Dear ACID members

We need your help to affect positive change in new UK design policy!

As a result of the compelling submission from ACID (and other groups) to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, the creation and shaping of new design policy has been brought to the forefront as one of its top 10 IP priorities with Government endorsement from the Prime Minister.

Since then, The ACID team has been collaborating with its diverse network within the design community to help the UK Intellectual Property Office gather the right sort of evidence to influence and shape future policy to support design – a critical contributor to the UK economy – 2.4% or £33 billion at the last count! This is why I am writing to you for your input by completing the UKIPO questionnaire. It will only take a few minutes of your time and can be completed on the UKIPO website

ACID Requests!

In addition, to strengthen the ACID main submission and recommendations, please would you help us by sending your case study evidence, this is a unique opportunity and it will only happen with your collaboration. We need your own examples of copying issues – real, hard evidence to support the case for policy improvements. The UKIPO will subsequently make their recommendations to Government. Please used the attached document as a guide.

Please send these to dawn.perry@acid.uk.com or directly to dids.macdonald@acid.uk.com

The ACID team has spent the last 10/15 years helping to ensure that design’s voice is heard on IP issues and now, through a united approach, we can influence real change. It is the first time that design is included as a mainstream Government recommendation and depending upon the strength of the case we can put forward, there will be a full consultation prior to an opportunity for potential legislative change in 2013. Questions are already starting to be asked in Parliament on design IP issues.

On behalf of us all at ACID and the wider design community, we very much welcome your support and would appreciate your responses by 7th November so that we can submit them by 11th November. We would personally welcome any further thoughts you may have on strengthening our case so please do pick up the phone or send us an email

Best Wishes

The ACID team

ACID Lobby logoParliamentary ActivityDesign has moved up on Government’s radar following the Hargreaves Review on Intellectual Property to which ACID submitted a compelling case for policy reform. There has been a recent flurry of questions tabled and answered by Ed Davey, The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills during Question Time at the House of Commons:

Q – Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to bring forward proposals to provide design the same legal protection as copyright

A – Mr Davey: The Government broadly accepted the recommendations of the Hargreaves review of intellectual property and growth, in particular, that policy should be evidence based. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched a ‘call for Evidence’ on design intellectual property (IP), which, together with an online survey, will help us identify changes to the designs IP framework that users of the system think are now needed

Q – Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he expects his proposed copyright small claims jurisdiction to be in place

A – Mr Davey: The Government are examining the business case for the introduction of a small claims track in the patents county court. We intend to report on progress this autumn. Subject to an appropriate business case being established, the Government would look to implement the change as soon as possible thereafter, hopefully in 2012

Q – Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what research his Department has (a) evaluated and (b) commissioned to quantify the effects of design infringement on small businesses.

A – Mr Davey: In September 2011 the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published the results of independent research into design economics, which added to existing evidence about the difficulties faced by small businesses seeking to protect design. Further research is now under consideration, while other work by the IPO—a ‘call for evidence’ on design IP, together with an online survey will help identify potential solutions.

In addition to the above, Chi Onwurah asked a Parliamentary Question on the Digital Economy Act, which has been answered by Ed Vaizey

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what statutory instruments he plans to lay before the House under the provisions of the Digital Economy Act 2010; and when he expects to lay each such instrument before the House.

Mr Vaizey: The Government will be submitting two statutory instruments to the House over the coming period to take forward the online infringement of copyright provisions within the Digital Economy Act 2010. The first, which is currently under consideration under the terms of the technical standards directive, sets out the way in which the costs of the provisions will be shared by industry. The second will be an order setting out the initial obligations code. We would expect the instruments to be laid before both Houses in the first quarter of 2012.

CEO Dids Macdonald with Mr Guriqbal Singh Jaiya, WIPO Director of SME Division and Jeremy Philpot EPO Innovation

CEO Dids Macdonald with Mr Guriqbal Singh Jaiya, WIPO Director of SME Division

Following an invitation from the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) sponsored by the European Patent office (EPO) to a two-day SME and IP event held in Munich last week, Dids Macdonald CEO of ACID took the opportunity to raise awareness of the extensive use of unregistered and informal IP rights by the creative industries in the UK. Statistics from around Europe reinforced the fact that the UK is not alone in the distinct lack of formal IP registrations to support their business models.

