Legal Tip Text

ACID fact:

If you sign a contract without having thoroughly read all the small print, you are legally responsible. You cannot argue that you were unaware of any of the obligations that will then bind you. Your only option will be to argue that there is something fundamentally wrong with the contract, such as a failure of consideration, or a breach of the contract. Even then, the contract may be deemed only “voidable” and not totally void or invalid.

ACID case study:

An ACID member, who signed an agreement with a company called Construct Data Verlag GmbH, brought the issue to ACID’s attention as a warning to all other members to always read the small print before signing any form of contract for directories. A similar invitation has just been received by ACID from a company called Expo-Guide – Exhibitors Directory for Fairs and Exhibitions linking our name to a particular UK exhibition. In the case study, the member potentially signed to pay for a website advertising space for 3 years if a cancellation notice was not received within 3 months of the end of the third year. The agreement provided a 10-day cooling off period in which cancellation was possible so long as it was by registered post. However, the payments invoice, in this case the first indication of the error, was not received until after the 10-day period had elapsed.  Unwittingly, the ACID member signed the Agreement, without fully reading all the clauses, because the offer was sent at roughly the same time as official exhibition documentation. The confusion on the member’s part came about because Construct Data’s offer was headed Fair Guide. Without thinking, the member signed up believing their name would appear in the actual exhibition’s “list of exhibitors’ guide”.

The agreement had clear notification that the FAIR Guide was “independent, objective and not related to any organiser (sic) or marketing association”. However, this information was set out in the body of the text, in smaller print than the larger FAIR Guide heading and not immediately obvious to the reader. The actual payment terms and length of the agreement was in even smaller print.

ACID has recently received a similar mailshot from Expo-Guide. If we were to sign the contract we would be entering into a contract and paying 1271 euros per year. In the separate covering letter from Expo-Guide it says the Expo-Guide is “independent, objective and not affiliated to any fair organiser or marketing organisation”.

ACID media partner, Trendease International has been asked by the event MoOD (Meet only Original Designs, formerly known as Decosit) to suggest some materials for the innovation platform.  We will be recommending interesting innovative fabrics/materials which could be used in interior decoration (upholstery, wall, window coverings).

Here is coverage on the Innovation Platform:

More information on it:

Submit samples here:

If you plan to make a submission please follow the link above AND send an email to and CC with JPGs of the material(s).

Best of luck to you all!

The Trendease Team

The winners of the New Design Britain competition were unveiled during an awards ceremony, which took place on 24th January at Design Interiors 2011.

The prestigious jury panel included representatives from ACID, Evening Standard, Fromental and Willis & Gambier. The winners were chosen in four categories: furniture, fabrics, surface coverings and textiles. The Barjis New Rug Design competition represented the flooring section of the show.

The New Design Britain 2011 winning designs are, according to category:

Benjamin Boyce

Furniture – Peg Leg by Benjamin Boyce

Elaine Ng Yan Ling

Surface Coverings – The Clusters by Elaine Ng Yan Ling


Flooring – Coming Home to Roost by Jessica Penrose (on left)

Alex MacMaster

Accessories – Iris lamp pendants by Alex MacMaster

Textiles – Buildings in Cross by Henoc Maketo

Phil Hunter, interiors brand director, who presented the awards, says of the competition: “We are proud to support young design talent by recognising its most gifted representatives. interiors is a great platform for new design, product development and innovation across the interiors spectrum. The fantastic quality of the shortlisted entries, and a great passion behind the designs, gives us confidence about the bright future of the interiors industry.”

Among the competition prizes were an annual ACID membership and internships with Barjis, Ercol, Fromental, Mark Hutchison Furniture and Marks & Spencer. The winner of Barjis New Rug Design will also embark on a week-long trip to China where their winning rug design will be manufactured.
Jennifer Jones also secured a placement at the National Trust, Textile Conservation Studio, thanks to presenting a progress she made from winning the Fabrics category at interiors 2011 to being a winner of the New Rug Design competition at interiors 2011.

