Design and Trademark Registration: Meaning and Differences

calendar11 Nov, 2022
timeReading Time: 3 Minutes
Design and Trademark Registration: Meaning and Differences

Design and Trademark registration confer exclusive rights to the owner of the intellectual property. These legal instruments ensure peace of mind for the owner by preventing others from copying or counterfeiting[1] their valuable assets. Let’s delve into the fundamentals of Design and Trademark registration and discover how they differ from each other.

What is Trademark Registration?

Trademark refers to a brand, logo, or mark that creates a unique identity for a business or company in the given marketplace. A trademark magnifies legal protection for a particular product and also amplifies its reputation over time.

Trademark registration refers to the legalization of a mark via registration. The mark may include an alphabet, phrase, number, and sound mark that is part of a particular product or service belonging to a company or individual.

The trademark registration mitigates the chances of possible infringement. The trademark registration also confers exclusive rights to the owner for using, leasing, and reselling the trademark.

What is a Design Registration?

Design is the core and the most important element of any product. Each product design is unique and carves a distinct identity in the market. Being distinctive is an important attribute of any successful design. Most companies keep this key fact in mind while figuring out the design for their new product. The unique designs are more prone to duplication and infringement. This is where Design registration comes in.

It ensures legal protection for the visual representation of products, be it 2D or 3D. Therefore, design protection ensures the legal fencing of an assortment of products including 2D objects such as tea bags, bikes, bowls, and 3D objects such as wallpaper, logos, and schematics.

Copyright protection is an obvious choice for most companies looking to protect their newly-created design against infringement activities. But it lacks an adequate legal hold that reinforces stability to the design ownership. Therefore, Design registration is a viable option for the owner in this context. Let’s move ahead to discover the key differences between Design and Trademark registration.

Design and Trademark Registration: Know the Differences

The key differences between the Design and Trademark registration are tabulated below:

Particulars Trademark Design
Meaning A trademark signifies a mark that reflects the goods or services provided by a company or an individual. It can exist in the form of a logo, word, etc. A design refers to attributes of a pattern, shape, or ornamentation applied to the product to embrace a visual appeal.    
Innovation Trademarks refer to a logo, brand, phrase, or sound that signifies a product or service. Uniqueness is a must-have attribute of a product requiring trademark registration. Innovation does not necessarily be a part of a trademark.   . Design has to be innovative as they are created by experts. Adhering to visual appeal is a fundamental requirement of any product requiring design registration and it cannot be achieved without being innovative in approach.      
Protection Trademark registration ensures legal protection for a mark representing a product or a service of a company.     Design registration grants legal protection to the product’s design.
Purpose A trademark creates a distinctive image of the product in the given marketplace, thereby easing product identification for the customers. A design embraces an innovative pattern applied to a product’s design to amplify its commercial value.    
Governing Law The Trademark Act 1999 entails provisions that govern the legal aspects of a trademark.    The Designs Act 2000 has provisions that regulate the design aspects of a product.
Registration Trademark registration is conferred to a mark that is graphically representable and able to instil a unique identity of a product.     Design registration is accorded only for the features of the pattern, configuration, ornament, or shape that is a part of an article produced by industrial practices or methods that is visually-appeal.    
Evaluation The authority accords the trademark registration after assuring that the given mark is non-conflict and unique at its core.     The grant of design registration is only possible if the design qualifies for parameters like attractiveness, ingenuity, and originality.
Authority The Trademarks Registry accords the trademark registration. The Patent Office accords the design registration.
Renewal Trademark registration stays valid for ten years and can be renewed for the same timeline after furnishing a standard application and fee.   Design registration also remains valid for 10 years but its renewal timeline has been maxed out at 5 years.    


Intellectual properties are of great significance for individuals and companies, be it a product design, mark, or tagline. These forms of intangible assets become more valuable over time. That’s where Design and Trademark registration come into play. Both these fall under the respective legislations and adhere to the distinct legalities concerning registration processes and paperwork. But it’s noteworthy that Design registration ensures legal protection for design part only, be it 2D or 3D. It is aggressively used in the industrial sphere for its comprehensive protection.

Read Our Article:Trademark and Design Registration: What are the Major Differences?

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