Fantome is the name of one of ACID member Innermost’s successful clock designs.  As with all Innermost’s products, the design is distinctive and the Fantome is no exception with a unique aesthetic created with printed graphics on glass, mirror and a distinguishing clock mechanism.  Innermost were disappointed to discover that major high street retailer BHS was selling a remarkably similar product. 

Quick action resulted in a letter before claim being sent by Andrew Lee of ACID Accredited lawyers McDaniel & Co.  Subsequent correspondence and discussions eventually resulted in a settlement. Unfortunately details of the settlement can not be revealed as it was agreed they would remain confidential.

Innermost have built their impressive brand over the past 8 years with a collaboration of both in-house and independent world-wide design talent. The brand initially focused on lighting but quickly introduced a range of accessories and more recently furniture. Innermost co-founder, Russell Cameron said following the settlement, “We will always pursue an infringement, we expect in a recession to see more infringements with larger companies trying to cut corners, but it is still disappointing when it happens.  We work closely with many high street retailers to provide them with exclusive designs so really there is no sense in copying.”

ACID’s CEO Dids Macdonald said, “Successful brands like Innermost invest heavily not only in the a huge reservoir of worldwide talent but in producing original design. Good design equates to value and it is important that this is not eroded by look-alikes. It would appear to be a deliberate strategy of some high street retailers, when legally challenged, to insist on confidentiality in settlement details.



“Supporting new young design talent is exactly what ACID is all about”  Dids Macdonald, CEO ACID

The Cabinet Maker’s Young Designer Awards showcased some of the most exciting, innovative and imaginative design talent across three key industry sectors.  The 12 finalists who were presented with free membership of ACID for a year and an ACID Safe Pitch Kit, now have IP armoury in place to go to market confidently to fully exploit the IP in their new designs. 

Margaret Miller, Master of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and ACID CEO Dids Macdonald presented the awards which were judged on on innovation, functionality, practical design, aesthetic value and commercial viability. Congratulating one of the winners, Amy Vinn (pictured left), Dids said, “Each of these elements can be IP protected in one way or another to ensure a product is protected by a robust IP strategy”.   

An Intellectual Property strategy is the X-factor that all new designers need to ensure they can go to market with confidence. Design protection means livelihood protection and should mesh into a long term marketing plan – whether you are a new designer just starting off in the commercial world or an established SME who has had the misfortune to experience design theft survival techniques in this economic climate include protecting your commercial equity.

New Designer finalist Anne Schiffer from Marble in a Hole gave her view on the importance of IP protection before she joined ACID. ”I knew IP protection was a big deal but I was pretty clueless as to how I should go about safeguarding my work. I was lucky that the business start-up advisor at my university had set up a meeting for me with an IP solicitor. He gave me a run down of all the possibilities and helped me with my first design registration. However, this was a one off and I doubt I could afford to go there every time I need some advice. So the next day I became a member of ACID.”

Asked what advice she would you give other new designers regarding IP protection Anne said, “Make sure you know how to protect your designs before you put your work on public display. If you don’t happen to have a solicitor in your family, join up with ACID to ensure you get all the information you need. One of the most valuable aspects to membership is using the ACID Design Data Bank. I had an exhibition coming up when I applied for my first UK design registration to the UK Intellectual Property Office which is why I was eager to get my work protected. I figured I’d send in the application, pay the money and all would be done and dusted. Unfortunately the whole process takes a little bit longer than I anticipated. Luckily I was a new member of ACID which meant I could put the ACID logo on all the publishing material that I was going to use at my exhibition. That really put my mind at rest. Also, I’m currently looking into getting an EU wide design registration for my marble stool which I will sort out with the support of ACID”.










ACID (Anti Copying In Design), together with ACID Accredited law firm Hammonds frequently holds seminars to bring interested parties together to discuss various commercial subjects relevant to business growth. A franchising seminar will be held at 13.00 at the NEC, Birmingham during Spring Fair and Premier KIDS exhibition on 2nd February in Hall 16. If you are exhibiting or visiting come and hear how brands can expand through Franchising   Using a case study experts in the field will demonstrate how you can set up a franchise operation and hear about the success of Neil Chapman from Boatshed. There will also be a brief introduction on how to set up a franchise operation including an IP Health audit, franchising guidelines and an overview of how to finance franchising.

Franchising is one of the most successful and powerful methods of expanding your business, while remaining in control of your business identity. Last year the franchising industry grew twice as fast as the UK economy and turnover in the sector has grown ten-fold since the 1980′s to nearly £11 billion.

We do hope you will be able to join us – please contact Jane Stephenson of ACID or telephone the ACID hotline to reserve your place on 0845 644 3617

ACID is delighted to announce the appointment of Nick as a mediator to join the ACID Mediate to Resolve Panel. Nick Kounoupias is an intellectual property partner within ACID Accredited law firm DMH Stallard’s Dispute Resolution Group providing advice on dispute avoidance and resolution. Prior to joining DMH Stallard Nick was Head of Litigation at the MCPS-PRS Alliance where in addition to providing litigation services to the music industry, he also managed its anti-piracy unit for ten years. During this time Nick pioneered the use of private prosecutions for copyright theft in the music industry.

Nick is an accredited mediator and has participated in many mediations either as a lead mediator or as a legal representative. On the appointment Nick said, “I consider mediation often to be the most effective way to resolve a dispute especially where the parties need to retain a business relationship for the future or seek a confidential resolution to the dispute”. 

CEO Dids Macdonald said, “Not only is Nick an extremely effective mediator but he has joined ACID LOBBY as lead counsel and will be an experienced resource to help us achieve our lobbying objectives through ACID’s membership of the powerful lobbying organisation, The Alliance Against IP Theft . He has been heavily engaged in lobbying for improvements to the UK IP laws and is a former vice-chairman of the Alliance Against Intellectual Property Theft and one of its founder members. Nick’s has considerable lobbying experience at all levels of government.


A further new copyright review has been commissioned by The Rt Hon David Lammy MP, The Minister for Intellectual Property and now is your final chance to have a say. Please email your comments and views to so that your voice can be heard in ACID’s response to the copyright consultation.

Q. Does the current system provide the right balance between commercial certainty and the rights of creators and creative artist? Are creative artists sufficiently rewarded/protected through their existing rights? 

Q. Is our current system too complex, in particular in relation to the licensing of rights, rights clearance and copyright exceptions? Does the legal enforcement framework work in the digital age? 

Q. Does the current copyright system provide the right incentives to sustain investment and support creativity? Is this true for both creative artists and commercial rights holders? Is this true for physical and online exploitation? Are those who gain value from content paying for it (on fair and reasonable terms)? 

Q. What action, if any, is needed to address issues related to authentication? In considering the rights of creative artists and other rights holders is there a case for differentiation? If so, how might we avoid introducing a further complication in an already complicated world?

Have your say! Email to read more about ACID LOBBY