At last SME’s recognised as being in need of improvements in IP support
Following intense lobbying by ACID and other industry organisations, ACID welcomes George Osborne’s statement in the 2011 Budget that the Government will set out a five-year international approach to intellectual property. Good news for SME’s is a commitment on behalf of the UKIPO to improve the range of products and services available to support UK businesses, particularly SMEs, on issues relating to IP. The IPO will also establish a network of attachés covering the key global markets, including China, East Asia and India which are some of the most challenging IP territories for micro firms and SME’s wishing to protect, exploit and commercialise their tradable knowledge.

Many ACID members share the view that UK businesses find it almost impossible to control the unauthorised use of their IP overseas, especially in BRIC countries. The new IP attachés will focus on promoting and protecting UK business interests within host countries, working with local IPR enforcement agencies and providing a focal point for supporting UK businesses with IP-related issues. Government hopes that the benefit of this measure will be felt beyond the digital and creative sector by all businesses that rely on IP.

The Government has confirmed that IP rights produced by the private sector for public sector contracts remain with the party best placed to exploit them. This ensures that, wherever sensible, business can retain their IP to use with other clients and internationally. It will come as no surprise that compelling evidence suggests that this policy has not always been followed. The Government will publish a guide to policy on IP related to public procurement, to raise awareness in the public sector and industry.

Says Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO, “I welcome the Government’s raising of awareness about the importance of IP issues in the UK but what is patently missing is any reference to addressing IP enforcement difficulties faced by thousands of micro firms and small businesses in the UK. However, it is encouraging that the Government is going to provide long called for guidelines on public sector IP procurement policy, so that industry can exploit the opportunities for IP whilst it remains with the private sector provider for re-use. This is long overdue and it is hoped that industry standards will also prevail in the procurement of IP in the private sector too.”

The Government expect that the Hargreaves review, due in April 2011, will make recommendations for simplifying payments for copyright materials and freeing up orphan works, and that Government will ‘consider’ these proposals.  The Government will commit to no further broad reviews of the IP rights regime during the lifetime of this Parliament.  There are no proposals for a US-style ‘fair use’ system to be implemented.

ACID Lobby Logo for webAnti Copying in Design’s recent IP poll indicates that 89.7% of designers believe IP infringement to be deliberate and blatant.

Supporting ACID’s submission to the IP Review, ACID Ambassador Sebastian Conran said, “Design is an unsung hero in the UK economy. Original design leverages value, but this takes investment and it needs to be protected”. An independent review into intellectual property (IP) and growth commissioned by the Prime Minister issued a call for evidence in October 2010 on how the IP system can best support growth. Professor Ian Hargreaves, leading the review, said, “We must ensure the UK has an IP system that drives innovation and growth. This review will identify the barriers to growth and, where they exist, work out how to remove them. The review will set out short-term improvements that could be made as well as a long-term vision for the IP system”.

ACID has welcomed the opportunity to respond to the UK Review into Intellectual Property and Growth to raise awareness about, in particular, the difficulties which affect the UK’s designers in accessing hands-on, practical, sector-led IP advice and information to help them maximise, protect and commercialise their IP. There is also the serious issue of the uncertainty experienced by micro firms and SME’s in effectively enforcing IP infringement.

In its comprehensive submission, ACID has used 8 case studies (out of 450+) to highlight the various IP issues affecting micro firms and SME’s within the creative industries. Another area on which ACID has concentrated is the disparity for IP rights owners. Unlike copyright infringement, if a design is stolen no criminal offence has been committed; the designer’s only recourse is under civil action. This gives rise to anomalies and inequality of treatment which are very damaging to hundreds of small businesses and designers across the UK.

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “I believe if design infringement becomes a criminal offence it may change and influence current board strategy in some major high street retailers to think again about condoning product piracy and using the veil of “inspiration” of the innovative products of others to create their own versions for tomorrow’s retail shelves”.

The Intellectual Property Review will report back to the Prime Minister in April 2011.

