At a meeting this week between ACID and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Intellectual Property (APPGforIP) at Westminster, ACID member Christine Dunford of Triclimb shared her two year nightmare story when she discovered not only that her trade mark had been used without permission by Aldi UK but they had infringed her registered design and were selling cheap lookalikes. MP’s and Peers also heard about a further debilitating debacle with TP Toys. Read Christine’s heart-breaking address to parliamentarians here.
Following her speech, new APPG for IP Chairman, Rt Hon John Whittingdale, MP., said, “In view of the current Calls for Views of Design & IP, I will ensure that we arrange for a round table meeting with our Minister, Rt. Hon George Foreman, so he is fully aware and briefed about the problems that SME designers are facing against big companies.”
Nick Kounoupias, ACID’s Chief Counsel in his speech here, talking about the complexity of design law, highlighted the fact that, “Designs law is fiendishly complicated and uncertain in scope. Pre Brexit there were five different legal regimes that protected designs but none of them, for different reasons, offered satisfactory protection for designers or equivalent protection to other IP rights. Post Brexit two of these regimes were lost with catastrophic consequences for U.K. designers wishing to protect their designs within the EU but even though they were replaced by two more regimes. So we are still left with five separate design regimes none of which are satisfactory.”
Dids Macdonald, OBE., in her closing words told MPs, “Opposition to much needed design law reform and criminal provisions for the intentional infringement of unregistered designs has come from big global, patent-led businesses who have said that its introduction would be chilling for innovation and cause business uncertainty yet provided no evidence. On the other hand ACID has, over the past 10 years, consistently provided compelling case studies of despair.
If this isn’t chilling for innovation, I don’t know what is.
In 2012, IPO Policy Makers had listened to foreign behemoths instead of British designers. And to put the design sector in context, latest design economy figures indicate design makes a 97-billion-pound contribution to the UK’s GVA supporting 1.9 million jobs, the majority of them are lone, micro and SME. British Designers deserve more support from this Government – let’s hope in the 2022 Calls for Views the IPO and Government listens to the real concerns of our amazing UK designers.”
Dids speech can be read here.