The Textile Conservation Studio Manager, Ksynia Marko, said: “We see this as an opportunity for the graduate to come into close contact with historic textiles from which they will gain design inspiration and understanding of textile conservation. We are very pleased to support new designers and commission Jennifer’s designs.”

Benjamin Boyce, the winner of furniture category commented on the award: “The New Design Britain competition is a great opportunity for all the finalists to present their work to the top industry professionals who visit interiors. The show’s been great for us and it’s the best place to make new contacts with both fellow designers and people from big companies who are interested in our projects.”

The New Design Britain competition ran alongside Design Interiors 2011, the largest UK exhibition for the interiors industry. The third edition of the competition will be part of interiors 2012, taking place from 22-25 January 2012. The call for entries opens in May 2011.

Burgon & Ball ImageFollowing a cease & desist letter from ACID Accredited law firm, McDaniel & Co, ACID Members Burgon & Ball have protected their trade mark against infringement by Dutch owned Vanderschoot after discovery of the offending mark. Vanderschoot was using the mark without permission on their own planter, the Salad Planter, a product which was being imported into Garden Centres in the UK.

Shortly after the exhibition, Burgon & Ball discovered that large scale bulb supplier Vanderschoot, were potentially infringing their UK trade mark No: 2487749 for the mark ‘HOME ALLOTMENT’ in class 20 covering in particular ‘Planters of Wood, Planters of Plastics Materials and Planters of Wood and Plastics Materials’. The mark is commonly used on one of Burgon & Ball’s most popular and award winning ranges, the ‘Home Allotment’ range of planters.

Burgon & Ball are well known in the garden ware industry for selling high quality, durable and beautifully designed products. Following the successful settlement, Kelly Hudson of McDaniel said, “Burgon & Ball were determined to protect their market and resolved to take whatever action was required to do so. This matter demonstrates the effectiveness of a cease and desist letter and it will be seen by those within the industry as a key component of Burgon & Ball’s new wider strategy to ensure effective IP protection and enforcement. Growing popularity and a valued reputation mean that Burgon & Ball need to take effective action such as this immediately to stamp out IP infringements.”

ACID’s CEO Dids Macdonald added, “Following Burgon & Ball becoming members at GLEE, an ACID Accredited exhibition, meant that ACID and McDaniel & Co. were able to act quickly when the infrigement arose. Burgon & Ball’s IP message is clear, they will protect their brand at all costs.”

View the Burgon & Ball website

Silver Lining IIHonoury ACID member Adam Aaronson has been at the heart of British studio glass for more than 25 years years and was one of the driving forces behind ACID’s launch as an anti copying organisation some 15 years ago.  Specialising in free blown glass, his work experiments with self-taught methods and painterly techniques including abstract patinas. In recent years Adam has been developing larger scale organic forms within his iconic ‘Landscape’ series.

“I am always fascinated by the ever-changing patterns and colours that are created by the play of light on water. Living beside the Thames, I love watching the river and am completely inspired by its constant response to the changing light.” (Adam Aaronson)

The ‘Reflected Light’ series was developed in early 2011, inspired by the beauty of waterscapes and landscapes, made diverse by the nature of light upon them; creating reflections, abstractions and shadow. Each of Adam’s artwork surfaces is created as a canvas, depicting a shimmering moment of reflection, capturing river and sea, coastline and forest, as light passes over and through. Glass contains its own dynamic of reflection and refraction, and Adam’s work pays the utmost attention to the organic form of each sculpture, celebrating the natural flow and force of molten glass and leaving behind traditional requirements for functionality.

“Aaronson applies layer upon layer of color over the metal leaf, but the reflective under surface endows the works with a subtle luminosity.  The swirling, not-quite-chaotic painterly effects range from Rouault-Soutine-deKooning-like impasto to a granular dispersal of color reminiscent of the atomized color of Monet’s late water lily murals.” (Peter Morrin, Director Emeritus, The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky)

Adam’s glass artwork has been exhibited internationally and at prestigious institutions nationally including Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, and Broadfield House Glass Museum, Kingswinford, West Midlands. Adam’s work can always be viewed at ZeST Contemporary Glass Gallery, London.

