Following Government’s failure, in recently published research on Design Rights’ Infringement, to address current trends and challenges in the design sector, ACID, supported by the ACID Council and the leading design-led organisations, has produced a blueprint strategy for Design & IP Policy. The recent IPO research provided no new insights into design infringement nor future proofing. It also failed to establish a robust methodology to measure infringement now and in the future. ACID is confident that the principles for a new “Design & IP Strategy to Safeguard the Future” will be a sound and realistic starting point to address the legitimate concerns and expectations of this sector which is integral to the UK economy.
Dids Macdonald, OBE CEO of ACID and Vice Chair of the Alliance for Intellectual Property stated, “ACID, as the UK’s significant voice for Design & IP, is confident that we can still continue to work with the IPO positively and in collaboration to re-engage with the design sector to ensure that the design sector’s IP needs are evaluated from a position of market reality supported by cost and time effective enforcement. ACID will also work with an independent team to research the issue of design infringement measurement with a view to consolidating our strategy with robust methodology to measure design infringement for the future. This will ensure that policy is anticipatory and, as much as possible, includes future proofing for decades to come.”
In summary, IP Policy: What does ‘Safeguarding the Future IP framework’ look like?
Creating a long-term and effective intellectual property policy and framework for design is of critical importance to the UK design sector. Deal or no deal post Brexit. Government and policy makers must ensure they are creating a supportive IP framework under which UK firms can export to the world safely, knowing that access to a robust IP enforcement is in place. UK micro and SME design innovators must have effective cost and time legal support that deters copiers supported by a deterrent damages system. Such a system must disincentives IP infringement by those who take the fast track to market by copying.
Respect for IP is incomplete in the absence of corporate social responsibility. This endorses the stark reality that stealing IP is the same as property theft. Few of us would steal from a shop but many happily buy fakes, counterfeits and copies with impunity, often putting themselves and their families at risk. EU Customs have confirmed that over 30% of fakes coming to the EU have the potential to damage health and safety.
There is an ongoing disparity between design right infringement and copyright infringement. Albeit, the infringement of a registered design is now a crime, but the infringement of an unregistered design is still not a criminal offence and, as the majority of UK designers rely on unregistered design protection, this should be addressed sooner rather than later.
For effective policy to emerge, enlightened and informed anticipatory governance is essential not only looking at the creeping threats, trends and challenges of today but contemplating and reacting with an effective National IP Crime Enforcement body.
Read the DRI Executive Summary here.
Read the DRI Full Report here.
For a full ACID response to the DRI research see here.
Click here for a list of organisations who share some, if not all of ACID’s concerns.