l.res red kisscpACID member Lindy Lou Ltd, designers and suppliers of see-through umbrellas, have shown how a proactive approach to Intellectual Property rights can reap dividends. This resulted in a formal undertaking from fellow Spring Fair exhibitor Sunrise Bags not to sell or import the look alike products in the future. Sunrise Bags also gave a commitment to deliver up remaining samples in their possession and reimbursed Lindy Lou’s legal costs.

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “Often exhibitors do not follow up copying complaints formally after the show leaving them wide open to further potential problems. Formal undertakings play a key role on which to rely should any further look alikes enter the market place. Publishing successful settlements also sends out a clear message about Lindy Lou’s strict IP policy within this sector.”

Regular Spring Fair exhibitors Lindy Lou were exhibiting at the Fair, one of the main international giftware events held at Birmingham NEC, in February this year when they discovered a fellow exhibitor, Sunrise Bags, displaying copies of two of Lindy Lou’s umbrellas, which were protected by European Community Unregistered design right.

Lindy Lou immediately telephoned the ACID mobile IP helpline to get specialist advice. Spring Fair has been an ACID Accredited Fair for many years and, as such, supports ACID’s presence to help in alleged copying issues. ACID is assisted by specialist IP lawyers from ACID Accredited law firms. By using the ACID Exhibition Protocol, Lindy Lou, with help from Andrew Lee of ACID Accredited law firm McDaniel & Co, was able to communicate their complaint to Sunrise and an on the spot mediation took place. Sunrise agreed to remove the complained of products for the duration of the show. Lindy Lou, however, instructed McDaniel & Co to follow up the complaint with a formal letter of action, which was hand-delivered at the show, in order to obtain formal undertakings and delivery up of any copies.

Andrew Lee of ACID accredited law firm McDaniel & Co comments, “This case is a great example of Andy 2

two things. Firstly, how useful the Unregistered European Community design right is particularly for products that have novel features resulting from the material the product is made from or its colours and pattern. Secondly, Lindy Lou took a very proactive approach once they were aware of an infringement. Within a few hours, Sunrise had been served with a letter before action.”

Andrew Lee of McDaniel & Co.

Carolyne Davis of Lindy Lou comments, “We found ACID and their accredited lawyers very easy and clear to get along with. They explained the law and our rights in a way that we could understand and in a way that gave us the confidence not to let anyone copy our exclusive designs now or in the future.”  www.umbrellasatlindylou.co.uk

im_format_av1The Sentinel newspaper, circulated in Staffordshire and South Cheshire reports on the trial of six men who have been found guilty and are awaiting sentence for their part in an international plot to smuggle 25 tonnes of counterfeit soap powder into Britain.

The gang arranged for “low grade” detergent to be shipped from South East China to Felixstowe to try to flood the black market with fake Persil. The detergent, which had no bleach content, was then driven to a warehouse where the gang hid 2,900 empty replica Persil boxes, which were described as “almost perfect” copies of the real thing. But their scam failed after chemicals giant Unilever hired a private investigator and they were caught red-handed.

Five of the six men admitted possession of an infringing article with a view to sale between September 1 and September 30, 2008.  A sixth man was found guilty after denying the charge. Chester Crown Court heard the detergent was shipped from Jinjang in the Fujian province of South East China to Felixstowe on a container ship CSLC Asia.  It was then transported to a unit at the Phoenix Centre on Winsford Industrial Estate which was raided after Unilever received a tip-off from a member of the public.

Peter Moss, prosecuting, said: “At 10.55am on September 23, 2008, in a joint operation by Cheshire Police, Cheshire West Council and Trading Standards, officers raided the unit at the Phoenix Centre and found an Aladdin’s cave of detergent. Individual bags of detergent each weighing nine kilograms were found along with flat pack boxes which had been assembled using a ‘wooden contraption’.”  The court heard Unilever’s private investigator had been tracking the gang’s moves since the detergent arrived in Felixstowe on August 22, 2008. The replica boxes followed around two weeks later.