Read the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Group Letter to Professor Hargreaves

Image of David Cameron taken from the Con Party WebsitePrime Minister David Cameron used a keynote speech to the business community in Shoreditch to announce a review of the UK’s intellectual property framework. “We are reviewing our IP laws, to see if we can make them fit for the internet age. I want to encourage the sort of creative innovation that exists in America.” The review, which will report next April, will recommend changes to UK law, as well as long-term goals to be pursued by the British government on the international stage.

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “The IP review is a welcome initiative which I hope will focus on a relevant and robust framework to encourage IP creators and ensure that protection and enforcement are key priorities. For the majority of the UK’s SME’s the costs and difficulties associated with enforcing IP infringement are prohibitive. Bringing IP to the top table as a significant contributor to the UK’s growth and recovery will be a welcome boost for UK businesses”.

IP Minister Baroness Wilcox, said, “The future of the economy lies in the highly skilled, technology sectors. For many of those companies their intellectual property is their most valuable asset. We must ensure the intellectual property system helps not hinders those companies. This review will look at what changes can be made to our intellectual property system to ensure it helps firms grow. The internet has fundamentally changed the business landscape. Some sectors, such as the creative industries, have been transformed by the internet. The intellectual property framework must keep pace. An IP system created in the era of paper and pen may not fit the age of broadband and satellites. We must ensure it meets the needs of the digital age.

The review will look at:

  • Barriers to new internet-based business models, including the costs of obtaining permissions from existing rights-holders
  • The cost and complexity of enforcing intellectual property rights within the UK and internationally
  • The interaction between IP and Competition frameworks
  • The cost and complexity to SMEs of accessing services to help them protect and exploit their IP
  • What the UK can learn from the US’ “fair use” rules covering the circumstances in which copyright material may be used without the rights-holder’s express permission
  • Making recommendations on the changes the UK can make as well as the long-term goals to be pursued through the international IP framework. It is expected to report in April next year

No 10 logoFollowing ACID’s  (Anti Copying in Design)  petition to introduce criminal sanctions for design right infringement The Government  has responded by saying the current civil-based provisions provide a suitable IPR framework  despite the fact that copyright infringement (which requires no substantive examination) attracts criminal sanctions.  This gives rise to anomalies and inequality of treatment which are very damaging to hundreds of small businesses and designers across the UK and restricts the level of legal protection and support they can expect to receive.

Class 99, the website for design law, in Europe and worldwide and written by a team of design experts and fans has commented on ACID’s press release:

On Friday Class 99 reported on the UK government’s unenthusiastic response to the proposal, backed by ACID’s petition, to introduce criminal sanctions for design right infringement.  According to the government, the current civil-based provisions provide a suitable IPR framework — even though copyright infringement (which requires no substantive examination) attracts criminal sanctions. As ACID points out, this gives rise to anomalies and inequality of treatment which, the organisation states, “are very damaging to hundreds of small businesses and designers across the UK and restrict the level of legal protection and support they can expect to receive”.  A press release in response to the government’s reiteration of its current position reads as follows:

“Dids Macdonald [ACID CEO], commenting on the Governments’ response and, in particular, the statement that unlike trade mark and copyright disputes, design right can often be inadvertent said, “In my 20 years personal experience as a designer and latterly as CEO of a 1,000+ member organisation (the majority of whom have joined because of design infringement threats), copying is generally deliberate and blatant rather than inadvertent [If it were not, one might expect commercially unsuccessful and unpopular designs to be copied as frequently as successful ones]. I would be interested to learn more about the Government’s evidence to support their statement [the UK government has committed itself to "evidence-based" IP policy formulation -- though one suspects that this only applies to proposals to change the law, not proposals to leave it as it is ...]. However, I am encouraged to continue the debate via the recently announced review of the UK’s IP and by the Government’s commitment to explore any (and all) suggestions for improving the designs framework for the benefit of the UK design industry.”

