All You Need To Know About The Assignment Of Design Rights


Industrial design

Industrial designs are part of the aesthetic sector, but they’re also meant to be used as a blueprint for the production of industrial or handcrafted goods. The ornamental or aesthetic part of a practical object that must appeal to the sense of sight and may consist of the shape, pattern, and/or colour of the article is known as industrial design. To be protected, an industrial design must be new and original. For a period of five, ten, or fifteen years, industrial designs are protected against unlawful duplication or replication.

According to Section 2(d) of the Designs Act, 2000, design refers to “only the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament or composition of lines or color or a combination thereof applied to any article, whether two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical or chemical, separate or combined, which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye,” but it excludes “any mode or principle or construction”, as defined in clause (v) of sub-section of Section 2 of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958, property mark or artistic works as defined under Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957.

Assignment of Design rights

Assignment is a legal phrase that refers to the transfer of rights, property, or other benefits from one person to another (the “assignor”). Both contract and property law make use of this term. The term can relate to either the act of transferring or the transferred rights/property/benefits.

Section 30 of the Design Act of 2000( Hereinafter referred to as “Act”), as amended by Rules 32, 33, 34, and 35 of the Design Rules of 2001, recognizes design assignment contracts and establishes a method for their recording. Section 30(1) of the Design Act provides that if a person acquires the copyright in a registered design through assignments, transmission, or other legal means, he may apply to the Controller in the specified form to register his title. According to Section 30(3) of the Design Act of 2000, an assignment must be in writing, and the agreement between the parties must be reduced to the form of an instrument embodying all of the terms and conditions governing their rights and obligations, and the application for registration of title under such instrument must be filed in the prescribed manner with the Controller within the stipulated time-that is, within six months of the execution date. The person registered as the proprietor of the design has the absolute right to assign the design rights, according to Section 30(4) of the Design Act of 2000.

Only if the design’s Copyright is statutorily recognised under the requirements of the Designs Act, 2000, is it protected. Similarly, third-party rights obtained through assignments or licences are only effective if they are properly registered in accordance with the Act’s requirements and the Rules enacted thereunder. Under design law, there is no concept of a common law licence.

Assignment of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design

An electronic circuit made on the surface of semiconductor material is known as a semiconductor integrated circuit. Integrated circuits have transformed the field of electronics by being employed in practically all electronic devices currently in use. The sheer quantity of electronic appliances we use on a daily basis demonstrates the significance of semiconductor integrated circuits or chips in today’s environment.

The layout or arrangement of the chip determines its ability to perform a specific function. As a result, a second enactment was required to protect the chip designer’s investment. In India, the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layouts Design Act of 2000 would provide this protection.This was done in accordance with India’s commitments under the TRIPS Agreement.

‘An assignment in writing by act of the parties concerned,’ according to Section 2(b) of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000. According to Section 19 of the Act, the registration of the design, as well as all subsequent assignments, will serve as prima facie evidence of its validity.

Assignments and Transmissions are covered in Chapter V of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layouts Design Act, 2000. Section 20 of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layouts Design Act of 2000 gives the owner of a layout design the authority to assign the layout design and to issue effective receipts for any money received in exchange for the assignment.This is subject to the provisions of the aforementioned Act, as well as any rights that appear to be vested in another person based on the register. A registered layout-design is assignable and transmissible with or without the goodwill of the business involved under Section 21 of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layouts Design Act, 2000.According to Section 22 of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layouts Design Act, 2000, when an integrated circuit layout is assigned without goodwill, the assignment will not take effect unless the assignee applies to the Registrar for directions with respect to the assignment not later than six months from the date on which the assignment is made or within such extended period, if any, not exceeding three months in the aggregate, as the Registrar may allow. The assignee must register the title with the registrar, according to Section 23 of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layouts Design Act, 2000.If the matter is still before the registrar or an appeal from an order therefrom is pending, Section 24 of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layouts Design Act, 2000 prohibits the assignee from utilizing the registration as proof of title.