The court heard the investigator was aware that a van bearing the logo NJN Trade Supplies, a company set up by Charlesworth and Campbell and based at High Carr Industrial Estate, Chesterton, was being used to transport the goods.  Prosecutors believe the Chesterton site was a planned distribution centre for the boxes of fake powder and the detergent was collected from Felixstowe and driven to the warehouse.  All six have been found guilty and are now awaiting sentencing.

ACID comment, “This is a classic example where criminal sanctions can result in infringers being prosecuted for a crime.  ACID Lobby is still campaigning for criminal sanctions to be available to design right holders too, who may also wish to take action against copyists.  This, together with changes to the criminal damages regime would make an even playing field for companies – irrespective of what intellectual property rights they are holding.”

Copying issues were also covered by BBC News also reported on the largest ever seizure of counterfeit goods by UK police.  Counterfeit seizure

The Redesigning Business Summit


Key influencers, movers and shakers from across the business community from the CBI to  Microsoft, Tom Tom to Penguin, listened, interacted and learnt from an array of inspirational speakers who embraced contradictions but shared one theme in common – the redesigning and defining of new thinking through design, whilst complimenting traditional business methods. The glue that bound them together was a thought provoking event co-organised by the Design Council and the Economist, skilfully steering participants through the complexities of a diverse sea of opinion by Economist correspondent Vijay Vaitheeswaran.

77% of the 200 or so companies present thought their companies would be in better shape after the recession, reinforcing the belief that crisis can bring opportunity i.e. “the eye of the storm is the time to fish”. There are now new value drivers through a surge in declared corporate responsibility via ethical issues. This must make the real heroes – the pioneers and champions for change and reform – sleep better at night. Taking climate change, Steve Evans of Cranfield University said, “Before, labour was scarce and nature abundant, now there is an abundance in labour and a scarcity of nature, literally forcing us into finding new ways to find solutions.”

Those that invested in “intangibles” from 1970-2004 saw an increase from 6 – 14% in turnover, so investment in intangibles is holding up. Executive Vice Chair of the Work Foundation, Will Hutton, sees design as the bridge between technological advances and the consumer, ensuring they get a better deal. If only parliamentarians and policy makers could get it too! Intellectual property was an important theme running through the event and Virgin’s Design Director Joe Ferry confirmed that their IP policy was robust, to protect and commercialise what they created because of the immense cost in R & D to make changes through design.

A different approach to IP was through the open innovation policy using a licence model of River Simple’s revolutionary new way of thinking about transport – not a car but a mobility service. “We can’t afford to sue if someone rips off our ideas so let others take the responsibility.” said River Simple’s Hugo Spowers.  Given the recent seismic changes affecting business as we have known it, The Big Rethink was a timely moment to reflect on a company’s ability to reinvent and find different solutions to respond to challenging market forces. Jonathon Ives of iPod fame, for example, is not a computer geek but a designer. Radical and visionary thinking allowed Apple, through Ives, to challenge the rules of competition by innovating what things mean. Thus the sleek, incredibly sexy and simple “must have” ipod was born.

Designing a way out of problems was PACT’s simple approach, through social and environmental criteria, creating packaging which becomes a usable fabric bag thereby designing a way out of waste.  Everyone wants part of the party because its basically good and we feel better! Being part of an ethical story such as with Innocent’s Smoothies makes us feel good about our purchasing decisions, knowing that 10% of profit goes to a good cause. IDEO CEO Paul Bennett espoused the moral crisis – ‘walk the talk’ design products and services which have meaning, transparency through corporate responsibility and trust, through passion and obsession. 

Innovation is the process of turning new ideas into money to benefit society. Take a recent project championed by the Design Council, looking at the world’s largest employer, the UK National Health Service. The problems were complex and they were up against conflict, risk averseness and a lack of willingness to change. Through simplicity, engagement, momentum, experiment and collaboration they facilitated some positive solutions which were visual, user-led and optimistic, such as Pearson Lloyds Reclining Day Chair,  Bay Screen & Poncho and the Inclusive gown and ICU cover designed by the Royal College of Art’s Helen Hamlyn Centre Design Team.