Nick Kounoupias, ACID LOBBY’s legal counsel and an expert in IP infringement said, “We are only suggesting that design rights should be criminalised where there is actual knowledge like copyright. There is no obvious reason for the disparity of protection. This may have been overlooked during the frenzied last minute lobbying and amendments made to the [Copyright Patents and Designs Act] CDPA in 1988 as it was passing through Parliament. Design right protection was a relatively late innovation in 1988 and at the time it was probably felt that it was a step too far to extend to design right the new improved protection introduced for copyright in 1988. Certainly no rational basis for the inequality has been advanced by Government.” [Nor has it been suggested that, since deliberate design infringement is not criminal; corresponding types of copyright infringement should be decriminalised too]

The simple legal solution would be to introduce into the CDPA two new Sections to mirror S.107(1) and 110 … The wording would be almost identical to Sections 107(1) and 110 and would be designed to criminalise the infringement of the design right subsisting in 3D designs. This can be done very simply by replacing the word “copyright” every time it appears in Sections 107(1) and 110 with the words “design right” and the words “copyright work” with the word “design.” It would then be necessary to make consequential amendments to mirror Sections 107 (4), 107 (5) 107A, 108 and 109 CDPA. As with copyright infringement this would criminalise blatant and deliberate copying but not copying inadvertently.

The Alliance Against IP Theft representing 20 organisations (of which ACID is a member) has recognised the need to ensure legal parity across IP rights as a key campaigning principle with a need to address the inconsistency in protection for design rights agreed as a specific objective. …

In 2008 there were only 2,798 designs registered in the UK and in 2009 2,111. Most of the UK’s 250,000 designers would appear to rely on unregistered rights. This is contrary to the Government statement that IP, including design rights, should serve to stimulate an environment in which new design ideas can flourish, whilst also providing a robust means of protection for existing design rights. ACID receives approximately 30,000 designs per year to its Design Data Bank for unregistered designs”.

The government’s reluctance to remove the anomaly may have, at base, a fear that if deliberate trade mark, copyright and design infringements were all criminalised, the controversial proposal to criminalise patent infringement might again be raised.

IPO Logo

ACID Ambassador Dr Frederick Mostert, Nick Kounoupias, ACID’s Chief legal counsel and CEO Dids Macdonald held further constructive talks with UK IPO’s John Alty to present the rationale behind our claim for design rights to be brought in line with copyright and trade marks. ACID’s argument is based on the fact that copyright is a property right subsisting inter alia in “artistic works” – see Section 1(1) (a) CDPA and Design right is a property right subsisting in original designs (S.213 (1) CDPA).  ACID believes that copyright and design rights are exactly the same type of legal right and should be treated similarly. ACID further argues the fact that copyright infringement is in certain circumstances a criminal offence (see S.198 CDPA). Trade mark infringement is also a criminal offence (S. 92 TMA). These crimes are punishable by up to ten years imprisonment. Infringement of design right is not a criminal offence and can be dealt with by way of civil proceedings only and we believe that this gives rise to anomalies and inequality of treatment. Dids Macdonald said, “We have provided a compelling rationale and now that we have full backing from the influential Alliance against IP Theft, I feel that this will be a positive step forward in ensuring that Andrew Gower’s recommendations to the UKIPO for parity in IP rights will be nearer reality. It is long overdue for the design industry. Our next step is to present our case to IP Minister Baroness Wilcox.”

Alliance logo

The Alliance Against IP Theft puts ACID’s lobbying issues in main strategy for 2011 onwards

  • Design right to have parity with copyright
  • Increase in exemplary damages for IP infringement

Scope of Protection

•    Copyright is a property right subsisting inter alia in “artistic works” –see Section 1(1) (a) CDPA.
•    Design right is a property right subsisting in original designs (S.213 (1) CDPA).
•    So copyright and design rights are exactly the same type of legal right
•    The copyright protection of artistic works is usually restricted to 2 dimensional works but it does also protect 3 dimensional works. Section 4 CDPA states that artistic works means
(a)-a graphic work (2D), photograph (2D), sculpture (3D) or collage (2D or 3D) irrespective of artistic quality
(b) a work of architecture being a building (3D) or model for a building (3D)
(c) a work of artistic craftsmanship (3D)
•    Graphic work is further defined to include any painting, drawing, diagram, map, chart or plan (2D)
•    Sculpture is defined to include a cast or model made for purposes of sculpture (3D)
•    The case law on works of artistic craftsmanship (unsurprisingly) requires a number of criteria to be met before a work will be considered as one of artistic craftsmanship and mass produced articles will not qualify.
•    Design Right only subsists in 3D. The word “design” means the design of any aspect of the shape or configuration (whether internal or external) of the whole or part of an article (S. 213 (2) CDPA).
•    Some 3D objects are therefore protected by both artistic work copyright protection and design right so long as they can be classified either as sculptures or as works of artistic craftsmanship but most 3D objects will be protected by design right alone.


