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Your Voice Against
Design Theft

The UK's Leading Membership & Campaigning Organisation for Design & Intellectual Property

Welcome to ACID

“I used to be a successful product designer; producing hand-painted, decorative accessories for top interior designers. A huge problem quickly became apparent – theft. Every new design we created was blatantly copied by larger companies without any hope of redress. Much like the vast majority of Britain’s now 1.9 million design companies, the majority are lone, micro and SME and I was in no position to singlehandedly confront these shameless thieves and copycats.

In 1996, I collaborated with an IP lawyer to create a plan to help David fight Goliath.

Today, ACID represents thousands of designers. We proudly stand on the frontline of the ongoing battle against design theft and strive to help promote design-originality as a genuine route to a creator’s growth. We are a united front; offering assistance and recourse to designers wherever possible. The ACID community grows larger and stronger every day and we are determined to fight for designers to have their voices heard.”

Dids Macdonald OBE, CEO & Co-Founder

Welcome to ACID

“I used to be a successful product designer; producing hand-painted, decorative accessories for top interior designers. A huge problem quickly became apparent – theft. Every new design we created was blatantly copied by larger companies without any hope of redress. Much like the vast majority of Britain’s now 1.9 million design companies, the majority are lone, micro and SME and I was in no position to singlehandedly confront these shameless thieves and copycats.

In 1996, I collaborated with an IP lawyer to create a plan to help David fight Goliath.

Today, ACID represents thousands of designers. We proudly stand on the frontline of the ongoing battle against design theft and strive to help promote design-originality as a genuine route to a creator’s growth. We are a united front; offering assistance and recourse to designers wherever possible. The ACID community grows larger and stronger every day and we are determined to fight for designers to have their voices heard.”

Dids Macdonald OBE, CEO & Co-Founder

Welcome to ACID

“I used to be a successful product designer; producing hand-painted, decorative accessories for top interior designers. A huge problem quickly became apparent – theft. Every new design we created was blatantly copied by larger companies without any hope of redress. Much like the vast majority of Britain’s now 1.9 million design companies, the majority are lone, micro and SME and I was in no position to singlehandedly confront these shameless thieves and copycats.

In 1996, I collaborated with an IP lawyer to create a plan to help David fight Goliath.

Today, ACID represents thousands of designers. We proudly stand on the frontline of the ongoing battle against design theft and strive to help promote design-originality as a genuine route to a creator’s growth. We are a united front; offering assistance and recourse to designers wherever possible. The ACID community grows larger and stronger every day and we are determined to fight for designers to have their voices heard.”

Dids Macdonald OBE, CEO & Co-Founder

Join Our Community

Together, we increase our collective power against design theft

Become an ACID Member

Whether you are a student, sole trader, micro, macro, SME or Corporate, ACID Membership can help to underpin your intellectual property rights and your creation of a sound IP policy to enable your company to grow. ACID Members receive access to a whole host of benefits, services and self-help tools.

Become a Charter Signatory

The ACID Charter is a Code of Conduct and a statement of intent that sets out your promise to uphold ethics, respect and compliance as a minimum to designers of original works. ACID Charter Signatories are those who have taken this pledge - from individuals and businesses within any industry, to designers themselves.

Protect Your Livelihood.

For a quarter of a century, ACID have been committed to raising awareness and encouraging respect for IP, with an emphasis on creating the safest possible trading environment for its members.

ACID membership gives you access to a thriving online community with a wide range of benefits, services and educational self-help tools to protect your business from the devastating impact of design-theft.

Protection

ACID Membership provides self help tools to support your IP Rights, tried & tested over 25 years.

Deterrence

Use the Member of ACID Logo to show you are aware of your rights and have support from a leading organisation

Support

Gain access to five specialist legal teams ready to provide advice on any IP issues that may arise, with a free initial period of legal advice for every separate legal query.

Promotion

Feature your business in our Member Focus and raise your profile through our wide reaching media platforms. ACID Marketplace provides you with a personal store front to market your designs & products.