Why – to use design to change or meet the challenge of C Deificle. Underpinning the whole redesigning process was Discovering Defining what was needed, Developing a product which would meet those need and delivering a solution. Design for Patient Dignity is a classic example of how redesign can shape future policies and is a lesson which should be learnt and picked up on through the whole procurement process. Using various themes, such as creating a different bank or transport system, provided a melting pot of ideas. 

Using cognitive media, the event used “Scribing” a real-time capture “artist”, processing and reiterating information in a visual form. This is represented in words, cartoons, pictures, diagrams, flows and hierarchies. A fascinating visual snapshot of some critical thinking, encouraging everyone to observe patterns and absorb information differently. The aim is to enhance understanding looking from a different angle.

Exhibit with confidence

Last month ACID announced that an ACID Spring & Autumn Fair Intellectual Property (IP) Steering Group has been formed to consult with EMAP via ACID on current and emerging IP issues, to build on existing progress and cooperation with the organisers and to develop new initiatives to address exhibitor concerns on the increase of copying within this sector. Dids Macdonald, CEO of ACID talked to the members of this new panel and discussed some of the IP issues which concern them. Talks with the Spring Fair organisers are planned for the end of May.

Clare Farthing, Marketing Manager of Creative Tops and ACID IP Steering Group member said, “I believe that every participant at a trade show event should sign a legal agreement upholding professional standards regarding copyright design.” she continued, “In this way this awareness will be raised about the importance of intellectual property for each and every exhibitor and also give the show organisers an opportunity to act if exhibitors are persistent copyists.” Creative Tops use the following statement to reinforce their IP policy to all visitors to their website,“All copyright, design rights and intellectual property rights existing in our designs and products and in the images, text and design of our website / marketing material are and will remain the property of Creative Tops Limited. We will treat any infringement of these rights seriously.”

CREATIVE TOPS 102justincappcpEstablished in 1996, Creative Tops started life making just one product, glass work top savers with surface design. Then in 1998 they began to manufacture lap trays and in no time at all the range grew to encompass a whole collection of co-ordinated products including; tablemats, coasters, trays, mugs, dinner sets, gift sets, textiles, kitchen accessories and much more. Their business has grown to encompass a large portfolio of products designed by an experienced team of designers who, between them, have many years experience in analysing market trends and delivering strong commercial surface patterns, within strict time frames. Having been copied several times, Creative Tops put intellectual property as one of their brand’s key strengths. Launched at this year’s Spring Fair was a range of white ware under a new branding ‘Justin Capp’ who is a chef, demonstrating not only the endorsement of Justin but the positive benefit of using a licensed trade mark.

Dan Black of Black & Blum, also a member of the ACID IP Steering Group said, “Being involved with an ACID Accredited Exhibition like Spring Fair gives us confidence and I know that any alleged copying issues will be dealt with on site at the exhibition. It is daunting to go to an international fair with new designs because with new technology, new products are so easy to copy. It is in the exhibition organiser’s interest to protect the IP of design led exhibitors to keep them designing and creating, because it brings the buyers in. After all, buyers are attracted by new products.”

box_appetit_render_meatcpBlack & Blum’s latest new  product “the Box Appetit” is a revolutionary new lunch box, more like a ceramic bowl than your standard food container and with better functionality. This is also protected by a registered Community design which gives a monopoly right, lasts for 25 years and is protected in 27 EU member states.

Patrick Heeley of Villeroy & Boch is no stranger to dealing with copying issues and is quite clear about his objectives when exhibiting, “An important factor for us attending Spring Fair is that ACID will be present with their on the spot mediation service. I would also like to see a heightened acknowledgement by the organisers on their zero tolerance policy to copying.” Brand protection and a strong IP policy are at the heart of this household name.PAGE TWO NEW WAVE CUP  SAUCER  “Every strength in one brand.” This is the strategy with which Villeroy & Boch are addressing the challenges of the market and the competitive situation in the new millennium centres on the strength of their brand. Credibility, quality, image, competence, elegance, harmony, design and lifestyle are the defining characteristics. Products from all divisions of the company have received prestigious design awards such as the “red dot award: product design” from the Design Zentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen, the “good design” award from “The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design” or the “IF product design award” from International Forum Design.

