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(1) The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks appointed under sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 (43 of 1958) shall be the Controller of Designs for the purposes of this Act.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the Central Government may appoint as many examiners and other officers and with such designations, as it thinks fit.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the officers appointed under sub-section (2) shall discharge under the superintendence and directions of the Controller such functions of the Controller under this Act as he may, from time to time by general or special order in writing, authorize them to discharge.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (3), the Controller may by order in writing and for reasons to be recorded therein, withdraw any matter pending before an officer appointed under sub-section (2) and deal with such mater himself either de novo or from the stage it was so withdrawn or transfer the same to another officer appointed under sub-section (2) who may, subject to special directions in the order of transfer, proceed with the matter either de novo or from the stage it was so transferred.


A design which –

(a) is not new or original; or

(b) has been disclosed to the public anywhere in India or in any other country by publication in tangible form or by use or in any other way prior to the filing date, or where applicable, the priority date of the application for registration; or

(c) is not significantly distinguishable from known designs or combination of known designs; or

(d) comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter shall not be registered.


(1) The Controller may, on the application of any person claiming to be the proprietor of any new or original design not previously published in any country and which is not contrary to public order or morality, register the design under this Act:

Provided that the Controller shall before such registration refer the application for examination, by an examiner appointed under sub-section (2) of section 3, as to whether such design is capable of being registered under this Act and the rules made thereunder and consider the report of the examiner on such reference.

(2) Every application under Sub-Section (1) shall be in the prescribed form and shall be filed in the Patent Office in the prescribed manner and shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3) A design may be registered in not more than one class, and, in case of doubt as to the class in which a design ought to be registered, the Controller may decide the question.

(4) The Controller may, if he thinks fit, refuse to register any design presented to him for registration; but any person, person aggrieved by any such refusal may appeal to the High Court.

(5) An application which, owing to any default or neglect on the part of the applicant, has not been completed so as to enable registration to be effected within the prescribed time shall be deemed to be abandoned.

(6) A design when registered shall be registered as of the date of the application for registration.


(1) A design may be registered in respect of any or all of the articles comprised in a prescribed class of articles.

(2) Any question arising as to the class within which any article falls shall be determined by the Controller whose decision in the matter shall be final.

(3) Where a design has been registered in respect of any article comprised in a class of article, the application of the proprietor of the design to register it in respect of some one or more other articles comprised in that class of articles shall not be refused, nor shall the registration thereof invalidated –

(a) on the ground of the design not being a new or original design, by reason only that it was so previously registered; or

(b) on the ground of the design having been previously published in India or in any other country, by reason only that it has been applied to article in respect of which it was previously registered:

Provided that such subsequent registration shall not extend the period of copyright in the design beyond that arising from previous registration.

(4) Where any person makes an application for the registration of a design in respect of any article and either-

(a) that design has been previously registered by another person in respect of some other article; or

(b) the design to which the application relates consists of a design previously registered by another person in respect of the same or some other article with modifications or variations not sufficient to alter the character or substantially to affect the identity thereof, then, if at any time while the application is pending the applicant becomes the registered proprietor of the design previously registered, the foregoing provisions of the section shall apply as if at the time of making the application the applicant had been the registered proprietor of that design.