Image of furnitureWhether you are a contract buyer for a multiple, retail or independent store there is no doubt that the exhibition venue is a unique environment to view new and existing products under one roof. Whilst there has been a significant upturn in online buying and selling, nothing replaces the look, touch and feel of the real thing! So intellectual property (IP) planning for exhibitions is critical. If exhibitors get their exhibition strategy wrong there will be little return on investment. If, however, you get it right you can establish relationships, consolidate the intellectual capital in your brand and communicate your anti copying policy – essential for those whose reputation and future depends on original design. ACID Accredited Exhibitions have a positive policy of encouraging and promoting original design and the respect for intellectual property.

Andy Vaughan, Interiors Event Director says, “Having been an ACID accredited event for many years now, Interiors Birmingham has a zero tolerance policy to design infringement within the industry and therefore fully supports ACID’s aims and mediation protocol to help to combat these issues.”  Louise Young, Managing Director of Spring Fair says “We understand the importance of IP to our customers and, as part of Emap’s terms and conditions, all exhibitors agree not to infringe the rights of any third party.  On the rare occasion where an infringement has been brought to our attention, the product is removed from the stand.  In cases where an exhibitor believes there has been an infringement we will always suggest that in the first instance they seek specialist advice.”

In 2010 ACID announced that IP Steering Groups had been created to work with ACID Accredited Exhibitions in raising awareness of copying issues on the exhibition floor.  These groups consist of ACID Members, small and large, who exhibit regularly.  ACID recently asked for their views on the Government’s response to ACID’s No. 10 petitions and also to the announcement, by David Cameron, of an Intellectual Property Review for 2011.

The Government response to ACID’s petition to bring design right infringement in line with other IP rights stated, “That unlike copyright and trademarks, design right infringement can often be inadvertent!” ACID disagrees strongly, as do many including ACID member Rodney McMahon, Managing Director of Morgan Contract Furniture. Commenting on the Government’s response Rodney said, “As a British manufacturer of design led furniture within the contract sector employing 60 people, the intellectual property we create is the lifeblood on which the future of our organisation will rely. On a personal level, having been the recipient of intellectual property infringement on a significant scale, I find the Government’s statement that design infringement may be inadvertent is way off the mark and misleading.  As Chairman of the British Contract Furnishing Association the majority of our 200 members would also confirm that it is rare to experience inadvertent copying. For most, IP infringement is blatant and deliberate. I welcome the announcement of David Cameron’s recent review of IP and hope that there will be a real commitment to provide a cost and time effective means of IP dispute resolution to meet the needs of business today. The British contract furnishings industry contributes £2.2 billion to the UK’s GDP and employs approximately 25000 people.”

Echoing Rodney McMahon’s reaction, Tim Hudson, MD of Frank Hudson Ltd. who will be showcasing their new Gothic bed design at Interiors,  said, “I am, quite frankly amazed at the Government’s claim that, design right infringement can often be inadvertent. In our experience it is generally deliberate. One of the reasons we are passionate about protecting what sits under the Frank Hudson brand is that, over the years, we have traded very successfully on our knowledge, craftsmanship and intellectual property and we will do everything to ensure our brand is not eroded by cheap look alikes of our design led ranges”.

Patrick Heeley, Managing Director of ACID member Villeroy & Boch, exhibitors at Spring Fair,  commented “I was astonished by the Government’s clear lack of concern in this issue, and the reference to design infringement often being ’inadvertent’. It is a disgraceful dismissal of the problem.” Villeroy & Boch employ 250 people in their UK division.

Penny Laughton, Marketing Director of LSA, also showing at Spring Fair,  employees 55 people in the UK, said, “Like many other ACID members we welcome David Cameron’s announcement of an intellectual property review and hope that real progress will be made to improve access to cost and time effective solutions to address IP infringement. Contrary to the recent Government response to ACID’s petition, we find that copying within the industry is more often blatant and deliberate rather than inadvertent and hope that this issue will also be covered in the IP review.”

