By way of a public notice issued on December 16, 2022, it is informed that the Design Wing of the Patent Office has started issuing e-certificates as of November 1, 2022. It appears to be an attempt to streamline the Design Office’ practises and bring uniformity to the operations of the Indian IP Offices.
Additionally, once a new application is filed via e-filing, the applicants are no longer required to submit physical forms and documents, except the assignment, attested or notarised Power of Attorney, and original affidavit (if any) before the Designs Office. The forms and documents, as prescribed in the Designs Rules, 2001 (as amended), which are required to be filed online, should be digitally signed and in accordance with the provisions of Sections 3 and 4 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
While this is a crucial step toward digitisation and adopting sustainable practices, applicants may continue to file design applications using offline forms and documents. Further, as per Rule 15 of the Designs Rules, 2001, applicants are required to submit a WIPO-DAS code or priority documents for reciprocity applications (as amended).
Implementing such efficient practices may lead to faster and more systematic processing of design applications.