Fiesta Collectables Ltd's Green Man - Oak

Andy Kingston, of Fiesta Collectables Ltd., is no stranger to people ripping off his artists’ work – that is why he has become very knowledgeable about intellectual property rights and why he is determined to send a very clear message out to the perpetrators. Having successfully fought off Nemesis at last year’s Spring Fair. The word was out, through extensive Anti Copying in Design trade press coverage, that the best selling Green Man (part of the In The Greenwood range) was definitely out of bounds. Customers and shopkeepers who remain fiercely loyal to the Fiesta brand were the first to let Andy know about what appeared to be a knock off.

Taking a leaf out of a lawyer’s approach, Andy spoke to the High Street store and asked whether they realised they were infringing his designs. He also sent several graphics of the original and alleged copy. They admitted that the lookalike bore a close resemblance to Fiesta’s Green Man Oak and gave Fiesta written assurance that no more would be produced and that they had very few left. In fact they were very professional and resolved the matter quickly. Although they denied infringement, luckily for Andy they paid a four-figure sum in lost royalties and confirmed that no more lookalikes would be produced.

Following the successful challenge Andy Kingston said,  ”Belonging to ACID is a great help and it makes people think twice before they try copying. Since being members we have seen the number of instances fall dramatically. It is a great shame that more businesses do not join ACID and abide by the protocol. We at Fiesta Collectables Ltd. will always pursue copying to protect the talented artists with whom we work and support”.

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “Increasingly, those who seek the fast track to market through copying will find out that more and more people are becoming aware of their intellectual property rights. It really isn’t rocket science – basically if you create an original work and it is novel and has not been copied from something already in existence, you create your own copyright or design right automatically. Putting belt and braces around your intellectual property by sending all new designs to the ACID Design Data Bank provides independent evidence should it ever be required”.

Last week ACID received  an ‘invitation’ from expo-guide to ‘update the pre-registered listing in the exhibitors directory’ and stated ’Your entry has been published to date for free under the following event’  above a field on the form that mentioned Birmingham Autumn Fair.

In the accompanying letter it asks for any data corrections to be made and also that on receipt of these modifications a free listing will be activated. 

What it does not make clear is that if you fill in the accompanying form (thinking that you can use it for modifications or to get a free listing) you are signing up to a 3 year agreement at a cost of 1181 Euros per year!  There is a reference to this in the ‘grey print’ at the bottom.

Do not respond to any of these requests – they are nothing to do with the exhibition that you are taking stand space with and if you do have any queries about your show guide listing ring the organisers.  Expo Guide has nothing to do with Emap, UBM, Clarion or any other of the UK Exhibition event organisers. 

For those that fell victim to FairGuide in a similar way and those of you that are new to to the exhibition arena – BE WARNED!  ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT!  Whilst FairGuide was based in Austria, Expo-Guide is based in Mexico – a possible side effect from swine flu?  For a clearer look at the form click here

Superdry Leather Jacket as worn by David Beckham

Zoe Wood reported in The Guardian last week on the recent legal tussle between Superdry and Primark.  Superdry are makers of an iconic leather jacket style, favoured and worn by David Beckham and they had accused Primark of copying. 

Zoe writes “The worn-in leather jacket with double collar costs £175, and has become something of a classic since Beckham first stepped out in it in 2007, with 70,000 unit sales to date and 25k on order for this autumn.”

Superdry director, Theo Karpathios said “It’s an ingenious design and one of our bestsellers.  We won’t put up with our designs being copied.”  Cheltenham-based Superdry accused Primark of copying elements of its signature Brad leather jacket and the two parties reached an out-of-court financial settlement.

ACID was asked to comment on the case for the Guardian and CEO Dids Macdonald gave her opinion.  “The investment incentive is not there for some retailers do the design, research and development; instead retailers look at what’s selling – and it tends to be design-led companies that bring out the hottest stuff – take it, change it a bit and hope that’s OK.  To bring a product to market takes time, investment and creative skills.  There are a lot of companies out there that are free-riding on another’s designs as a fast track to market. It has to stop!”

To see the complete article click onto the Guardian Website here.  You can view the Superdry range at

In these difficult economic times businesses are increasingly looking to their intellectual property rights to give them a competitive edge.  All business will own copyright works in one form or another.  This article highlights the top ten facts you never knew about copyright (or did know but have forgotten!) and gives some tips on how your business could make the most of this valuable asset.

