Intellectual Property - Patent

Assignment of copyright

Intellectual Property - Patent

Assignment of copyright has to be in writing and signed by the assignor or by his duly authorised agent. Copyright consists of a bundle of different rights in the same work, which can be assigned either as a whole to one party or separately to different parties.

· The deed of assignment must specify the `rights assigned’, the duration and territorial extent of assignment, and the royalty payable, if any. When duration of assignment is not specified, it is presumed to be for five years and when territorial extent is not specified, it is presumed to extend within India. (Section 19, Copyright Act, 1957)

· An assignment of a Copyright is exempted from Stamp Duty. (Article 25 of Schedule I of the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958).

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The above provisions apply both to registered and unregistered copyright. Apart from the above requirements, in case of registered copyright, the following additional steps also have to be taken.

Registered Copyright

Assignee has to make an application for registration of changes in the particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in Form V under Rule 16 of Copyright Rules, 1958 to be delivered by hand or registered post. Attested copies of the deeds of assignments should be enclosed with the application.

Assignment of Design

One can obtain copyright protection on a design either under the Copyright Act, 1957 or Designs Act, 2000. A design which is registrable under the Designs Act but not registered, ceases to have copyright protection after 50 copies have been made of the same using an industrial process. (Section 15 Copyright Act)

Once registered, on subsequent assignment of the design it will be necessary to apply for entry of subsequent ownership under Rule 33 of Designs Rules, 2001. Such application shall be made to the Controller in Form 11. The instrument of assignment has to be presented in original or notarised copy. (Rule 37, Design Rules, 2001)

· The document assigning the right on design has to be in writing and the agreement between the parties concerned should be reduced to the form of an instrument embodying all the terms and conditions governing their rights and obligations. Any contravention of this requirement will render the instrument invalid. (Design Manual) (Possibly based on Copyright Act)

· Upon entry of its particulars in the register of designs, the instrument shall be effective from the date of its execution.

· An application for registration of title shall be filed within six months from the date of execution of the instrument. This period is extendable by a maximum of six months.
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Assignment of Trademark

Registered Trademark

Assignment of trademark can be made by making a request on Form TM-23 or 24 depending on whether it is made by assignee alone or conjointly with the registered proprietor, along with the deed of assignment. (Rule 68 of Trademark Rules, 2002)

An application under Rule 68 has to contain full particulars of the instrument, if any, under which the applicant claims to be entitled to the trade mark and such instrument or a duly certified copy thereof has to be produced at the Trade Marks Registry for inspection at the time of application. The Registrar may require and retain an attested copy of any instrument produced for inspection in proof of title.

Unregistered Trademark

An unregistered trade mark may be assigned or transmitted with or without the goodwill of the business concerned. (Section 39 Trademark Act, 1999)

Assignment of Patents

An assignment of a patent has to be made in writing and the agreement between the parties concerned is required to be reduced to the form of a document embodying all the terms and conditions governing their rights and obligations, which must be duly executed. (Section 68, Patents Act, 1970).

Two copies of the assignment instrument certified to be true copies by the applicant or his agent along with an application in Form 16 and the Controller of Patents may call for such other proof of title or written consent as he may require. (Rule 91, Patent Rules, 2003).


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  1. This is commendable piece of work Ramanuj. In paragraph 3 of the article, it is stated that assignment of copyright is exempted from any stamp duty under Article 25 Schedule I of the Bombay Stamp Act. This is on a matter of record true.

    However, on a bare reading of Article 5 [A] (V) (a), it is stated that “if the amount agreed does not exceed rupees ten lakhs; stamp duty to be paid is Two rupees and fifty paise for every
    rupees 1,000 or part thereof on the amount agreed in the contract subject to minimum of rupees 100”.
    My question is which among the two provisions of the same Act would prevail. Article 5 or Article 25?


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