Education

ACID’s seminars, events and FAQ’s are an invaluable source of information and available in the Member Area. Knowledge is Power.

Awareness

Regular news updates straight to your inbox, the ACID Magazine and our News Desk will keep you on top of all IP matters affecting you and your business

Campaigning

We speak to Government, key influencers and policy makers to ensure that the best possible IP enforcement framework is in place to allow IP creators’ ideas to be monetised to achieve growth.

Name & Shame

ACID’s Spot the Difference section and through our social media, case studies and articles highlights the prevalence of infringements.

Imitation Isn't Flattery.

If it costs you your business, it's theft

When freelance furniture designer Simone Brewster designed a cabinet for Swoon, she received no further correspondence, so naturally assumed that Swoon Editions had decided not to use her designs. However, when she later discovered that Swoon had not only used her designs without permission, but had begun to produce and actively market them, it was time for action.

In our Spot the Difference gallery, we have showcased our members’ stories of senseless design theft – highlighting examples of original design and the legal cases that have ensued from blatant copies.

Simone Brewster Swoon Editions

The Voice of British Designers. Creators. Artists. Makers.

How ACID members have used all aspects of IP as a positive force for growth
Robe de Voyage

“The only people who’ve really helped me to avoid wasting large sums of money on litigation is ACID. The trick is to keep moving forwards as a designer and not let the plagiarisers get you down. ACID really help individual designers like me, with no employees or financial backing, to have a voice and stand up to these people through mediation rather than litigation.”

Melver Design

“Knowing that I have someone who has my back in regard to my IP means that it is one less thing to think about. Being self-employed means having to do everything, so spreading my workload gives me peace of mind. I have a few of my designs lodged in the ACID IP Databank and am currently uploading the rest of my catalogue. The Member of ACID Logo is used on all my correspondence and displayed at any trade show that I attend. I am currently working on a marketing plan, so I will be using the ACID Marketplace very soon.”

Tiafi Jewellery

“We listened to an ACID webinar on how to protect jewellery designs and that was so helpful. We then logged the designs on the IP Databank and took advantage of the free legal advice benefit with one of ACIDs legal partners McDaniel & Co. Now that we’ve launched Tiafi Jewellery, we’ve used the Member of ACID logo on our website.”

Maid in China

“For the first few years of having a company and launching products, it was a comfort to know I could get support if I came against any IP issues. I have always used the ACID logo for my website and trade shows, and the IP Databank where I upload all new products before launching them publicly (or even showing previews on social media). Recently, I had the unpleasant experience of finding copies of our best-selling Stitch Passport Cover on Etsy – and was able to file a report of IP infringement, using the ACID IP Databank as evidence of my designs.”

Our remit, as well as supporting the ACID community with education and awareness, deterrence, prevention, and support, is to be a strong and resolute voice to communicate to Government and policy makers on intellectual property issues which affect designers. Through campaigning, lobbying and advocacy, we’re proud to have made our mark within the legislative agenda.

The UK's Leading Voice for Design Law & IP Reform

Law

ACID’s 20 years of campaigning culminated in the 2014 IP Act making the intentional infringement of a Registered Design a criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Litigation

We successfully campaigned for the introduction of a Small Claims Track within the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court to enable small claims of less than £10,000.

Parliament

ACID also lobbied for the creation of the role of Minister of Intellectual Property and we are now one of the few countries in the world to have one.

Resolution

There have been 1000s of settlements, over 4000+ mediations and through the awareness of ACID and many others, design is no longer an unsung hero in the UK economy.

"A culture that values and respects intellectual property is one where ideas flourish and their progenitors are fairly rewarded. We need bodies like ACID to create, maintain and police that culture."

Kevin McCloud MBE

"A culture that values and respects intellectual property is one where ideas flourish and their progenitors are fairly rewarded. We need bodies like ACID to create, maintain and police that culture."

Kevin McCloud MBE

Presenter of Grand Designs