Commission it, don't copy it logoACID Launches “Commission it, don’t copy it!” Campaign!

John Lewis plc and Selfridges are already signatories of the ACID Voluntary Retailers’ Code of Conduct!

No wonder the UK’s high street retailers have a lot to thank Britain’s talented 230,000 strong design army for – design and innovation provides the competitive edge and the UK is rather good at it! (we are ranked 4th in the world internationally). Latest figures confirm the UK spends £33 billion on design.

Whilst the majority of retailers support and respect design origination, there are some retail design buyers who do not! With the recent emergence of a stream of look-alike designs, never has there been a better time for all design buyers to put their full weight behind British designers and join Anti Copying in Design’s (ACID) “Commission it, Don’t Copy it!” campaign which is supported by Elle Decoration. Launching on World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April 2012, the campaign aims to garner support from the UK’s major high street chains and independent retailers to commission original designs and never to produce look alikes.

On behalf of Government and in support of the ACID campaign Baroness Wilcox, The Minister for Intellectual Property said:

“The UK is rich in design talent.  Its many design-led small businesses not only generate direct value for the UK economy, they also underpin success for many larger firms across all sectors.  Anti Copying in Design’s ‘Commission it, Don’t Copy it’ campaign aims to engage plc buyers in working with the UK’s designers.   The relationships that develop will help more of the UK’s design businesses to emerge as key players and ensure that our major retailers reap the benefits of access to outstanding design and a corporate reputation for true originality. I welcome ACID’s work to help engage with and protect the UK’s design sector.”

Elle Decoration’s Editor in Chief, Michelle Ogundehin, adding her full weight behind the campaign said, We’re also proud to announce our official support for ACID (Anti Copying in Design) in its Commission It, Don’t Copy It campaign, which entreats UK retailers and manufacturers to proactively support original design and pay a royalty for each product sold. Britain has such a magnificent reputation for creativity, and I’d like to be proud of what this country stands for, not ashamed. Wouldn’t you? After all, in the inimitable words of ‘Moby Dick’ author Herman Melville, ‘It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation”

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO added, “Major high street retailers are invited to sign the ACID voluntary Code of Conduct. This contains a framework of values, with the intention of providing consumers with assurances as to the integrity of the designs and conduct of retailers. It is often difficult for design buyers to easily recognise design origination or understand about intellectual property ownership, so ACID has created a simple set of guidelines which it is intended will be helpful to work within to comply with UK IP law”.

Independent retailers who invest heavily in and support British designers are also invited to support the UK’s designers by becoming Retail Members of ACID and will be provided with a showroom sticker and Independent Retailer Member of ACID logo to show visible support for British designers to their customers.

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:

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

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.

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:

Dids Macdonald in liveryAt a recent ceremony ACID’s CEO Dids Macdonald was admitted as a Liveryman to The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. The Company was founded as a guild in 1951 and granted Livery status in 1963, becoming the 83rd Livery Company of the City of London and only the sixth to be formed since the reign of Queen Anne ended in 1714.

It aims to support the highest standards of design, manufacturing, marketing and retailing of every type of furniture throughout the United Kingdom. It achieves these aims through a variety of means, such as: promoting the training courses on offer, support of student financial awards and prizes, leading joint initiatives with industry-associated trade bodies, and the award of its own highly prized Guild Marks.  The Marks recognise excellence in three categories; Bespoke – for the finest commissions of craftsman made furniture, Manufacturing – for the highest standards of production process in furniture manufacturing companies, and Design recently introduced for designers of manufactured furniture.

On being admitted Dids said, “I consider it an honour to have been invited to become a Liveryman and hope to contribute to the Worshipful Company’s excellent work by serving on the Guild Marks Committee which I will join in May 2011. I also hope to maximize any opportunities within the Company to continue to raise awareness about the value of intellectual property within the sector.

Membership of the Company as a Liveryman or Freeman is restricted to men and women employed or having been employed in the furniture industry. Thus individuals are able to contribute to the industry and its work outside of their employed function, and even after formal retirement.

RW Sig KnifeACID member UK-based Robert Welch Designs is delighted to announce that its Signature knives have won the Excellence in Housewares ‘Cutting Edge’ category for the second year running. The complete range of Signature knives and the knife block won the award in 2009 and in 2010 the 20cm cooks knife, the 16cm flexi utility knife and the 10cm vegetable knife (the new additions to the range) have also been successful in the same category.