Given the current disparity between intellectual property rights, what do ACID Members put in place to protect their designs when they are exposed at the exhibition venue? One ACID member who puts intellectual property high on the list of priorities is Ray Davies of Bentley Designs, who are showing their DAKOTA bedroom collection at Interiors. Along with 80%+ of all ACID members, Bentley Designs send all their designs into the ACID Design Data Bank before exhibiting to ensure that an intellectual property audit trail lies behind each and every piece of designed furniture. In this way, it can demonstrate all the different stages between idea and eventual market place, essential to Bentley’s IP armoury whilst communicating a strong anti copying message to the sector.

If a designer is unlucky enough to be copied, but has a registered Community design (RCD), it is much more cost and time effective for an IP lawyer to write a powerful letter before action which will be more difficult to legally challenge. Investors, too, are more likely to be persuaded if they can see tangible evidence of tradable IP assets. Another key benefit of an RCD is that, for a small sum, publication (public disclosure) can be delayed (in the UK by 12 months and in the EU by 30 months) so that competitors cannot see a new design/design range before its official launch. This gives originators a clear and fair lead in the marketplace plus the added protection assurance of an RCD.

ACID member Alstons Upholstery is a regular Interiors exhibitor and their Design Director Matthew Cave said,” I would like to stress the importance of making an application for a “Registered Community Design” which may initially be costly, particularly if there are several products involved, but it’s the only way of ensuring your products are fully protected.”

The UK used to be a nation of shopkeepers and manufacturers (although we are still the 7th largest manufacturer in the world!). If a shopkeeper’s stock is stolen, they can’t trade. Now the UK is a knowledge economy. If an IP originators tradable knowledge is stolen, their capacity to continue to market and sell designs may be seriously eroded. EU and National policy makers should seriously consider reducing registration fees and making cost and time effective legal redress a priority in a significant policy shift change. Introducing accessible IP enforcement with meaningful exemplary damages wouldn’t be a bad start.

Decorex StandAs the Autumn exhibition season approaches it is time to review your exhibition protection policy and ACID has an exhibition guide available with many tips to ensure safe exhibiting.  Over the past 10 years ACID has worked proactively with teams of ACID Accredited Exhibition Organisers offering help and advice to all exhibitors, should they be unlucky enough to be copied, using the ACID exhibition protocol.  This is an on-site mediation service and is available to all exhibitors free of charge during the exhibition. ACID Accredited Exhibition Organisers support a zero tolerance to copying and fortunately the instances of copying have reduced over the years.

One of ACID’s other main purposes exhibitions is to hold one to one clinics on copyright, trademarks, design rights and patents, offering advice and guidelines as well as raising awareness about the need for IP protection.  Intellectual property is a positive force and can often be used for brand expansion in licensing, franchising and collaborative design partnerships.

This September ACID will be attending the following exhibitions;

Autumn Fair – Entrance to Hall 3, Stand L02

Top Drawer Autumn – Roving Team available on 07956229876

GLEE – Hall 5, Stand G68

100% Design – Stand  C26

You can telephone the ACID legal rover at the exhibition 07956229876 or alternatively visit the stand for help and advice on all intellectual property issues.

Teemo Pure Range ImageTeemo “Pure” range. Sculptural and functional glass furniture to inspire!

The new “Pure” collection of glass furniture by Teemo pushes the boundaries of what is possible with glass. Glued together using a clear and extremely high strength glue, each piece seems to improbably hang and balance together creating sculptural pieces that are also exceedingly functional. Nick Green, Teemo’s MD said, “Intellectual property is at the very heart of Teemo and, having spent a great deal of creative time and investment in our new products, one of the most important aspects is protecting our IP. Each time a new product is design we religiously send it to the ACID Design Data Bank. This provides us with the assurance that a responsible third party has evidence confirming the date the designs were received, an essential audit trail if anyone dared to copy us!”