These rights can be assigned with the help of Assignment Agreements

Assignment agreements deal with the transfer of intellectual property rights from one person or organisation to another. An Intellectual Property Agreement (IP Agreement) or an Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement is a documented and enforceable contract that completes and formalizes a purchase and sale of intellectual property rights between two organisations. Copyrights, trademarks, and/or patents are examples of intellectual property that can be purchased.  Assignment agreements differ from licence agreements in that an assignment agreement transfers ownership of intellectual property from the assignor to the assignee, whereas a licence agreement merely allows the licensee to use the intellectual property for a certain time.

An assignment agreement cannot be compared to a negotiating document since in a negotiation, the transferee may obtain a superior title than the transferor, which cannot occur in an assignment/transfer.

An assignment agreement may include a complete and exclusive sale of the rights, granting the assignee complete ownership of the intellectual property rights to exploit them in any way, shape, or form it sees fit, subject to any constraints set forth in the agreement. These contracts are governed in India under the Indian Contract Act of 1872 and the Indian Stamp Act of 1899.

Process of Assignment under Designs Act, 2000

  • After a design is registered, an application for ownership under Rule 33 of the Design Rules, 2001 must be made to the Controller for the registration of title in the new owner’s name.
  • The agreement of assignment must be written, and all of the parties’ concerns should be provided in the form of the instrument comprising all of the terms and conditions, according to Rule 37 of the Design Rules.
  • After all requirements have been completed and the assignment of rights has been registered with the register of designs, the assignment of rights will be enforceable from that date.
  • Within six months of the instrument’s implementation date, a title registration application must be submitted. This period can be extended for an additional six months.


The Design Act of 2000 and the Copyright Act of 1957 protect the rights of the original designer and deal with the transfer of rights to succeeding owners. The Assignment Agreement assists two parties in transferring intellectual property rights to one another for product development and commercial purposes. Section 30 of the Design Act and Rules 32-35 of the Design Rules, 2001 deal with design assignment agreements. If they are not carefully written as required by law, these assignment agreements give birth to legal and equitable rights in law and raise a slew of concerns.As a result, it’s a good idea to include Assignment Agreement terms that handle concerns like governing law, jurisdiction, and Alternative Dispute Resolution to ensure that disagreements are resolved quickly. It is a legally binding agreement that must adhere to all applicable laws. The enforceability of assignment agreements encourages these individuals to develop innovative technologies that benefit society in the long run. In addition to adhering to these Rules, it is critical to ensure that the agreement properly identifies who owns what. The task must be specific, as well as the duration for which the individual will be the owner of the intellectual property.This would serve as a safeguard in the event of a potential dispute over the Design’s ownership.

Author: Anuja Saraswat – a student of  B.A.LL.B (Hons.) from NMIMS Kirit P. Mehta School of Law (Mumbai), in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email or contact us at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys.

Leave a Reply



  • July 2024
  • June 2024
  • May 2024
  • April 2024
  • March 2024
  • February 2024
  • January 2024
  • December 2023
  • November 2023
  • October 2023
  • September 2023
  • August 2023
  • July 2023
  • June 2023
  • May 2023
  • April 2023
  • March 2023
  • February 2023
  • January 2023
  • December 2022
  • November 2022
  • October 2022
  • September 2022
  • August 2022
  • July 2022
  • June 2022
  • May 2022
  • April 2022
  • March 2022
  • February 2022
  • January 2022
  • December 2021
  • November 2021
  • October 2021
  • September 2021
  • August 2021
  • July 2021
  • June 2021
  • May 2021
  • April 2021
  • March 2021
  • February 2021
  • January 2021
  • December 2020
  • November 2020
  • October 2020
  • September 2020
  • August 2020
  • July 2020
  • June 2020
  • May 2020
  • April 2020
  • March 2020
  • February 2020
  • January 2020
  • December 2019
  • November 2019
  • October 2019
  • September 2019
  • August 2019
  • July 2019
  • June 2019
  • May 2019
  • April 2019
  • March 2019
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2018
  • November 2018
  • October 2018
  • September 2018
  • August 2018
  • July 2018
  • June 2018
  • May 2018
  • April 2018
  • March 2018
  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • November 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • September 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010