ACID RESPONDS TO GOVERNMENT’S REVIEW OF UK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

ACID Lobby Logo for webAnti Copying in Design’s recent IP poll indicates that 89.7% of designers believe IP infringement to be deliberate and blatant.

Supporting ACID’s submission to the IP Review, ACID Ambassador Sebastian Conran said, “Design is an unsung hero in the UK economy. Original design leverages value, but this takes investment and it needs to be protected”. An independent review into intellectual property (IP) and growth commissioned by the Prime Minister issued a call for evidence in October 2010 on how the IP system can best support growth. Professor Ian Hargreaves, leading the review, said, “We must ensure the UK has an IP system that drives innovation and growth. This review will identify the barriers to growth and, where they exist, work out how to remove them. The review will set out short-term improvements that could be made as well as a long-term vision for the IP system”.

ACID has welcomed the opportunity to respond to the UK Review into Intellectual Property and Growth to raise awareness about, in particular, the difficulties which affect the UK’s designers in accessing hands-on, practical, sector-led IP advice and information to help them maximise, protect and commercialise their IP. There is also the serious issue of the uncertainty experienced by micro firms and SME’s in effectively enforcing IP infringement.

In its comprehensive submission, ACID has used 8 case studies (out of 450+) to highlight the various IP issues affecting micro firms and SME’s within the creative industries. Another area on which ACID has concentrated is the disparity for IP rights owners. Unlike copyright infringement, if a design is stolen no criminal offence has been committed; the designer’s only recourse is under civil action. This gives rise to anomalies and inequality of treatment which are very damaging to hundreds of small businesses and designers across the UK.

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “I believe if design infringement becomes a criminal offence it may change and influence current board strategy in some major high street retailers to think again about condoning product piracy and using the veil of “inspiration” of the innovative products of others to create their own versions for tomorrow’s retail shelves”.

The Intellectual Property Review will report back to the Prime Minister in April 2011.

Read the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Group Letter to Professor Hargreaves

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