Is there any mandatory search required prior to filing a design application?
There is no mandatory search required for a design application, and any search is entirely voluntary. Do
note that the Intellectual Property Office in India does not as yet have an online facility for searching for design applications, and one has to manually search through the Gazettes for any similar or conflicting designs.
However, we have a proprietary database containing the bibliographic details of all design registrations in India, which makes the task of searching considerably easier. If requested, we can conduct an in-house search, for which costs would vary depending on the complexity of the search and the number of conflicting/similar applications found.