Following a successful legal challenge by artist Angela Hewitt of Angela Hewitt Designs Limited designs against Castle Melamine through ACID (Anti Copying In Design) Accredited law firm McDaniel & Co, Angela Hewitt has secured a settlement fee together with her legal costs AND an apology.
Isle of Wight based, Angela Hewitt is known for producing innovative artwork for printed material such as coasters, tablemats etc for sale to consumers, manufacturers and retailers and her designs are featured across the UK in leading retail outlets. In February 2006 the Scottish Seabird Centre approached Angela regarding using one of her designs, a puffin image, on placemats and coasters. She then approached manufacturers and distributors Castle Melamine with whom she had worked in the past for manufacturing and distribution purposes to supply Scottish Seabird Centre so that they could sell the placemats and coasters with her design to the public. Following further discussions she sent images to Castle Melamine with her standard terms and conditions. One month later, Castle Melamine rejected her terms and conditions based on her royalty fee of 10-15%; their fee being 6-7%.
Shortly after, she was shocked to discover the puffin image for sale on coasters at the Scottish Seabird Centre, who had been provided the image by Castle Melamine. Naturally, The Scottish Seabird Centre were extremely concerned that Angela Hewitt had not been approached regarding the use of her image. “I immediately called the ACID legal hotline and took advice from Niall Head Rapson.”
In the meantime Castle Melamine had been approached by the Scottish Seabird Centre for a further order and Castle Melamine contacted me offering me a 6% royalty fee, said Angela Hewitt, “I did give them a week or so to reconsider their offer as per our original terms but as there was no follow through with any compensation for what had happened previously and no improvement in their royalty offer, I re-contacted Niall Head-Rapson at McDaniel & Co who secured a settlement fee, legal costs and apology. I have taken the trouble to find out a terrific amount about the design rights I create in my products and I am determined to send the clearest possible message that I will pursue any infringement of my rights in order to protect my business”
Dids Macdonald, ACID’s Chief Executive said following the settlement, “Increasingly, artists like Angela are becoming very ‘savvy’ about their intellectual property and are prepared to stick up for what they have rightfully created. When creative talent is translated into commercially viable products the originator must be properly rewarded”.
Image of Puffin in PDF format