•    Copyright infringement is in certain circumstances a criminal offence (see Ss 107-110 CDPA, S.198 CDPA. Trade mark infringement is also a criminal offence S. 92 TMA). These crimes are punishable by up to ten years imprisonment.
•    Infringement of design right is not a criminal offence and can be dealt with by way of civil proceedings only.
•    This gives rise to anomalies and inequality of treatment.
•    For example 2D design drawings are protected by copyright as artistic works. If these drawings are copied or a 3D object is made from the design drawing in circumstances where the person making the object knows or has reason to believe that he is making an infringing copy of a copyright work a criminal offence is committed.  But if that same person takes the 3D object and copies that rather than the design drawing then unless the 3D object qualifies for copyright protection as either a sculpture or as a work of artistic craftsmanship no criminal offence will be committed.
•    In the first case an offence punishable by ten years imprisonment is committed and the infringer gets a criminal record. If the infringer is a company S.110 CDPA confers criminal liability on directors, managers, secretary and other similar officers.  Police and Trading Standards can be deployed to disrupt the business of the suspected criminal and to arrest and / or search premises. The suspect can be interviewed under caution.
•    In the second case (on almost identical facts and certainly with no lesser harm caused to the victim) there is no criminal offence committed, neither the Police nor Trading Standards will be interested and disclosure of information and search of premises can only be obtained through expensive civil litigation remedies  . This is unfair.
•    Given that in nearly all cases the infringer will copy from the 3D design not from the 2D design document, and that this is perhaps a more serious problem for the design right owner, it is clear that weaker legal protection is currently provided for  more serious infringing behaviour .
Why the inequality of protection?

•    There is no obvious reason for the disparity of protection. This may have been overlooked during the frenzied last minute lobbying and amendments made to the CDPA in 1988 as it was passing through Parliament. Design right protection was a relatively late innovation in 1988 and at the time it was probably felt that it was a step too far to extend to design right the new improved protection introduced for copyright in 1988. Certainly no rational basis for the inequality has been advanced by Government.


•    The legal solution is to introduce into the CDPA two new Sections to mirror S.107(1) and 110 CDPA. The wording would be pretty much identical to Sections 107(1) and 110 and would be designed to criminalise the infringement of the design right subsisting in 3D designs. This can be done very simply by replacing the word “copyright” every time it appears in Sections 107(1) and 110 with the words “design right” and the words “copyright work” with the word “design.”  It would then be necessary to make consequential amendments to mirror Sections 107 (4), 107 (5) 107A, 108 and 109 CDPA.
•    It is necessary to specifically spell out what is required. Simply to point out the inconsistent treatment might lead to attempts to water down the protection available to copyright owners of artistic works rather than increase the protection for design right proprietors.

Nick Kounoupias
Legal Counsel – ACID (Anti Copying in Design) LOBBY
Partner, DMH Stallard

ACIDIPOcpAt a positive meeting held with the new Chief Executive of the UK Intellectual Property Office, John Alty,  and Andrew Layton, Director of Trade Marks and Designs, Dids Macdonald outlined ACID’s ongoing lobbying priorities for improvements to the intellectual property framework for designers within the Creative Industries. Commenting on the talks, Dids said, “In line with our current Number 10 lobbying campaigns to improve the damages system and create criminal sanctions for design infringement, it was timely to reinforce ACID’s key messages.”