1.       Copyright does not protect ideas as such.  It protects the expression of ideas.  Copyright will therefore arise automatically as soon as the design is drawn or the document is written. There is no requirement to register the copyright at the Intellectual Property Office.

2.       Because copyright is not a registered right it can sometimes be difficult to prove that you own it for the purposes of an infringement action.  It is important to keep an ‘audit trail’.  For design drawings for example, all drafts should be retained indefinitely and clearly marked with the author’s name and creation date.

3.       You should as a matter of course include © [business name] [date] on every copyright work.  The work will still have copyright protection without this but it acts as a useful warning that you own copyright in the work and that action might be taken if it is copied.

4.       If your employee creates a copyright work in the course of their employment, then you as employer will own it.  You do not need a term in the employee’s contract to this effect although it is good practise to include one.

5.       There is no requirement to compensate an employee that creates a copyright work for you.  You get the work for free.  This is different from patents where you must compensate an employee who devises an invention that is of outstanding benefit to your business. 

6.       Copyright can be exploited for profit.  It can be sold (assigned) or licensed in exchange for ongoing royalty payments.  Copyright is, therefore, a useful revenue-generating asset.  You should instruct a lawyer to draft a licence for you to ensure that all the legal protections your business needs are incorporated into the agreement.

7.       If you commission a third party to create a copyright work for you they will own the copyright in it, not you.  It can be expensive to acquire the copyright at a later date so this issue should be dealt with at the outset.

8.       Copyright is not a monopoly right, which means that you can only bring infringement proceedings against a business that has copied your copyright work.  If they produce something identical independently, you will not be able to stop them using it.

9.       To succeed in copyright infringement proceedings you will need to show that a ‘substantial part’ of your work has been copied.  This is a qualitative and not a quantitative test so the copying of just one key paragraph of a document or one significant aspect of a design drawing could be enough to be copyright infringement.

10.    If you succeed in an infringement action you will be awarded compensation in the form of damages (based on your losses) or an account of profits (based on the infringer’s gains).  You can choose which you would prefer.  Obviously, it makes sense to choose the one that will give you the greatest amount of cash!

Patricia Jones, an  IP specialist lawyer says;

Copyright can be a valuable IP right but it is often under rated and under used.  It can give your business a competitive edge, generate revenue and, in conjunction with a breach of confidence and database claim, help your business to protect its trade secrets.  Businesses should carry out an IP audit to identify all of the copyright it owns and take advice on how that copyright might be exploited to maximum effect“.




Exhibition Organiser EMAP’s recent press release announces that exhibitors and buyers are gearing up for a recession-busting Autumn Fair International at Birmingham’s NEC (September 6-9).  The show will see the launch of thousands of new products that have been designed to kick-start the home and gift industry in the run-up to the vital Christmas trading period and spring 2010.

Feedback from suppliers  participating at the fair indicates that many are cautiously optimistic about the future and are tailoring their ranges to counter the impact of the economic downturn and help retailers boost profits.  Says Louise Young, managing director of Emap Connect Home & Gift: “Autumn Fair is an essential trading platform for buyers and exhibitors. It remains, by far, the season’s largest buying event for home and gift. With retailers generally ordering more frequently, we anticipate an increase in the number of buyers looking for Christmas products and new lines for next year. They will not be disappointed. Suppliers at the fair have met the credit crunch head-on and will be introducing exciting, innovative products with keen price points to tempt buyers.”

ACID Member ‘Adornment by Gilli Reeves’ will debut at Autumn Fair.  Gilli Reeves comments: “I specialise in the design of hand painted commemorative pillows, which are ideal for any occasion. They make wonderful gifts to celebrate any event, such as a wedding, anniversary, christening or birthday.” Her chosen fabric is Ivory Shantung polysilk. Script is added using an acrylic paint, which is pink or blue in the baby line, but gold throughout the rest of the ranges.

Other longstanding ACID members attending Autumn Fair will include The Little Dog Laughed, Lanka Kade, Wellywarmas, John Crane Ltd, Claire Louise. R.V. Astley, CIMC, Culinary Concepts and India Jane – to name just a few.  ACID will have a stand in the entrance to Hall 3 Stand L02 and will be on hand for help and advice during the whole show.

