Section 31 of the Design Act, 2000 gives an application the right to rectify or amend their design application details as mentioned in the register for designs, once a design is registered in India.
A petition for rectification can be filed through Form 17 to the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and trademarks and such rectification only allows for the details mentioned in the Register for Designs to be amended.
This amendment is allowed only if the Controller deems that the rectification application was made on reasonable grounds and the opposition to the rectification does not invalidate the need for the rectification.
When the Controller receives an application for rectification, they are required to notify all parties, who are mentioned in the register of designs as having an interest in the application.
Once this notification reaches said parties, these individuals have the right to give a notice of opposition to the rectification application within 3 months from the date of publication of the application through Form 19 under the Act.
The opponent is required to provide their written statement and all the evidence within 14 days of giving the notice of the opposition. This statement must establish the nature of their interest, the facts upon which they have based their opposition, and the relief that is sought.
The Controller is required to send a copy of the notice of opposition, the written statement, and the corroborating evidence to the applicant of the rectification application within 15 days of receiving the same.
If the applicant wishes to challenge the notice of opposition, they are required to file a counter statement and its supporting evidence at the Patent Office in Kolkata. This counter-statement must set the grounds on which they intend to challenge the notice and must be submitted within a month from the date of intimation.
They must also deliver a copy of the same to the opponent, simultaneously. This period can be extended up to a maximum of 3 months by the Controller.
After receiving a counter-statement, the opponent can file their reply statement and evidence, through an affidavit, within a month from the submission of the registered proprietors counter statement.
The Reply evidence is mandated to strictly be confined to matters in the evidence of the applicant. No additional evidence can be submitted by either party, except if required by the Controller.
Under Form 19 wherein the applicant wishes to submit a Notice of Opposition to a rectification application submitted previously through Form 17, under Rule 40 of the Design Rules, 2001, they must pay the prescribed fee depending on their nature.
If the claimant is a natural person, the fee payable is INR 100. Where the applicant is other than a natural person the fee payable for a small entity is INR 200 and for others except for a small entity is INR 400.
Any changes made to a design application not only affect the registered proprietor of the design but also affect the business or company that it represents. Thus when such an application is sought to be rectified without informing all parties that are affected by the design, the latter must have a right to oppose such change.
Under Form 19, the applicant must provide the name of the original proprietor and the grounds on which they oppose the rectification application along with the details of the rectification application itself.
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