Left to Right Andrew Layton, Dids Macdonald and John Alty

Accompanied by ACID LOBBY’s Chief legal counsel, Nick Kounoupias, of ACID Accredited law firm DMH Stallard, Nick said of the talks, “Designs have been the poorer relation in the family of intellectual property rights for some time.  Whereas copyright issues are always on the agenda of the IPO, design right concerns are usually relegated to the status ‘any other business’, yet the continuing damage to UK SME’s and individual designers from the theft of their creations is colossal.”

Macdonald said, “Unless there is a stronger role for enforcement in UK IP policy and help for UK’s micro enterprises and SME’s to address IP infringement, they will continue to rely on perpetual innovation to beat copyists, which is self defeating. The balance would appear to be skewed as IP creation is not a short term activity. As 1 in 3 businesses believe the recession will lead to more infringements, there is a very real need for stronger enforcement . To date the   common feature of every recession has been the creation of a fast track to market through IP infringement and ACID has witnessed a massive rise in interest  in online infringements. However, currently there is little focus on design infringement. Although the UK is ranked 1st for its IP framework, this does not reflect the true problem facing the Creative Industries, 70% of whom employ less than 4 people. SME’s need a robust means of protecting, fully exploiting and enforcing their IP rights. At the moment this simply does not happen because the majority of SME’s cannot afford to take legal action. Since first mooted in 2003, there are still no accurate figures on the scale of copying within the creative industries in 2010.  The criteria and methodology of identifying this scale is questionable, if relying on court cases, because most of the evidence is applied in the media sector and based on criminal court cases and seizure.”

Dids was keen to ensure that the incoming Chief Executive and his team would address the lack of acknowledgement by policy makers of design and its role in IP creation in the consultative process.

John Alty, incoming Chief Executive of the UK IPO commented “IPO are keen to work collaboratively with ACID and other organisations interested in designs with the aim of ensuring that more UK companies know about the value of design registration.”

ACID LOBBY was created in 2004 to lobby at grass roots and t Government level to make the voice of design heard loudly and clearly, to influence policy making decisions and to acknowledge  design’s role as a key contributor to the UK’s GDP. Design right is a comparatively new intellectual property right, and the least well-known and acknowledged, which seems out of kilter with the fact that every successful product has been designed. IP in design, therefore, has great value for the UK economy, provided it is properly protected. The UK is increasingly earning more from designing successful products than from manufacturing them and ACID’s membership, comprising micro enterprises, SME’s and some major brands, are key contributors.

ACID LOBBY OBJECTIVES remain consistent

  • Addressing the disparity between copyright and design right
  • Criminal Sanctions for Design Right infringement
  • Moral Rights for designers who rely on design right
  • Period of protectionto be  reviewed (currentlyUK unregistered design 15 years, EU unregistered design 3years yet copyright can last 70 years plus the  life of the originator)
  • Cost of registered protection £60 in UK, €360 in EU, only 4000 registrations in UK. ACID holds over 350,000 designs for 1000 members and receives at least 50,000 per year
  • There is a disproportionate strength of the copyright lobby which extends on behalf of the entire record, film, computer, software, book publishers sectors  etc –  and there is nothing equivalent for design right. It is also true to say that whereas the copyright lobby benefits non-UK companies, most UK SME’s are not represented on design right issues.
  • Exemplary, restitutionary and aggravated damages to be improved
  • If SABIP is to continue then design issues need to be reflected in research documents
  • Kick start mediation as a real alternative to litigation
  • Support and acknowledgement of ACID’s latest ongoing campaign launched on World Intellectual Property Day 2010 to enlist and encourage major UK PLCs to have a communicated section within corporate social responsibility (CSR) on respect for intellectual property
  • Cabinet position for IP Minister –  or at least not a shared portfolio

view of teams (3)The Alliance Against IP Theft Big Quiz & Auction Night, hosted by Radio 5 Live’s Phil Williams, proved a huge success after it saw a record turnout for an Alliance fund-raising event, with over 250 guests.

Thirty two teams attended the quiz night and auction from a broad range of industries, including law firms, the creative industries and some of our best known brands.  A joint team from ACID ( Jane Stephenson and Janet Bedford) and ACID Accredited Law Firm DMH Stallard (Nick Kounoupias, Sarah Birkbeck, Nick Mallett and John Yates) were topically named ‘The Coalition’ for the night.

