We will be highlighting ACID events and ACID Accredited Exhibitions in 2009 offering FREE advice, support and a high profile brand presence to all exhibitors. ACID Accreditation objectives are to provide a safer trading environment for exhibitors whilst sending a clear warning shot to would-be copyists.

Please email help@acid.uk.com for further information

+44 (0) 845 230 5742

The ACID Legal Hotline, is manned by the ACID team who will provide access to ACID’s new Accredited Law Firm teams, Hammonds, DMH Stallard and McDaniel & Co who will provide members with initial Free specialist advice on each separate issue, giving fast, practical responses to intellectual property protection questions and infringement problems. If a member is unlucky enough to be copied, advice is also given on the practicalities of taking legal action. This initial free advice benefit will normally be sufficient time for the merits of a case to be assessed. Members then have the choice to continue to use ACID’s associate lawyers, at discounted rates or take this advice and instruct their own lawyers. In these instances designers are advised to use lawyers who specialise in intellectual property.

To underpin this, ACID has created an international network of specialist intellectual property lawyers and dedicated Legal Hotlines have been established. This support network is continually being expanded.

In order to maximise your free time you will need to complete our Infringing Purchase Information Sheet. This allows the lawyers to quickly and efficiently asses whether or not there are grounds for a legal complaint.

+44 (0) 845 644 3617

The ACID team manning the membership hotline are experienced in responding to members with practical solutions, tips and advice to the many commercial aspects of intellectual property protection. The emphasis is on simple straightforward explanations about minimising risk and maximising the full exploitation of IP rights. Comprehensive advice about fully utilising the benefits of membership is freely available and members are invited to call at any time.

With several years experience dealing with members’ requests, pan-industry – the ACID membership hotline should be the first port of call for any commercial enquiries whilst the specialist legal IP hotline, manned by design law experts, is freely available for legal help and solutions

For general enquiries or information packs call: +44 (0) 845 644 3617

Organisers of exhibitions are encouraged to join ACID’s Accreditation scheme demonstrating their commitment to intellectual property protection by providing exhibitors with a safer trading environment, while sending a clear message of deterrence to copiers. Acceptance and use of ACID’s exhibition protocol – a standardised management system for dealing with intellectual property infringements arising at trade fairs is an integral part of accreditation.

The ACID Accredited Organiser initiative underpins the public declaration by ACID Accredited Organisers of a zero tolerance of plagiarism at trade shows in UK, Europe and USA.

ACID provides a visible brand of deterrence at trade shows, an opportunity for one to one education for both trade visitors and exhibitors and a “watchdog” service for its members.

ACID also provides practial legal tips for exhibitors prior to showing new product at an exhibition together with guidance from the organisation to exhibition organisers on “trade only” policies and increasing security and communication of a “No Photography” policy to support exhibitors. Members are advised, if relying on Unregistered UK Design Rights or Unregistered Community Design Rights, to send in their new designs to the free ACID Design Register BEFORE they are exhibited for the first time.

Useful information, guidance and contacts are provided to members through regular ACID newsletters and press updates. For further details select the year, then the month you would like to view.


Autumn Fair 2 – 6 September 2007 – Design Clinics: Using Images, Licence Royalty Agreements, Safe Pitching, Registering Your Designs

Top Drawer Autumn 9 – 11 September 2007 – One to one free advice sessions with an IP lawyer and an ACID representative present to assist ACID members too.

100% Design 20 – 23 September 2007 – Design Clinics: How to protect your designs – ACID Case Studies – Lighting, Furniture, Fabrics and Flooring

Decorex 23 – 26 September 2007 – Design Clinics: Using Images, Licence Royalty Agreements, Safe Pitching, Registering Your Designs

ACID support ACID supports its members throughout the year by attending a range of events, working with ACID accredited exhibitions, providing a membership hotline, a legal hotline and an IP auditing service.

ACID (Anti Copying In Design) members The Monster Factory, creators of funky children’s range the Not So Scary Monsters took issue with NEXT over the appearance of their range of designs for children’s clothing. A robust cease and desist letter from ACID Accredited law firm McDaniel & Co resulted in NEXT denying that they infringed the Monster Factory Designs but withdrawing the range saying, “The products were not successful enough to be carried onto the following season”.

next monster

Following the withdrawal of the range, Martin Grix said, “The products were shown in the NEXT catalogue for a significant period of time, sufficient time for our extensive “mystery shopper” research to reveal that, although the products had been withdrawn from their catalogue, they were very much in demand and are still being sold”. Grix continued, “I hope that this is not a deliberate strategy to run with a product for a season and when challenged, especially by an ACID member, they withdraw as a damage limitation exercise, having capitalised on our creativity and innovation in our Monster Factory Designs, for which we have a registered Community design”.

Niall Head-Rapson, an IP expert at McDaniel’s commenting on the case, said, “Clearly the Monster Factory who take their intellectual property seriously enough to obtain a registered Community design in other markets, are going to challenge any look alikes they discover in the market place to protect the investment they have made in the creation of their ranges”.

Dids Macdonald, Chief Executive of ACID said, “As signatories to the ACID Code of Conduct, whilst I note that Next have withdrawn the product range, I will be writing to them immediately voicing the Monster Factory and other ACID members’ concerns and to ask them to reconfirm their ongoing commitment to an anti copying strategy throughout the organisation. My understanding is that despite being asked several times, Next were unable or unwilling to provide evidence of the creation of the remarkably similar product”.

next monster

Editor’s Notes
The Monster Factory creates, manufactures and markets a diverse portfolio of new stationery and gift products. We work with innovative artists, rights holders and product specialists to source and then beautifully package quirky new concepts for high-end distribution worldwide.

Visit the Not so Scary Monsters website

chloe2.jpgHot foot on the tail of ACID’s recent reportage of the Chloe and Top Shop debacle, Drapers Record fashion Khabi Mirza, Fashion Editor reports, “The predicted demise of fast fashion is such hot conversational currency in Drapers Towers, I felt it about time to stick my oar in. When someone wears something new around here, people notice and generally ask the usual “Where’s that from?” I’m sure the same background jibber jabber can be heard in offices up and down our fair isle. But whereas six months ago news of the latest hot £20 Topshop find was broadcast loud and proud, the same admissions are more muted these days. It’s not that anyone’s feeling guilty, it’s just the cool factor associated with covet-today bin-tomorrow high street bargains appears to be on the wane.

Exasperated by the mountain of crappy fashion tat that she can’t even give away to Sue Ryder, one colleague, currently in the throes of moving house, today exclaimed she’ll no longer be flittering away cash on pocket-money-priced fashion. Another has given up on the high street after too many Friday nights catching sight of her latest dress in triplicate. And 20 minutes ago, a third colleague announced investment purchases were all she’s interested in for autumn 07 because after having spent two years sidelining 214 Oxford Street for a deposit on a flat, her perception of value has changed irrevocably”.

Maybe the tide is turning against look alikes? ACID hopes so

Barrister Jeremy Phillips, co editor of IPKat a global IP stakeholders blog commenting on ACID’s submission to the Ministry of Justice on the lack of appropriate damages for IP theft said, “The IPKat considers ACID to be a valuable barometer measuring the pressures faced by small IP owners and the extent to which the law can assist and protect them. Cases involving ACID members won’t generally be the big ones that hit the headlines and get reported in the law reports; nor will its members’ disputes usually be the sort of affair in which IP monopoly interests are pitched against economic issues such as the need to ensure the free movement of goods and to preserve a level of competition for the good of consumers – but this is precisely why ACID’s perception that existing levels of damages are inadequate is not important for the government to take into account”.

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