Representatives from many national IP offices and other relevant institutions in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shared their experiences in work being undertaken to help raise awareness about the significance of IP training for those involved with training the intermediaries who interface with SME’s in business mentoring. “Train the IP trainers effectively” was one of the key messages being discussed by delegates. Access to the EPO IP4inno website, which is an excellent site offering training modules for those involved in IP mentoring. The ip4inno project is funded by the European Commission as a part of the Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Its main aim is to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) enhance their understanding and use of intellectual property rights with a view to promoting innovation and competitiveness in line with the European Commission’s Lisbon goals.

Dids Macdonald, talking about ACID experiences emphasised the importance of providing one to one IP clinics on a wide variety of subjects, access to expert help at the end of a telephone and a proactive approach to communication of an IP strategy both internally and externally through the supply chain. Speaking at the event, Dids said, “The UK comprises of many micro and small businesses and designers account for approximately 232,000 but the majority of them have less than 4 employees. As such, many small firms are isolated and IP law can seem very complex, so it is important to move towards uncomplicated user friendly access to practical IP help and information”. Dids introduced ACID’s latest self-help tool for businesses sending confidential information by email, the IP Tracker. A simple to use cost effective tracking of confidential IP content to third parties. This works in harmony with ACID’s Design Data Bank which holds approximately 300,000 copies of members’ designs.

Alliance logo

The Alliance Against IP Theft & Action for Children are holding their annual Biq Quiz night on 3 November 2011 at Lords Cricket Ground. Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Individual Ticket: £125 plus vat
  • Team of 8 players: £950 plus vat
  • Tour of Lords: £15 per person plus vat

If you would like to attend the Big Quiz either as an individual or a team please download and fill in the registration form – Big Quiz Night Registration Form

Return registration form to Jenny Fraser:

Via email: jenny.fraser@actionforchildren.org.uk

Via post to ACTION FOR CHILDREN, 10 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DG

Image of IP agreement & ppenACID (Anti Copying in Design) welcomes the latest Government initiative with their announcement to raise business awareness to avoid falling foul of current IP laws. There are now clear guidelines to provide companies with up to date employee information to ensure that they are not breaking the law. Baroness Wilcox, Minister of Intellectual Property, who launched the new initiative said, “The new guidance was an example of Government, enforcement agencies and industry working together and raising awareness of managing IP in the workplace. Intellectual Property rights are essential to the success and growth of any business. However, many companies can leave themselves open to prosecution if they or their staff infringe the IP rights belonging to other companies or individuals.”

To avoid criminal offences (and potential fines of up to £50,000 and/or a possible prison sentence) taking place in the workplace employers should take a simple IP Health Check. If the answer is “NO” to the questions below, immediate, free and simple guidance is available on the IPO website

  • Do your employees know that they cannot sell copies of protected works?
  • Company IT equipment and servers – Are your staff aware that it should not be used to produce infringing content?
  • Are employees aware that they should not use the company equipment to sell infringing products to colleagues?
  • Do you have a company policy for staff on IPR infringement, procurement?

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “Taking time to look at these guidelines will help businesses protect themselves from legal challenge and, I hope, raise awareness about corporate responsibility and respect for IP. This comes as a very welcome addition to ACID’s Guidelines for Design Buyers which was launched several years ago to help design buyers through what they could and should be doing to protect themselves and their staff from infringing the rights of design originators.”

The European Patent Office (EPO) is offering three 2-day workshops this November with a selection of topics from over 60 teaching hours of recently updated material. This popular project is providing business advisors and TTOs with practical IP strategy training they can use when supporting their own client SMEs, entrepreneurs and start-ups. The modules cover much more than simply “how to register rights”, but rather discuss the business context in which IP can be commercialised. Modules on IP licensing, valuation, financing and enforcement provide a complete picture of the role IP plays in protecting and encouraging innovation.

