About ACID

Why ACID began

ACID’s CEO Dids Macdonald used to be a successful product designer in mid 1980’s producing  hand painted decorative accessories for top interior designers. It was a great success. But it came with a huge problem: theft. Every new design was knocked off by larger companies without any hope of redress. Like the vast majority of Britain's 350,000 design companies, they were a tiny outfit and not in a position to take on the unscrupulous thieves and copycats. They had no idea where to start.

So she and an IP lawyer who had helped Dids (Simon Clark) came up with another idea: to create a plan to help David fight Goliath. Today ACID represents thousands of designers.  We're here to help the good guys defeat the bad and also promote design originality as a real route to growth. For the creator, not design thieves! There have been thousands of successful settlements on behalf of members.
 
What do we do?
We shout loudly through the media and through Social Media. We support exhibitors at exhibitions with mediation. We hold events - seminars, workshops and offer IP Audits. We try to take the legalese out of IP law with simple Q & A. We have a free membership IP hotline that is hot! We campaign for design law reform through ACID Action and our Alliance for Intellectual Property members.
 
We have the ACID Design Databank which supports protection and ACID Marketplace which promotes and tracks. We have developed the ACID brand as a brand of deterrence and prevention, members use it far and wide to communicate one thing. A zero tolerance of IP theft .  
 
Why we do it?
Because we believe the UK’s designers, the majority of them SME, deserve better; to protect their livelihoods, to maximise growth and minimise IP infringement. ACID is committed to raising awareness and encouraging respect for IP within individual and corporate responsibility and creating a safer trading environment for its members.
 
Who helps ACID?
Our members, Ambassadors, Legal Affiliates, Government and Policy officials, partner organisations and key influencers in the design community.
 
What have we achieved?
ACID’s 15-year long campaign culminated in a landmark Act of Parliament that makes intentional infringing a Registered Design a criminal offence punishable by prison. 1000’s of settlements, over 3500 mediations and through the awareness of ACID and many others, design is no longer an unsung hero in the UK economy.
 
What are our plans?
To keep on doing what we do but better! To eradicate design theft, “Commission it, Don’t copy it!”. To keep campaigning for criminal provisions for unregistered rights, IP respect within CSR and the introduction of exemplary damages that really hurt.