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From the Newsdesk

A Very Happy New Year for 2023 from ACID

A Happy New Year and we hope it’s the best! As Martin Luther King said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase to climb, just take the first step!”

With those wise words, the first step for the ACID team is to build on the positive discussions we have had with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Design Policy and Enforcement team during 2022 to progress our recommendations for design and IP law reform prior to a major Designs’ consultation in 2023.

Our first meeting with Chris Mills, the Director of Policy and Enforcement, is on 11 January and we are looking forward to positive moves and resolutions in order to support designers.

We have returned to the ACID hub raring to go with some exciting and bold plans for 2023 but first a few reflections on 2022:

We welcomed Rt Hon George Freeman back in his second stint as IP Minister. The Minister was the first to don his ACID IP Charter pin signalling the Government’s approval and encouraging IP ethics, compliance, and respect. Have you signed it yet? He also, in principle, aligned himself to our objectives for much-needed design law reform.

We were delighted to welcome two new ACID Ambassadors Rupert Welch Co-Director of Robert Welch and Christine Dunford Designer at Triclimb in 2022.

Juliet Loudon, legal counsel for Robert Welch Ltd joined our ACID Council.

We formed three exciting new partnerships with BMA, BCFA, and Whitchurch Silk Mill. Members of these organisations can benefit from 20% of the first year of ACID membership.

2022 saw the launch of a shiny new website. Any organisation which has gone through the rigours of a new website, CRM system et al will know it is not for the faint hearted but despite all the peccadilloes of re-building our “engine” we are confident it will be easier to navigate and provide access to all things IP in support of you, our members.

Nick Kounoupias – our creative and clever IP Director and Legal Counsel was awarded the UK Alliance Champion.

We were thrilled to welcome Marion Horwood as Head of Membership who is trying to meet as many of you as possible at the various exhibitions and on her regular 15 minute coffee zooms, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with her.

In 2023 we will hit the deck running with ACID presence at JFS with a new IP clinic in room 1.1 which can be accessed from Hall 1 entrance.

During 2023 a new transactional ACID Marketplace will be launched for all our members to showcase their designs and products which will have an additional cache to would-be purchasers of appreciation of originally designed products.

ACID IP Tool Kit – Following meetings with Sir Robin Jacob, one of the UK’s leading former Judges and IP academics, we have already started work in 2023 on an IP Tool Kit to enable our members to fast-track enforcement in the Small Claims Track (SCT), quickly and cost-effectively.

Towards the end of the year, we hope to launch an ACID IP Training Academy aimed at providing a benchmark for all designers, employees of design organisations, and manufacturers to gain a recognised proficiency in the basics of IP.

We would like to thank you all for your continued support on our social media channels. We appreciate your engagement as always. Engaging with us on social media is the easiest and fastest way you can show us your support. Likes, shares, and comments are what raise our profile and extend our reach and visibility.

We also love to share and promote our members so let us know if you have any exciting news, new ranges or won awards. We would also love to share your maker reels to give our followers insight into your design/making process. Send any reels you’d like us to share to [email protected]. Plus, let us know if you would like to be featured in a Member Focus article.

Why not join our Facebook Community Group, where you can create your own posts to the community, ask questions, or just share your new designs and inspirations?

Keep your eyes peeled on Instagram because we will be posting some exciting competitions in the coming months. So keep doing what you’re doing and tap those like, comment, and share buttons.

Finally, after more than two decades of consistent campaigning, the penny has finally dropped with the government’s acknowledgement that there is a continual David & Goliath IP copycat issue for many SME design creators. IP theft is chilling for innovation and will lead to business uncertainty unless design law is strengthened, and the perpetrators are held to account.

Prior to a much-needed consultation on Design & IP law reform, we will be counting on you, our members to write to your MPs and more will follow, asking for your help in a coordinated approach.

Unlike many other sectors within the Creative Industries, we are not a global, heavily funded public affairs entity. It is basically Nick, Marion, and Dids navigating their way to raise awareness about the incredible contribution designers make to the UK and how crucial it is that IP is protected. So a big thanks to all of you who helped us with ACID’s ‘Top Ten’ recommendations.

Don’t forget our editorial team is here for your success stories, new product launches, news and blogs to share with other members and the broader design community so keep them coming!

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