100% DESIGN – AN ACID ACCREDITED EXHIBITION

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ACID and ACID Accredited Law Firm DMH Stallard jointly attended 100% Design at London’s Earl’s Court. Having specialist legal support in attendance at the exhibition was an invaluable opportunity for all visitors to discuss many aspects of intellectual property rights via the ongoing one to one design clinics running throughout the show on the ACID stand.   As usual both teams were kept busy throughout the exhibition with numerous enquiries, spanning such subjects as design protection, licensing, franchising, registering designs, use of images, industry agreements etc together with a wide range of questions about intellectual property law and how to maximise and leverage value of IP created within new product design.

100-design-logocomp.jpgThere were a few copying complaints but this did not appear to be a big problem at 100% design and these were dealt with quickly and effectively.

Thankfully, none required any further legal action. Despite ACID’s lobbying of organisers on behalf of members, one of the key areas of complaint throughout the show was still the amount of unauthorised photography. Organisers still did not appear to have real measures in place to police the plethora of visitors photographing new products without permission. Don’t forget images of new products can be around the world in seconds and sometimes copied before exhibitors pack up their stands! ACID will continue to lobby for high profile ACID No Photography signage for next year.   One of the real benefits to exhibitors is access to an IP specialist legal team (whether ACID members or not) both on the ACID stand and roaming around the exhibition, and the availability of instant FREE onsite IP advice. This provides a unique opportunity for a face to face discussion to explore a problem or discuss an issue which members and exhibitors may not otherwise have access to.   

Examples of advice provided included:-

  • advising a sculptor whose designs had been commissioned by a third party but who had failed to enter into any written agreement with the third party as to the ownership of the intellectual property rights in the sculptures;
  • advising a lighting designer on the likelihood of subsistence of design right and copyright in a design for a lamp where the designer had spotted a similar lamp on display at the exhibition;
  • advising design graduates as to the benefits of ensuring that proper procedures were in place prior to exhibiting their designs or discussing confidential designs with potential third parties;
  • advising a furniture designer on the Intellectual Property rights available to them where they suspected that their design had been copied but had not registered any specific rights in relation to the design.

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