ACID (Anti Copying In Design) has spoken out with a special design and IP [Intellectual Property] message for Prime Minister Theresa May.
The membership trade organisation, set up by designers for designers, is committed to raising awareness and encouraging respect for IP within individual and corporate responsibility. It is intent on stamping out IP rights abuse.
ACID chief executive officer Dids Macdonald OBE recently met MPs and peers and spelled out what ACID believes is needed in Brexit negotiations, to ensure UK designers do not lose out when Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered next Spring. Article 50 sets out how an EU country might voluntarily leave the union.
Dids was accompanied by ACID members Dan Black, director of housewares supplier black+blum; Phyllis Cohen, director of makeup design company Face Lace; and Angus Gardner, director of stationery and gift firm Caroline Gardner Publishing.
ACID said the majority of the UK’s 350,000 designers rely on unregistered UK and EU design rights and the potential loss of protection of designs in 27 other member states could be “calamitous”.
The organisation sees Brexit as “a unique opportunity to further support UK designers and for Government to introduce a new unregistered design right which mirrors EU law.
“Unregistered Design Rights in the UK only offer design protection for the shape and configuration of a design, but EU unregistered rights protect a combination of colours, ornamentation, lines, texture or surface decoration as well as shape and configuration, on which thousands have relied to protect their designs”.
ACID also reinforced the argument for the introduction of criminal provisions for the intentional infringement of an unregistered design right. The vast majority of UK designers do not register design rights and rely on unregistered design rights.
Dids said: “I’m urging the Prime Minister, as a dedicated supporter and follower of design, to ensure there is communicated respect, ethics and compliance of IP within Corporate Social Responsibility.
“After all, design punches well above its weight in the UK economy and is a key driver of growth. Design must not be further eroded by unlawful copying – many of it still emanating from some of our well known retail names whose success has been built on design innovators, many of whom are ACID members.”
l-r: ACID ceo Dids Macdonald with ACID members Phyllis Cohen, Angus Gardner and Dan Black