a figure of Taj Mahal, that may be an original design and can be registered.

Related Article: Patent Search Affects Your Business: Learn How?

The Usage of Design Search

Design Search helps you determine whether your proposed design is new and distinctive, and therefore worth registering. Moreover, a search determines if someone has already registered the similar design. In essence, it’s a visual search that requires analysing volumes of designs. Inventors have already registered several designs. The Patent Offices have disclosed the designs. Moreover, they are available in public domain. Design patents primarily contain drawings. Due to the fact that design patents have minimal words defining the aspects of the design, a prior art search mainly involves design class codes and only broad keywords. Due to the limited textual data available for designs, only in few cases will the search be limited by keywords.

Databases for Design Search

Several databases containing information on designs that have been registered internationally may be found on the Internet, e.g. the database of the World Intellectual Patent Organization (WIPO) and the database of The Trademarks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union (OHIM). Generally, design search will be conducted using the Locarno Classification and/or National Office systems (e.g. USPC, GB Design Classification).

Related Article: Why Patentability Search Reports are Important for Inventors?

We Can Assist You – The Patent Search Firm

The Patent Search Firm may assist you in Design Search. We have years of experience in providing search services. Moreover, so far, we have served clients from more than 45 countries. Our dedicated team works efficiently and provides effective result within the deadline.

You may see our services here – The Patent Search Firm.

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