Mia style shotcpAnother ACID IP Steering Group member and MD of Lubkowski Saunders Associates, Penny Laughton said, “I would like to see an Emap board director fully engaged with ACID and the issue of IP. Every year LSA sends a copy of their new brochure and designs to ACID to be held on the free ACID Design Data Bank including the recycled glass Mia collection launched in January 2010.”

Caroline Gardner - Barley Sugar rangecpIP is very much at the heart of the Caroline Gardner Publishing brand and every time a new product range is designed a copy is sent immediately to the ACID Design Data Bank. Winner of many prestigious awards, Caroline’s quirky yet sophisticated designs are brought to life by employing little used traditional printing techniques, such as letter press and die stamping, but interpreted in a very modern way. The cards have an extremely loyal following and are both instantly recognisable and highly sought after by a diverse group of consumers. Angus Gardner, also a member of the ACID Spring Fair IP Steering group said, “I am pleased to be part of this steering group and look forward to positive dialogue with the organisers of Spring Fair to ensure that IP protection is at the heart of the Spring Fair brand.”

Andy Kingston, Managing Director of Fiesta Collectables who is fully supportive of the ACID IP SteeringFiesta Collectables - Horse and Houndcp Group said, “As well as owning the intellectual property rights in all our product ranges we have an added armoury in that the majority of our sculptors put a secret mark on their work. This means that any copyists who get rid of the name stamped on the product are in for a surprise because we can tell immediately if they are designed by one of our sculptors. For example, on Ebay last week when we discovered a product being sold we sent an immediate email asserting our rights and informing them that they could run the risk of being closed down by Ebay. It’s a sure fire way of getting instant action. Ebay’s policy is to close down the trading status of companies who sell knock off or copied goods.”

chicken 1Angela Hewitt of Angela Hewitt Designs an exhibitor at many UK fairs and exhibitions said, “As an artist, all my artwork is original and painted by me. It is protected by copyright.” At the last Spring Fair Angela was extremely disappointed to see, only one aisle away, a new artist/exhibitor displaying what looked like remarkably similar artwork. She will be keeping a close and watchful eye at any future exhibitions. Copyright lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years following their death. However, if an artistic work is commercially exploited, this period is usually reduced to 25 years protection from the end of the first year of commercial exploitation. Copyright will be infringed if the design is copied and the copy features important parts taken from the design or artwork.

The IP Steering Group comprises of ACID members: Dan Black of Black & Blum, Patrick Heeley – Villeroy and Boch, Claire Farthing – Creative Tops, Penny Laughton of LSA, Angus Gardner – Caroline Gardner Publishing, Andy Kingston – Fiesta Collectables, Angela Hewitt – Angela Hewitt Designs and Jan Constantine of Jan Constantine Ltd. During the first consultation, the ACID IP Steering Group have raised the following issues and suggested various action points and outcomes:

IP Steering Group recommendations:

  • Making it completely clear at every opportunity (entrance, catalogue, website, as part of registration process, web links, etc.) photography is not allowed unless with the express permission of the stand in question.
  • Heightened security briefing and action to stop unauthorised photography
  • Endorsing ACID’s objectives and ACID Accredited status as per the agreed criteria of the ACID Exhibition Organisers Accreditation Manual.
  • To have an Emap board director fully engaged with the issue of IP
  • To have every participant at a trade show event sign a legal agreement upholding professional standards regarding intellectual property and confirm that they own the rights or have a license to market the products on their stands  (ACID has a template agreement)
  • A communication sent to the organisers of the visiting exhibitors in the Chinese Hall in Mandarin to explain about EMAP policy on intellectual property protection and to ensure that this is communicated and understood by all exhibitors. Many look alikes are manufactured in China and other BRIC countries and this is viewed as a positive initiative to engage in constructive dialogue.

RWD Bud 7 Piece WB_lo rescpACID Member Robert Welch Designs  announce that one of the latest additions to its exclusive range of cutlery – Bud – has won a red dot design award for 2010.