The Excellence in Housewares Awards are owned and organised by Progressive Housewares magazine in conjunction with the Cookshop and Housewares Association and are considered to be the ‘Oscars’ of the housewares industry.

Speaking about the win just after the awards ceremony in London, Rupert Welch, Managing Director of Robert Welch Designs, said:

“Our initial reaction was surprise, swiftly followed by delight that the quality of the Signature knife range has been recognized yet again by an awards panel. We understand that until this year it was unprecedented for a product/extension to a product range to win this award in two consecutive years. This is a wonderful endorsement of the Signature range and we are very proud to have won.”

Key facts about the Signature knife range:
•    The Signature knife block and knives were designed in-house by Paul deBretton Gordon and Rupert Welch.
•    The 2010 Excellence in Housewares ‘Cutting Edge’ award is the latest success for the Signature knives which have also won an iF design award (Germany), the GOOD DESIGN™ award (from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design), a red dot design award (Germany), the Excellence in Housewares ‘Cutting Edge’ award (UK) 2009 and a Gold accolade in the ‘Product of the Year’ awards organized by Housewares and DIY week magazine (UK). The knives have also achieved the highest possible rating from the Craft Guild of Chefs.
•    The knives have been performance-tested by Sheffield’s leading test establishment and found to be in the world’s top 1% (of all knives tested) for initial sharpness and edge retention.
•    Each blade is honed and tempered to razor sharpness using World Edge Geometry™ inspired by master sword craftsmen from Japan to produce a precision blade.
•    Each block contains the innovative, patented Robert Welch Signature knife sharpening mechanism designed to care for the knives, simply and effectively.
•    The block has been designed for ease of use when inserting and removing the knives. A magnetic locator in each slot prevents damage to the blade edge when inserting or removing the knives.
•    The full range includes fourteen knives, two carving forks, a sharpening steel and a hand-held knife sharpener.

For more information view the Robert Welch Website

e-consumer week logoSusie Winter of the AAIPT recently attended the Trading Standards Institute launch of National e-Consumer week, where the danger of buying fakes online was highlighted.

Susie reports that the TSI recently conducted a survey of visitors to their own website and found that:

  • Out of the 73% of people who are concerned about shopping online 6% are concerned the item will be fake
  • However, out of the 28% who said they had problems shopping online 19% said the item when it arrived was fake (48% said the item never arrived)
  • When asked what they would do if they had a problem 10% said they would take it on the chin and avoid using the same website

Calls to Consumer Direct on counterfeits went up 43% from Aug 08-09 to Aug 09-10

  • Aug 08-09 1,958 calls
  • Aug 09-10 2,801 calls

The number of fakes seized by the UK Border Agency has increased more than four-fold over the past decade

  • 2000 – 857,772
  • 2010 – 3,707,940

IP Minister Baroness Wilcox said, “Fake goods can pose a serious risk to health and safety. Poor quality electrical goods can cause fires and electrocution. Just this month a teenager was badly burnt after buying seemingly genuine hair straighteners.”

Download the Report in PDF Format Here

Plagiarius Winner 2010

Registration deadline: December 3, 2010 -Early Bird Tariff for registrations before November 02, 2010

The 35th  Plagiarius-competition date has been announced. Action Plagiarius grants this negative award at the annual “Ambiente”, the world’s largest consumer goods trade fair, during an international press conference. The award is given to those manufacturers and distributors whom the jury has found guilty of making or selling “the most flagrant” (design) imitations. Key figure is a black painted gnome with a gold nose to signify the illicit earnings from product imitation.

Since 1977 Action Plagiarius has been increasing the public awareness of the unscrupulous business practices of imitators who copy 1:1 the innovative design and technical solutions of successful products. The aim of Plagiarius is to inform the public – industry and consumers alike – about the sweeping extent of the damages and dangers incurred by fakes and plagiarisms. Furthermore Plagiarius serves as a platform and is a great conduit for industry to shed light on this problem on an international basis. The huge public awareness level of “Plagiarius” often makes a strong impact. In the past, numerous imitators have withdrawn remainders of stock from the market, have signed cease and desist letters or revealed their suppliers.

It is most important that affected companies protect their innovations and at the same time draw the attention to the increasing problem of brand and product piracy. Particularly consumers should be sensitised for the problem. Without demand, there would be no supply. Action Plagiarius combines both: deterrence of the imitators (supply) and sensitisation of the consumers (demand).

