Design of article prepared for industrial production of an article, is a design: DHC

The Delhi High Court recently clarified that where a design of an article is prepared for the industrial production of an article, it is a design and registrable under Designs Act and the copyright in such design shall cease if the design has not been registered and used for production of articles by an industrial process for more than 50 times.

Refusing to grant injunction in favor of US company Holland LP that alleged that defendants are infringing their copyrights in the industrial drawings of Automatic Twist Lock (“ALT”) system that is used for securing cargo containers, the Court opined, “A conjoint reading of Section 2(d) of Designs Act, 2000, Section 14(c) and 15(2) of the Copyright Act, 1957, makes it amply clear that where a design of an article is prepared for the industrial production of an article, it is a design and registrable under Designs Act and under Section 14(c), the author of such design can claim copyright, however, since such a design is registrable under the Designs Act, and if such design has been used for production of articles by an industrial process for more than 50 times by the owner of the copyright, or, by any other person with his permission, then such person ceases to have copyright in such design.”

The Court observed that that averments in the complaint clearly show that plaintiffs had prepared the engineering drawings for the purpose of production of ATL devices. The industrial drawings are, therefore, a design of the ATL device which the plaintiffs had supplied to the Railways under a contract given to them by the Railways. The drawings of the ATL devices of the plaintiffs, therefore, are registrable under the Designs Act. The said drawings have not been registered under the Designs Act and it is not disputed that while using these engineering drawings, it had used for more than 50 ATL devices by an industrial process and, therefore, it is clear that it has used these engineering drawings for more than 50 times in an industrial process.

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