PLEASE NOTE: each of the three workshops includes different topics.  For more information please follow the links below:

14 & 15 November – Munich, Germany
IP in Business Practice (Includes an all new module on “IP Deals in China”)

22 & 23 November – Vienna, Austria
IP Information for Business Success

29 & 30 November – Berlin, Germany
Trading IP (Includes an all new module on “IP deals in China”)

Attendance costs just €250 for each 2-day workshop – but places are limited to just 20 seats per workshop!

The EPO has recruited many of the authors of these new materials to teach what they have written, so this is a rare opportunity to be taught by the experts in the field.

IP MINISTER ISSUES INVITATION FOR DESIGNERS TO BE INVOLVED WITH FUTURE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DESIGN POLICY

ACID (Anti Copying In Design) welcomes an open invitation to the UK design sector from Baroness Wilcox, Minister for Intellectual Property, to shape future IP Design Policy, at an event held at the Design Council to encourage initial debate on what makes the design industry tick. Lady Wilcox said, “I urge the business community to participate in this call for evidence and help shape the future of design in the UK.” This could not come at a more timely moment following Professor Hargreaves recommendations that this sector of the creative industries had been neglected in the past. “Investment in design in the UK,” said Lady Wilcox, “Contributed £33 billion or 2.4% of the UK’s GDP in 2008.” 

Dids Macdonald, CEO of ACID, a panellist at today’s event said, “This is a very encouraging start but it will only be effective if the whole design sector is prepared to contribute, with real evidence and case studies to highlight some of the challenges facing design through IP infringement and Government listens and acts.  This is a huge opportunity for designers to speak out about their IP issues!”

Right, Baroness Wilcox earlier this month following a meeting with ACID Members Dan Black of Black & Blum and Rodney McMahon of Morgan Contract Furniture (also Chairman of BCFA and Honorary President of FIT) together with representatives from BDI.

Macdonald continued, “Innovation happens irrespective of IP rights but designers should demand a robust IP framework from which to achieve growth through ROI, reinforced by a realistic, cost and time effective legal framework to address infringement, with appropriate exemplary damages. Without this, growth will be eroded and jobs threatened. This, alone, would go a long way to discourage those who take the fast track to market by free riding on the back of the UK’s designers who are, undoubtedly, some of the best in the world.”

Design rights are complex. The majority of the UK’s 232,000 designers do not rely on registered rights and have less than 4 employees.  Therefore, it can be too expensive to take legal action, not to mention the debilitating negative effects which make running a small design led business almost impossible in the face of the uncertainty of potential infringement.  More importantly, Britain’s designers do not have the significant benefit that European counterparts have in being able to rely on unfair competition law.

ACID will be working closely and positively alongside the UK IPO to ensure that design’s voice is heard loudly and clearly with the creation of sound policy and tangible actions to support this important part of the economy.

Statement from IPO on 21/9/11

The Government has today issued a ‘call for evidence’ (1.31Mb) in relation to the design sector and launched a supporting online questionnaire/survey aimed at business.

Baroness Wilcox announced the publication of the first phase of research into the use of design rights in the UK. The research shows that the most intensive spenders on design in the UK are business services, manufacturing and construction sectors. Relative to other countries in Europe the UK spends significantly on design related products and services; but there is very low awareness of design rights. The research also found that registered design rights are used mainly in specific business sectors, such as furniture and clothing.

These reports are available via our IP Research area.

The full Government response (402Kb) to the Hargreaves Review, along with the IP International Approach (580Kb) and IP Crime Strategy (413Kb) are available on this website.

  •  ‘Digital Opportunity: A review of intellectual property and growth’ is available on the review website.
  • A full copy of the Government response to the Hargreaves Review is also available on the BIS website .
  • For further information, please contact Dan Palmer on 0207 215 5303 or e-mail communications@ipo.gov.uk. 