On February 11, 2011 – the first day of the “Ambiente” International Consumer Goods Trade Fair – the award ceremony / press conference of “Plagiarius 2011” will take place. All entries will be shown from February 11-15, 2011 in Foyer 5.1/6.1 during the “Ambiente”. Afterwards the prize winners will be shown at changing world-wide exhibitions and in the Museum Plagiarius in Solingen (Germany).

Designers and companies affected by plagiarisms, should apply for the Plagiarius Competition 2011

For the evaluation the jury needs:

  • The original product
  • The alleged plagiarism
  • The filled in registration for (new: can be filled in directly at the PC)
  • Any correspondence with the imitator
  • Copies of IP (Intellectual Property) registrations (certificates of design patents, utility patents etc.) if any registered
  • If needed, any further information that may be helpful for the jury (short and precise !)

The early bird registration fee until Nov. 02, 2010:

Registration: EUR 250,00 – further registrations (each): EUR 150,00

The registration fee until Dec. 03, 2010:

Registration: EUR 300,00 – further registrations (each): EUR 150,00

Applications are welcome any time from now on – the application form can be downloaded at:

For further information please ask Christine Lacroix, or phone. +49(0)7308 / 922 422

Last year’s winner image taken from Plagiarius website

Celebrating British ingenuity – 6th September to 28th November 2010

Dids Macdonald & Tanya EwingIn a celebration of British ingenuity the British Library is exploring the stories behind fifteen ground-breaking inventions from this century’s first decade. Whether they are changing the world of sport, fighting climate change, or just making life a bit easier, each inventor has challenged the established way of doing things. From Dyson’s revolutionary bladeless fan to President Obama’s favourite dog bowl and it is possible to trace the journey of an idea from that first spark of inspiration to the development of a business. The original drawings, patent specifications and finished products have been made available to view.

One of the 15 inventions is the Money Saving Ewgeco Energy Monitor developed by ACID Ambassador and Member Tanya Ewing.  Attached to a domestic or commercial power supply, this single device makes monitoring usage of electricity, gas and water easy through a simple traffic light warning system.

An inspiring programme of events will take a deeper look at world of inventions and help aspiring inventors to turn their ideas into reality, with the support of the Library’s Business & IP Centre.

Curator of the exhibition and the British Library’s resident Patent expert, Steve Van Dulken, said, “Inventing the 21st Century is a celebration of British ingenuity.  Investigating the stories behind fifteen leading British inventions from the last decade, this exhibition covers everything from potential world changing renewable energy devices and cutting edge medical technology, to products that simply aim to make daily life that little bit easier.  “Detailing the journey from inspiration to market behind each of these products, the British Library hopes this exhibition will inspire a generation of aspiring inventors to explore their ideas and turn that creativity into a reality.”

For further information visit the British Library Website

Please find a link below for a radio interview featuring Tanya on the You and Yours show

Museum of Brands LogoSOCIAL: the new media for Brands?

Marketers, creatives and brand professionals are invited to join us on 6th October to learn about Social Media, which has been projected as bigger for brands than advertising! Social Media consultants Educated Change will present the topic at this free evening reception at the Brand Museum (from 6pm).

Further Information
The Museum of Brands charts 300 years of brand progression, through numerous technological and cultural revolutions.  Radio, TV and Internet each changed the face of branding and advertising.  A new revolution is underway that is likely to dwarf all those that occurred in the last 100 years.
The Museum of Brands have arranged an evening presentation with Educated Change to share how Social Media will impact how you promote and protect brand identity and loyalty in the coming years.  The event will be held at the Museum on October 6th and it is free to attend!

This event is about helping you and your company prepare for the next shift in communication (networking and social media). Understand what you can do now, what you should be planning and what tools will help reduce the workload.

Join us for a glass of wine, some light snacks, a tour of the Museum and a 40 minute seminar that will help you understand the way you communicate in the Brand Shift era.

6.00  Drinks, Museum visit, networking
6.30  Social Media Seminar

  • 300 years of communication history – a brief overview
  • Trends in Social Media, Collaboration and Networking
  • Success and Failure – Case Studies
  • What you should be doing so you don’t waste time and money
  • Feedback

7.10  Post seminar drink
7.40  Event ends

This event is now fully booked

For more information on this event and others please visit the Museum of Brands Events Page

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