The new Bud cutlery by Robert Welch Designs has succeeded in one of the most renowned and hardest international design competitions worldwide. In the red dot award: product design competition Bud cutlery was awarded the “red dot” quality seal for high design quality. The jury consisting of 30 internationally renowned design experts examined and tested the products and assessed them according to criteria such as degree of innovation, functionality, ergonomics, longevity, ecological compatibility and clarity of function. This award is only conferred to particularly creative, innovative, and high-quality products. In total 1,636 products from 57 countries faced the jury this year. The award-winning products are exhibited to an international public in the red dot design museum in Essen, Germany. Bud cutlery was designed in-house by Kit deBretton Gordon.

Rupert Welch, Managing Director, said “Each new Robert Welch product results from rigorous questioning about its function, manufacture, durability and ease of use. We wanted to introduce a “straight” handled cutlery pattern to our collection but straight was too obvious and uninspiring for our design team.  We feel that Bud greatly exceeds the expectations of the original design brief and are very pleased that this has been recognised by the red dot international design jury.” www.welch.co.uk

A chance to go to a big QUIZ night out at the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club on Thursday 20th May 2010.

Why not put a team together and chance your luck against the best at a fantastic general knowledge quiz night organized by the Alliance Against IP Theft (ACID are keen and proud members).  DMH Stallard and ACID are joining forces as one team for the night.

  • High street shops are closing
  • Trading standards budgets are being cut
  • The Proceeds of Crime Act is not being used enough to strip criminals of their assets and raise vital funds for enforcement

Money raised from the Quiz Night will go directly into campaigns to encourage councillors & local authorities to prioritise the work of Trading Standards.  Funds are urgently needed to alert local authorities to the damage and harm caused by IP theft – see this month’s news story on counterfeiting.

We need auction prizes – any unusual items gratefully received as well as raffle prizes & items for goody bags so if any ACID members have any new products to be promoted or storage clear-outs, or merchandise all donations will be very gratefully received.

We also would like to do a real v fake competition – we need one of each – and the overall winner gets to keep one of the real ones!  If you have any examples from previous issues that you could donate please telephone Mandy Lewis (0782 6545767) for further information and details of where to send your donations.

Download the Quiz Night Application Form here.

Once again, our good friend the IPKat comes up with a fascinating story.  Hard on the heels of ACID previously reporting alleged scams from Fair Guide and Expo Guide it would seem that technology has now provided the route for another system to extricate money from the public.  Read the article below.

Fresh from the BBC comes news of an extremely effective, if outrageously illegitimate, deterrent to some species of copyright infringement.  It is reported that a new type of malware has been developed which infects PCs using file-share sites and publishes the user’s net history on a public website before demanding a fee for its removal. The article continues, in relevant part:

“The Japanese trojan virus installs itself on computers using a popular file-share service called Winni [which may be on its way to being a little less popular ... nb Wikipedia corrects the spelling to Winny], used by up to 200m people. It targets those downloading illegal copies of games in the Hentai genre, an explicit form of anime.

Website Yomiuri claims that 5,500 people have so far admitted to being infected [Merpel speculates as to how the infection spreads from computers to people ...]. The virus, known as Kenzero, … [m]asquerading as a game installation screen, … requests the PC owner’s personal details. It then takes screengrabs of the user’s web history and publishes it online in their name, before sending an email or pop-up screen demanding a credit card payment of 1,500 yen (£10) to “settle your violation of copyright law” and remove the webpage.

The website that the history is published on is owned by a shell company called Romancing Inc. It is registered to a fictitious individual called Shoen Overns. … Kenzero is a twist on ransomware,… which infects a computer and encrypts the documents, pictures and music stored on it, before demanding a fee for a decryption key. …

A fictitious organization calling itself the ICPP copyright foundation issues threatening pop-ups and letters after a virus searches the computer hard drive for illegal content – regardless of whether it actually finds anything.

It offers a “pretrial settlement” fine of $400 (£258) payable by credit card, and warns of costly court cases and even jail sentences if the victim ignores the notice.
However rather than take the money, the outfit sells on the credit card details, said Mr Ferguson.

“If you find you are getting pop-ups demanding payments to settle copyright infringement lawsuits, ignore them and use a free online anti-malware scanner immediately to check for malware,” was his advice.

“And if there’s online content that you want to get hold of, get it from a reputable website – if that means paying that’s what you have to do.”