As part of the new “Pure” collection Teemo have also introduced some painted glass elements giving blasts of colour within the range. There is a new coffee table that can be orientated in 3 positions to allow it to be a lamp table, end of sofa mini-shelf or low coffee table. Each position also incorporates storage as a secondary function.  Also included is a colourful and sculptural lamp table that seems quite impossibly to stay together made from 4 carefully proportioned and positioned squares of glass. All of these new items are available for purchase in small or larger quantities. As a design organisation Teemo can also design items for larger projects or make one off items to specification giving complete flexibility to contract, retail and domestic customers.

Meet the Teemo team at Stand B44 or vist their website:

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.

SPRINGFAIRLOGOAs ever, Spring Fair proved a fantastic launch pad for an impressive number of micro enterprises, as well as household names, all seizing the opportunity to market new designs and products.  But it was a mixed Fair for ACID member Jan Constantine. On one hand her order book was full and over flowing but the excitement was tinged with frustration at having discovered not one, but three, alleged copies of one of her design collections. Most exhibitions are natural showcases for new products but some exhibitors can also be vulnerable to those who seek the fast track to market through copying and Jan was no exception this year.

Fortunately, ACID was able to help and, using the Exhibition Protocol for complaint handling, informed the people1_TWR_BR_ cp concerned and put them on notice regarding the complaints. Prior to that one of ACID’s IP lawyers had confirmed Jan’s IP ownership and that there were sufficient similarities in the alleged copies to inform the stand owners in question. None of the companies concerned cooperated with ACID’s requests to remove the products and matters are now being dealt with by ACID Accredited law firm McDaniel & Co. The clear message to anyone thinking about marketing any new product is that they are unauthorised to do so unless they have created their own intellectual property rights or have a license to market those products.

Following the alleged copying discoveries Jan Constantine commented, “All intellectual property rights in our designs are the property of Jan Constantine Ltd and any infringements will always be taken seriously. It took a significant amount of investment and time to create our product range and it’s something I feel very proud about. If people are proved to be copying, then the Spring Fair organisers should not allow them to rebook in the future.”

Jan Constantine’s background in fashion, interiors and styling proved a real driving force behind her ambition to fulfill a lifetime’s ambition and produce her own Collection and all the designs are created by her with help from her team to implement them.  Copies of all designs are sent to the ACID Design Data Bank and this provides valuable evidence of the date they are received which provides compelling evidence in pursuing any IP infringement.

Jan commented about ACID, “We joined Anti Copying in Design (ACID) to protect our designs and the intellectual capital which underpins our brand.   One of the main advantages is the visually powerful ACID logo which, when used at Fairs and Exhibitions, helps to deter others from copying.  The ACID logo is prominently displayed on the homepage of our website and also inside the front cover of our new brochure.”

As a member of the newly created ACID Spring & Autumn Fair IP Steering Committee, Jan endorses ACID’s objectives to work closely with ACID Accredited Show Organisers Emap to build on the positive IP work already achieved.  Not only in their support of respect for intellectual property, but also to ensure that the voices of those who represent ACID members and others exhibiting at the show are heard loudly and clearly so that improvements can be considered for the future. Jan hopes that the new ACID IP Steering Committee will be a first for many exhibitions in the UK. “After all”, added Jan, “We invest heavily each year in exhibiting at several exhibitions in the UK. We are there to market and sell our products, not to have to spend time going after copyists. We look to the UK exhibition organisers to take a leaf out of European organisers’ books who take a much firmer attitude to infringement of original designs”.

2_HOPcp (1) CroppedSo, whether you are an established company within the giftware sector, or a start-up hoping to make it in today’s competitive market, there is no time like the start of a new decade to take a fresh look at what is one of your most important assets – your intellectual property. Daunting though it may sometimes appear, there are some simple steps all businesses should take to ensure that this precious commodity, the lifeblood of business in the 21st century, is protected. After all, we are no longer a nation of shopkeepers, ours is a knowledge economy and full exploitation of your intellectual property will be key in today’s competitive marketplace. One person’s innovative ideas – if carelessly discussed without confidentiality – can be another’s instant passport to success.

« Previous Entries