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Overlap between industrial design and copyright protection in India


Publication date
6 July 2022
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency
Publication type
  • Case study



An independent European boutique designer having developed goodwill and a reputation associated with a quality and unique clothing design in Europe, decided to expand its business operations to India as it had identified a high demand for international good quality designer products. To meet this demand, the EU designer decided to open a subsidiary in the Indian market. From its experience in the European market, the designer was aware that clothing designs and sketches are automatically protected under copyright laws from the moment of their creation as mandated by the Berne Convention. The EU designer saw that India was also signatory of the Berne Convention, and therefore did not register its designs in India. The EU designer used its subsidiary in India not only to sell its products but also to keep a close watch on the local fashion brands and monitor if any of its designs were being copied. As the EU designer’s brand gained a growing reputation in India, it came to its attention that a local brand had started to copy its designs and sell look-alike clothes for substantially lower prices. Consequently, the EU designer hired a risk consulting firm which carried out an in-depth investigation to identify the scope of operation and infringement by the local brand. The investigators did so and obtained evidence in form of photographs or sample purchases.


6 JULY 2022
Overlap between industrial design and copyright protection in India