Design rights and design registration: key differences

Design rights and design registration: key differences
Design rights and design registration: key differences

Trademark and design registration is a separate and important thing. On the surface they appear to be the same thing, but in reality they are both a form of intellectual property (IPR). However, you could choose the best security for your IP if you knew the differences. The logo, term, name or symbol used to identify your business is legally protected if you apply for a trademark. Design registration, on the other hand, protects the external characteristics of a company’s product, such as its appearance, shape or configuration. To learn more about the main distinctions between pattern registration and trademark registration, scroll down.

Based on legal protection

Trademark registration protects intangible assets such as the symbol, logo, name or word that represents a business. The appearance of a mark determines its relevance according to the nature of the goods and services and the business objectives provided by the company. Protection is provided to protect the trademark against the act of trademark infringement. A trademark owner can sue law breakers for trademark infringement. Also, the trademark is required before the trademark registration process.|

A design registration aims to protect the design of a specific product. We don’t just focus on the appearance of the products here; however, we also highlight the functionality of the product.

Based on your legal rights

A trademark has certain legal rights, but an unregistered trademark is not excluded from statutory fellowship. To this conclusion, an unregistered trademark is not denied under the lawful option and illustration.

A design is also concerned with certain legal rights. But these rights are not as effective as a trademark. Ultimately, if the definite article deviates from the article documentation, legal action may be taken.

Based on definition

A trademark mainly involves a logo or mark that represents your business. It is usually found in different forms such as words, names, logos, slogans, etc. This mark helps the user to differentiate a company’s product from the rest of the competition. Trademark registration in Australia acts as a measure of protection of a company’s intangible assets.

A drawing is a form of schematic representation of a defined product. To protect the design against counterfeiting, registration of the design is carried out.


A trademark can exist in several forms, such as a name, a logo or a work of art. Ultimately, it must obey uniqueness, but not seek innovation.

A design serves a particular intent or purpose and application. This is just a schematic representation. It is prepared by experts. It must therefore be innovative in nature.

Based on the subject act

A registered trade mark is subject to the provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1999. Under this law, a mark that can appear in graphic form and differentiate the goods and services of one company from another company is eligible for trademark registration.

The registered design is protected under the provisions of the Designs Act 2000[1]. This law talks about the protection of the model, configuration, shape, colors, etc. applied to any article, whether 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional or both dimensions, by any mechanical or chemical means or any combination, which in the finished product attracts and is judged solely by the eye.

Why is the line that exists in black and white for the filing of trademarks and models foggy?

The size and shape of a product, its packaging or its color may be marks or designs applied to it. The difference lies in the purpose served by Design and Trademark. While a design is applied to a product to develop its atheistic value, a mark is applied to a product to mark its source of origin.

A brand can also project customer engagement or promote the marketability of the product; however, it must serve as a link between the product manufacturer and the product. If a product’s features enhance marketability or aesthetic value, this clearly indicates the subject matter of design rights. However, if you develop the above attributes under the law, an overlap between trademark and design registration comes into play.

In India, parallel legal protection cannot be claimed under this law (Designs Act and Trademarks Act). Indeed, the definition of Design has excluded the Brand from the equation. However, there is much debate as to whether legal protection on the right of design and common law protection on a mark can exist at the same time or not.

As can be seen from the information above, the rights deriving from the registration of trademarks and designs sometimes overlap according to different cases or situations. Below, you’ll want to be very careful when performing rights in this overlapping area. All remedies should be carefully consulted with relevant experts and a solid strategy or plan should be developed to reduce uncertainties.


So, these are the main differences between registering a trademark and a design. Understanding the differences between them can help you make the right decisions when it comes to embracing intellectual property protection. The overlap between trademark and design rights has long been debated.


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