The IPKat finds it strange that the protection of copyright and the cultivation of good habits of software use should be easier to achieve through extortion threats from a criminal organisation than through normal forms of monitoring and enforcement. Merpel says, I wonder what the public’s reaction would be if the virus and the threats came not from a gang of crooks but from an organisation representing legitimate software owners.

acidlobby09cpACID is a member of the national UK IP organisation The Alliance Against IP Theft  and sits alongside 20 associations and enforcement organisations with a joint objective of ensuring intellectual property rights receive the protection they need and deserve. With a combined turnover of over £250 billion, The alliance’s members include representatives of the audiovisual, music, video games and business software, and sports industries, branded manufactured goods, publishers, authors, retailers and designers.

Alliance logoMany will have read about the effects of the Digital Economy Bill and what it will mean. Luther Pendragon, lobby advisers to The Alliance, have prepared a summary to the new copyright provisions in the Digital Economy Act.  It doesn’t go into every intricate detail, but gives an accessible review. Click here to access the summary.




The British Library has Everything you need to start and grow a business

Have you visited the Business & IP Centre at the British Library?

They support entrepreneurs and innovators from the first spark of inspiration to successfully developing a business. It’s free and easy to use.  For access to a whole range of workshops and events click below.
British Library Workshops & Events

On April 26, 2010, WIPO celebrates the 10th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day. The theme of World IP Day in this celebratory year is “INNOVATION – LINKING THE WORLD.”

On World Intellectual Property Day 2010, in an open letter to Chancellor Alastair Darling and Shadow Chancellors George Osborne and Vince Cable, Dids Macdonald, Chief Executive of ACID (Anti Copying in Design) said, “WIPO Day 2010 will also see the start of a new and ongoing campaign launched by ACID (Anti Copying in Design) to encourage UK PLC’s to include the respect for intellectual property (IP) in their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments. Years of campaigning by pioneers has resulted in many PLCs now focusing, quite rightly, on a raft of ethical issues; human rights, sustainability, the environment, employee welfare, etc.  All too often, however, the communication of high ethical standards and respect for IP do not get a mention. A simple statement such as, “(name of company) respects the intellectual property rights of other companies and individuals” would go a long way to ensure that UK innovators and creators could rely on the knowledge that they could trade with ethical companies who demonstrate a commitment to encourage respect for IP.

The economy will play a central role in the election campaign and the new Chancellor will need to demonstrate how he will stimulate recovery from the longest recession in modern times. Tax, financial regulation and public spending policy will be at the top of the agenda. However, another effective way to foster the green shoots of recovery is by innovation, creativity and a knowledge economy encouraging collaborative use of IP, safe from the threats of infringement. Key UK PLCs who take the important step of declaring their positive policy on intellectual property in their CSR will compel other market leaders to follow suit and, hopefully, it will become a ‘must have’ for ethical trading inclusion. After all, in tough economic times it will be the knowledge economy and the encouragement of innovation and creativity which will be a significant stamp in the passport to economic recovery.”

Commenting on WIPO Day 2010, Director General Francis Gurry said, “Rapid innovation and its global adoption has transformed our outlook. We are now linked – physically, intellectually, socially and culturally – in ways that were impossible to imagine. This universal connectivity, sustained by the Web and wireless technology, has huge implications for the future. With the ‘death of distance’ we are no longer limited by physical location – and the benefits are legion. Innovative technologies are creating a truly global society. WIPO is dedicated to ensuring that the intellectual property system continues to serve its most fundamental purpose of encouraging innovation and creativity; and that the benefits of the system are accessible to all – helping to bring the world closer.”

To find out more about the campaign, please email Dids Macdonald, CEO of ACID at didsm@acid.uk.com or telephone 0845 644 3617

Editors Notes:

ACID (Anti Copying in Design) has, to date completed over 2000 on the spot mediations at ACID Accredited exhibitions using the ACID Exhibition Protocol. This is a non-confrontational means by which all exhibitors can communicate an alleged IP complaint to another exhibitor. Of the 2000+ complaints, only 30% required further legal action and of those, the majority were successfully settled by a letter before action and legal undertakings. Contact: Dids Macdonald 0845 644 3617 didsm@acid.uk.com