28.09.2016 (comments: 0)

Create a new UK unregistered design right which mirrors EU unregistered rights and lasts for 15 years

tl_files/2016/acid-brexit-logo-rgbweb.jpgPioneering Design & IP lobbyists Anti Copying in Design (ACID) have spearheaded another campaign, this time to ensure that UK designers are not disadvantaged by any erosion or loss of access to EU design rights (registered and unregistered) post-Brexit.

Brexit provides a unique opportunity not only to ensure the best possible IP design rights’ negotiations but also create strengthened protection enabling UK designers to be on a par with their EU counterparts who can rely on unfair competition when UK IP law fails them as demonstrated by the high profile Trunki case.

ACID has already engaged in talks with the IP Minister and the UK Intellectual Property Office and will continue to engage positively with Government to create a new UK unregistered design law which mirrors EU unregistered rights but lasts for 10/15* not 3 years.

From iconic to everyday, design matters. It’s all around us, enriching our lives as consumers, solving problems, adding value. UK Design is a success story and any erosion or loss of access to EU design rights (currently available to UK designers)  post-Brexit would have a significant and negative economic impact on this sector and to the UK’s GPD.   

Dids Macdonald, OBE., ACID’s CEO said, “The majority of the UK’s 350,000 designers rely on unregistered EU and UK design rights and being unable to rely on EU unregistered design rights would seriously affect them.  Currently, both EU registered (with one application) and unregistered rights (which arise automatically) offer UK designers design protection in 28 member states for 25 and 3 years respectively.  EU unregistered design is a much stronger design right and loss of access, potentially, could influence UK designers to launch new designs in alternative European locations to secure stronger design protection."

A UK unregistered design right only offers design protection for the shape and configuration of a design but EU unregistered rights protect a combination of colours, ornamentation, lines, texture or surface decoration as well as shape and configuration on which thousands have relied to protect their designs.

* UK unregistered design right lasts for a minimum of 15 years from first embodiment or 10 years from first placing on the market.

Download the BREXIT & ACID POSITION PAPER for detailed information on the campaign.

Register your support to so that ACID’s voice is a united and strong voice to Government and policy makers to ensure that UK designers are not disadvantaged by any erosion of either registered or unregistered design rights. The strongest possible negotiated transitional arrangements, reciprocity and a focus on International obligations will also play a key role to ensure that UK designers are fully supported.

Designers/manufacturers – what should you do next?

Support our campaign by emailing us at, to add your names of endorsement and/or request a template letter to send to your MP.

We need to ensure that designers’ interests are at the top table on intellectual property issues in all Brexit negotiations so do also support our campaign through @ACID_tweets #BREXITIPDESIGN


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