For further information about Autumn Fair open the document below or click on the link.


The British Library would like to promote the forthcoming seminar ‘Funding For Fast Growth’ due to take place on 11th June 2009 in central London and if anyone uses the British Library name when booking, they will receive a 33% discount. 

Further information can be found by opening the document below or clicking on the link directly to the booking form.


Follow these links to other events being supported by The British Library.





An exciting new competition is launching soon – The Good Entrepreneur. The competition aims to identify entrepreneurs across Europe with environmentally responsible business concepts. These should be concepts that are based on making a contribution to the protection of the environment.

The competition has been created in a partnership between CNBC, the leading business and financial news television channel and Allianz, one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide.

The competition kicks off at the beginning of June and the individual named “The Good Entrepreneur of 2009″ will receive a prize package worth more than €250,000. The package includes exposure on CNBC as well as comprehensive business support from Allianz.

From 8 June, anyone who is based in Europe can enter through the website,  You’ll be asked fill out an application form and submit a 60 second video pitching your idea.  The video doesn’t have to be fancy – you could film it on your mobile phone – it’s the idea that counts.

Applications close on 31 July 2009, and the three finalists will be announced in August 2009.

The finalists will then be filmed to feature in a four-part televised series on CNBC, documenting the progress of each person.  In the series finale, a panel of high profile judges will reveal the winner of the competition.  The series will be broadcast across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and in Asia during the autumn of 2009.

If you’d like more information about entering the competition or how you can get involved as an organisation, please visit us online at or get in touch with someone from The Good Entrepreneur production team at CNBC.

Victoria Crawford –

Bonnie Flaws –

10 Fleet Place, London, EC4M 7QS
T: +44 (0)20 7653 9422  F: +44 (0)20 7653 9325  M: +44 (0)787 945 3169

Further to ACID’s warnings regarding Trade Mark registration scams, IPKat recently reported on a comment left on Twitter by Shireen Smith (Azrights) who issued a Tweet which read:

“Today 3 clients contacted me about a demand for £573.40 which they’ve received from Community Trade Mark Filing service of Liverpool. Scams”.

Shireen’s statement was picked up here by Class 46, but now it seems that this issue has escalated. Shireen has since received a letter threatening both her and Azrights with defamation proceedings on the basis that this statement was “highly defamatory and/or malicious falsehood designed to damage the reputation of our company in the market place”. CTMFDS was seeking, among other things, an apology, and proposal for payment of damages, failing which they said they would be issuing proceedings. Says Shireen:

“Why a company that chooses a name like Community Trade Mark Service (designed to sound like it is an official body) and style of approach involving the sending pro forma invoices as a way of promoting its trade mark filing service (of converting the UK application to a European trade mark) would object in these terms to the use of the word SCAM to describe their activity is amazing. If 3 clients in one morning get in touch, all wondering whether they have to pay this company, or whether it is a scam, then it’s a scam. The fact that some kind of service is offered in return to those who engage with the company, knowingly or unknowingly, does not alter the fact that it is an attempt to intentionally mislead a person with the goal of financial or other gain. It is also clear from the company’s FAQ pages that they are fully aware of the confusion their style of operating engenders.

ACID advises anyone that has applied for a Trade Mark registration that receives a similar letter, to contact the UKIPO, OHIM or whichever official body to which they have submitted their registration.  If it was not issued by them – shred it!

IPKat – news and fun for everyone!

For 24 years, New Designers has been bringing together the very best in UK graduate design, showcasing the work, energy and talent of some 3,500 young designers every July in the Business Design Centre, London, N1. It’s the freshest and most vibrant show of its kind.

Discover the creative energy of the next generation from architecture to animation, furniture to fashion, graphics to glass.


PART 1:  9 - 12 July 2009
Textiles, Fashion & Accessories
Contemporary Applied Arts 
Ceramics & Glass
Jewellery & Precious Metalwork
One Year On
PART 2: 16 – 19 July 2009
Product Design
Furniture Design
Visual Communications (including Graphic Design and Illustration)
Spatial Design
One Year On
Book now 08448 480 145
Book online
Please quote ND114

New Designers takes place at the Business Design Centre, London, N1 OQH.  Nearest tube Angel. For information on opening times and traveling to the venue please visit our website

Discounted Ticket Offer £8.50 with code + £1.50 booking fee.  Onsite ticket £14.00