 

CABE & Design CouncilDesign Reports Workshop: 21st September at The Design Council, 34 Bow Street, London WC2E 7DL: 9:30am – 4pm

What: One day workshop
When: 21 September 2011, 9.30am – 4pm (includes lunch)
Why: An opportunity to influence policy makers on the development of policy in design rights
Where: Design Council, 34 Bow Street, London WC2E 7DL

The design sector continues to make a significant contribution to the UK economy and in promoting a positive image of UK plc overseas. However, policy makers know little about how the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) system supports this successful and innovative sector.

The workshop will debate the results of four exciting linked research projects:
Mapping design activity in the UK: Jonathan Haskel – Imperial College
Design rights and business performance: Bruce Tether – Imperial College and University of Manchester
Exploring firm behaviours surrounding rights: James Moultrie – Imperial College
International comparison of rights: UK, Germany and France – BOP

There will be a debate regarding what the research means for the future of the UK design sector and what additional evidence and research is needed to support the development of Government policy in this area.

For more information please email: Tony.Creaton@ipo.gov.uk

London Design Festival LogoACID (Anti Copying In Design) is proud to announce that the London Design Festival has recently become an ACID Event Partner. It is a great pleasure for ACID to be associated with such a prestigious and creative event, which has been running since 2003 and, which has now become one of the world’s most important annual design happenings.

Visitors to the festival’s information point, found at the Victoria & Albert museum, may pick up an ACID leaflet. The ACID team is happy to support all members exhibiting at the festival, and they may call the ACID hotline number 0845 644 3617 to speak directly to a member of the ACID team should any assistance be needed.

ACID members please let us know if you are taking part in the festival (dawn.perry@acid.uk.com)

More on the London Design Festival here: www.londondesignfestival.com

Best wishes from ACID for a fruitful and inspired festival!

ACID’s frequently asked “IP myths and howlers”….or frequently asked WRONG questions!

How do I register my copyright?

You can’t because in the UK copyright arises automatically upon the creation of a work in a tangible form (e.g. a design drawing); there is no requirement for registration. However, in the USA you can register a copyright.

Where can I patent my design?

You can’t unless you have created a new and inventive product or process. The relevant form of protection for most designs is UK design right which protects the shape and configuration of the design and unregistered Community design right which protects the shape, contours, lines, colours, texture and ornamentation of a design. Design rights arise automatically but, for stronger protection, a Registered UK or Community design can be obtained for a payment of a fee.

Visit the IPO Website

Visit the OHIM Website

If someone makes seven changes or a certain percentage change to a design it becomes a new design!

WrongI It is not the number or percentage of changes that somebody makes to your design but the importance of the elements which they have taken from your design which is important in deciding whether they have infringed your rights in your design.  This will always vary from case to case.

Registering designs is useless because if you make one slight percentage change in the design the registration is invalid

Wrong, because the test for whether a design infringes a registered design is whether it creates the same overall impression as the registered design on the informed user.  It is not simply about counting the number of elements of the design which have been reproduced or changes which have been made to it.

I want to register my design to protect the way it works

You can’t because you would have to apply for a patent rather than a design registration. However, to obtain a patent you would have to demonstrate that the way that your design works is novel and inventive.

I have protected the name of my business because I have registered the name at Company’s house

You haven’t because a registered company name does not give you rights in the name which you can enforce against third parties – for this you need a registered trade mark.

My freelance designer doesn’t have any claim to the rights in my design!

They might because if they produce a design for you, you will only own any UK unregistered design right  which might subsist in the design. There may be other IP rights in the design which you do not own, such as copyright and unregistered Community design right. If you want to own all the intellectual property rights, the best plan is to ask the freelance designer to assign these to you in a written agreement, preferably before they do any work.

If I do not include the ©2009 (name) notice on my work I will not benefit from copyright protection

Not true! In the UK copyright arises automatically when you record your original work in a tangible form. However, it is wise to include such a notice because it notifies others that you are claiming copyright in your work.

If I register a copy of the design before the originator I own the design

You don’t necessarily because whilst you will technically be the owner of the registration, the originator would be able to seek a declaration of invalidity of your registration.

I applied for a registration for my design because I own the company

Wrong! because if you created the design in the course of your employment, even with your own company, the company alone has the right to register the design. The registration will therefore be invalid.

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