A design consists of visual innovative features embodied in an item of manufacture. Since a design is unique in appearance, the design application may relate to the pattern or shape of an item, to the decoration applied to an item, or to the combination of pattern and decoration. A design for decoration is inseparable from the item to which it is applied and cannot exist on its own. It must be unique, specific and applied solely to the item of manufacture.
The Indian Patent Office examines design applications and grants patents on design if applicants are entitled to them. The patent law can grant design patents to any inventor who has invented a novel and an innovative design for an item of manufacture. A design patent protects only the appearance of the item, but not its structural and practical features. The practice and procedures of design applications are set forth in the Design Act, 2000.