There are basically two types of Patents in India. One is the utility Patent, and the other is Design Patent. If you go for a design patent, then it will only protect the unique look of your vehicle, and it will not protect any features of the vehicle. In order to protect the features of the vehicle, you must get a utility patent. In today’s era of high competition, getting a patent for your creation is very important so that no one else can replicate the same technology and make a similar product. If we look at the vehicle industry, there are a lot of companies selling cars and bikes, and even if your company brings new technology, it will definitely be replicated by other competitors in order to compete. In this blog, we will discuss more about Vehicle Design Patent in India.
European countries saw a rise in the importance of the automotive industry, which was then widely dominated by America. The technological advances made in France and Germany are responsible for the automotive manufacturers’ competence. The first vehicle patents were issued in 1886. For his automobile, Carl Benz requested a patent at the Imperial Patent Office in Germany. Authorities in France saw a similar patent application as well.
Today, India is one of the top players in regard to the Vehicle Industry, and many companies are making and selling vehicles. Therefore, if you do not patent a vehicle design, the other companies will make the same model of their cars or bikes as produced by any one company. A design patent is the only reason why every car model is different.
What is a Design Patent?
A company takes a design patent before making the actual model so that their design gets prior protection and no other person or company can copy it. When you understand the design patent, you have the benefit of understanding the technical features and the design ideas much before any other company can officially publish any data regarding a similar design. Let’s say your car company wants to Patent a sensor rooftop design. For getting the patent, the company is required to explain the idea in words and make an illustration or design of the car and submit it to the Patent office along with a ready prototype, if any. Now, as we know, a design patent application must include claims to easily ascertain what will come under infringement and what will not come under patent infringement. Moreover, along with listing the good points of the model, the applicant is required to mention the limitations of the new design.
In order to determine the future cause of infringement, your attorney must describe any similar models that may lead to infringement in future in solid form. Moreover, if any similar design is made by any other company or individual using the same kind of shapes will lead to infringement. Still, any totally different design may not lead to infringement, and even in the case of a lawsuit, the accused party will be declared not guilty.
You will get a design patent only on the basis of the design you make and submit with the application. If the final outcome differs from the submitted design, the patent will protect the final design. Now, to make sure that the design you draw and submit is exactly similar to what you wish to make in the final outcome, you will require the help of a qualified graphic designer who will make the design for you that looks exactly similar to the design you want to implement. Additionally, if you have any unique statement that supports your design, you must mention it in the application.
Getting a Vehicle Design Patent in India
The current Vehicle Design Patents are not particularly threatened by Indian law. Many Indian automotive brands and foreign automakers submit design patent applications for vehicles and auto parts in various jurisdictions in this technical zone. In addition to the core criteria for patentability, such as innovation, non-obviousness, and utility, Section 2 of the Indian Patent Law governs vehicle design patents in India.
A close association exists between the Indian motor vehicle market and the total number of patent requests submitted each year: Section 3(f) of the Indian Patent Act states that minor modifications or reorganisations of previously published models running independently are not patentable.
If we count all of the patents that Honda has for both its two and four-wheeled vehicles, it outnumbers all other brands. Toyota Motors and Tata Motors are the two manufacturers with the most car design patents nationwide.
Things to Keep in Mind while getting a Vehicle Design Patent in India
To get a Patent in India, your application must fulfil certain criteria set by Indian Patent Office in India. Moreover, your innovation may follow certain innovative factors without any failure:
- The first requirement is that the innovation must be new and unique. Your application will be approved only if any similar design was not presented to the Patent Office anytime during the prior days.
- The creator has to build trust that the product design has an inventive step.
- The final outcome or the design of the vehicle has industrial applicability.
- Your invention must not be obvious. The examiner decides the non-obviousness by looking at the features of the vehicle and by testing the model with any person having knowledge of driving vehicles. Moreover, certain questions are also asked to ascertain the non-obviousness and proceed to the next step.
- The Patent application must be submitted in a written format.
The vehicle patent will be granted only if it meets all of the requirements mentioned above for any of its mechanical or technological components. Any technology or work of art must be improved from its original state if its creator or innovator wants to obtain a patent for it. This is termed an innovative step. This project must be carried out in an original manner to ensure that no one has considered the same application before. Here, we solely take into account individuals who are knowledgeable about automobile art.
Validity of Vehicle Design Patent in India
The validity of Vehicle Design Patent in India is for a period of 15 years. Furthermore, the design patent is a valid reason to restrict others from using the features of your vehicle, and you cannot even file an infringement suit against anyone copying the features of your vehicle, as the design patent only protects the design and not any other component. In order to safeguard your unique features from getting copied, you need to take the utility patent, where the process of vehicle manufacturing is mentioned in detail.
The best way to get a patent registered is to get two witnesses who will look at the prototypes and the other documents attached to the patent application. The inventor is required to sign the patent application reports, without which the application will not be deemed valid. He must also provide proper dates for the claims to be presented to the Indian Patent Office.
The above-mentioned discussions suggest that the Indian vehicle industry would probably result in thousands of requests to file patent applications. The application process is simple. The introduction of new, cutting-edge technology is complex since it is expensive. The first motor vehicle was legally registered in the late 1800s, beginning a long path for the car industry.
Read our Article:Detailed Process Of Patent Registration In India