WIP Day (26th April 2011), saw the launch of ACID’s (Anti Copying in Design) IP Tracker a simple, cost effective digital method of tracking delivery of IP led and confidential information. It is a natural electronic addition to the already successful ACID Design Data Bank which holds over 350,000 copies of unregistered designs. All too often, design ideas and new product designs are stolen at the vulnerable stage of sending them to third parties. The IP Tracker, reinforced by the powerful ACID brand, will be an additional tool of self help ensuring a further layer of IP awareness. Initially discussed in 2007, the process was only developed recently, after ACID Member and designer John Coleman’s feedback indicated that there was an increasing need for an electronic sending service which would underpin the user’s IP Rights without appearing threatening or unattractive to a potential client or collaborator.

It is timely that World Intellectual Property Day’s 2011 theme recognizes the importance of design’s significant impact on every aspect of our lives. Design is the catalyst for innovation and a key driver of competitive edge; it is everywhere, shaping tomorrow’s future. Launching WIPO Day 2011 Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO said, “Industrial design helps companies to differentiate their products from those of competitors and enhance brand image of their products. This is why ensuring the proper protection of industrial designs is so important.”

ACID ambassador and designer Sebastian Conran, commenting on the ACID IP Tracker said, “An unintended consequence of digital technology is the dissemination & theft of identities, ideas and designs… Proving ownership of IP is the foundation of protecting it; and the ACID IP Tracker provides unequivocal dated evidence for files in digital transit – simply, efficiently and effectively.”

Using the ACID IP Tracker will ensure that graphic designs, drawings, submissions to tender, responses to brief and indeed any other confidential intellectual property (IP) rights based information sent to a third party has the safeguard of evidence of confirmed delivery for the sender with a copy held by ACID. The service automatically acknowledges delivery of information and the recipient confirms their acceptance of confidentiality of content and the terms of agreement when accessing the file. The ACID IP Tracker will cost £3.50 per transmission for ACID members, £5.00 for non members.

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “Most micro enterprises and SME’s cannot afford to go all the way to Court over infringement, so the most important element of IP protection is a deterrent and preventative strategy, particularly when sending sensitive information to a third party. Importantly, providing receipted evidence of sending reverses the burden of proof and makes it easier to take action.”