ACID (Anti Copying in Design) welcomes the latest Government initiative with their announcement to raise business awareness to avoid falling foul of current IP laws. There are now clear guidelines to provide companies with up to date employee information to ensure that they are not breaking the law. Baroness Wilcox, Minister of Intellectual Property, who launched the new initiative said, “The new guidance was an example of Government, enforcement agencies and industry working together and raising awareness of managing IP in the workplace. Intellectual Property rights are essential to the success and growth of any business. However, many companies can leave themselves open to prosecution if they or their staff infringe the IP rights belonging to other companies or individuals.”
To avoid criminal offences (and potential fines of up to £50,000 and/or a possible prison sentence) taking place in the workplace employers should take a simple IP Health Check. If the answer is “NO” to the questions below, immediate, free and simple guidance is available on the IPO website
- Do your employees know that they cannot sell copies of protected works?
- Company IT equipment and servers – Are your staff aware that it should not be used to produce infringing content?
- Are employees aware that they should not use the company equipment to sell infringing products to colleagues?
- Do you have a company policy for staff on IPR infringement, procurement?
Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “Taking time to look at these guidelines will help businesses protect themselves from legal challenge and, I hope, raise awareness about corporate responsibility and respect for IP. This comes as a very welcome addition to ACID’s Guidelines for Design Buyers which was launched several years ago to help design buyers through what they could and should be doing to protect themselves and their staff from infringing the rights of design originators.”