The Indian Patent Office (IPO) issued a circular on August 18, 2015, providing a clarification on the subsisting practice of registration of a design being applicable to only the article covered by the application in question.
As the readers might be aware, currently the Design applications in India are required to be categorized in separate classes and sub-classes based upon the function of the article. If an article was registered under a specific class and sub-class, the rights of the propreitor were limited only to that specific class and sub-class.
However, the recent clarification issued by the IPO clarifies that on a conjoined reading of Section 5(3) and Section 6(1) of the Designs Act, 2000 along with Rule 11 (2) of the Design Rules 2001, it is clear that one application can be made for any one or more or all of the articles comprised in a specific class, irrespective of the sub-classes provided therein.
The circular also puts forth that if the same design is intended to be registered in multiple classes, then a separate application for each class shall be made.