The Designs Rules, 2001 have been amended with effect from 30 December 2014 pursuant to the Designs (Amendment) Rules, 2014 (Amended Rules). Some of the significant changes pursuant to the Amended Rules are:
- The Amended Rules categorises the applicants for design registration into “natural person”, “small entity” and “other than natural person(s) except small entity”. The criteria for “small entity” is the same as in the recently amended Patent Rules, 2014 i.e.:
- in case of an enterprise engaged in the manufacture or production of goods, where the investment in plant and machinery of such enterprise does not exceed INR 10 crores (INR 100 million or approximately USD 1,611,300); and
- in case of an enterprise engaged in providing or rendering of services, where the investment in equipment of such enterprise is not more than INR 5 crores (INR 50 million or approximately USD 805,700).
- A new Form-24 has been introduced by the Amended Rules, which has to accompany every new design application filed by a small entity. In existing cases (i.e. applications / registrations existing prior to this amendment) now falling under small entity, Form-24 is required to be filed at least once for any future payment of official fees.
- A revised fee structure has also been provided under the Amended Rules. The fee payable by: (i) a natural person is as per the old fee structure; (ii) a small entity is twice the fee payable by a natural person; and (iii) other than natural person(s) and small entity is four times the fee payable by a natural person.