Held at Arsenal’s impressive Emirates Stadium, questions were answered on a variety of subjects including music, film, brands and brain teasers. Law firm DLA Piper took home the final trophy with the..  They came just two points ahead of the Entertainment Retailers Association.  A joint team of the BPI and PPL came third.  ACID/DMH Stallard Coalition finished a respectable 8th of 32, with several teams tying for 4th and 5th place.

Susie Winter, Director General of the Alliance Against IP Theft said: “The inaugural Quiz Night was a huge success and great fun for all involved.  I would like to congratulate the team from DLA Piper, and of course the other teams for being such good sports.  The quiz night raised vital funds to help the Alliance’s campaign for better regulation to protect IP and to promote awareness of the value of IP. Key Alliance objectives this year are to ensure Trading Standards departments are properly resourced; that the judiciary recognises the real harm caused by IP crime; that car boot sales and markets are properly regulated by a binding charter and that the Digital Economy Act delivers on its promise to protect IP online.”

Organisations taking part in the Quiz were: ACID, The Alliance, Blackstone Chambers, Blue Rubicon, BPI, the BVA, CLA, Collyer Bristow, Disney, DLA Piper, DMH Stallard, ELSPA, ERA, Eversheds LLP, Finsbury, IFPI, The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, Lovefilm, Luther Pendragon, Max Bitel Greene LLP, PLS, PPL, the Premier League, Taylor Wessing LLP, the MPA, Open Road, SPHE, TSI, Universal Pictures Wiggin and VDC.

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 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

APDIG_LogocpThe Associate Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group, in partnership with the DBA, launched the findings of a 6 month inquiry into procurement of design services with a reception and panel discussion in the House of Lords. Hosted by Baroness Whitaker, co-chair of the inquiry and design enthusiast, attendees were introduced to the findings and recommendations by DBA’s CEO Deborah Dawton after a welcome from the APDIG by Group Officer Barry Sheerman MP.    One of the APG’s founding members, 15 years ago, Barry said how pleased he was to see this new direction for the group, commending it as ‘the best way we’ve engaged with the broader design community.’ However he called for the design community to be more determined in their lobbying of government, in the mission to bring design to the heart of public life.

 ‘Through this report we’ve engaged some of the leading people in design, engaged parliamentarians from all parties. But the coming election poses a real challenge. The composition of the house will be changed fundamentally. Design is at the very heart of most of what we do as civilised human beings, and we’ve got to engage the people who run this country in a more meaningful way.  The DBA and the Design Council and the APDIG are part of that, but together we’ve got to be greater than the sum of the parts.  I challenge the design community to do better: because, I’m afraid to say, often the design community are pathetic at lobbying. There is nothing wrong with giving people in public life a really hard time. Especially if they think that design is just some nice add-on at the end of a process.  Design is at the heart of everything we should be doing as a modern, progressive, innovative society. This isn’t just a nice lunch. Make this the day that you devote your energies even more to spreading the importance of good design at the heart of public life.’

Following Barry’s rousing speech, the 120 assembled design industry professionals were given the oppportunity to question the inquiry’s steering group on the report’s 10 recommendations through a Q & A session.

ACID CEO Dids Macdonald, said, “This excellent initiative bodes well for “design” to be put further up the scale in Government Procurement Policy. As with all these initiatives it needs foot soldiers to make it happen. ACID members will be interested in the proposed improvements but it will only happen by taking up the mantle with their own MPs to ensure that design has its appropriate place in the Government Procurement process and, indeed Government policy as a whole. ACID’s interest in procurement stems from issues arising when intellectual property is infringed at the pitch/tender stage, sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly. Bearing in mind the ongoing “Free Pitching” debate and the need for heightened awareness of the value of IP created through creativity and innovation, I was disappointed to see no mention in the otherwise excellent recommendations. I would very much like to see intellectual property issues included in the Procurement Process and, in the case where there are disputes, a recommended move and commitment towards mediation as a credible alternative in dispute resolution”.

ACID is an Associate Member of the Design & Innovation Parliamentary Group

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