Campaigning

Over the last 20 years ACID has become the leading UK Design and IP voice on intellectual property issues which affect not only its members but the broader design community. 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.

The UK design sector punches well above its weight and worth over £71 billion and employs 1.6 million of this 1m in non-design industries. The majority of design businesses have less than 10 employees, 60% have less than 4 employees. Taking legal action is the luxury of the few if their designs are infringed.

The creative industries have grown twice as fast as the rest of the economy in recent years and account for 7.7% of GVA; an integral measure of economic activity in the UK. Export of product, graphic and fashion design services increased by 76% since 2009. According to the Design Council, design intensive companies outperformed the FTSE 100 by 200% over a ten-year period – there is every indication that this growth will continue.

Every aspect of the creative economy is underpinned by intellectual property, intellectual capital, knowhow and ideas – it is the lifeblood running through the veins of the future prosperity of a Creative Britain. In order to make it easier for creative people to build on their success it will be equally important to raise awareness about the protection, exploitation and commercialisation of IP. If we are entering what is said to be the most challenging economic period this century has experienced there will be many who will seek the fast track to market through IP theft. With the right kind of support, however, SME’s in the Creative Industries could contribute to UK economic growth and provide certainty for jobs and employment in this sector.

ACID is proud to be a full member of the Alliance for Intellectual Property a unique coalition of 24 trade and enforcement organisations, providing a single voice for those who share an interest in promoting innovation and growth through intellectual property in the UK. CEO Dids Macdonald was appointed Vice Chair in September 2011.
ACID is also a member of IPAN (Intellectual Property Awareness Network) the Innovations Support Network and the Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation ACID is part of the UK IPO CREATE group (view Word document)

Good design, recognised as a market differentiator, doesn’t happen by chance. It takes years to create a brand with a pedigree of creative excellence not only to lead on visual elements but on essential ingredients/components such as quality engineering, high specification raw materials, health, safety and environmental compliance and skilled craftsmanship. Talent alone will not be the route to design success, a huge investment is necessary to develop top quality designs and products to obtain and maintain a place as a market leader and innovator. Design leaders need and demand to maintain their market position without being threatened by lookalikes and copies.

Our current focus:

  • Ensure post Brexit, UK designers will not be disadvantaged by losing the benefits of EU Unregistered Design
  • Extend criminal provisions for the intentional infringement of unregistered designs
  • 3D Printing – whilst there are enormous opportunities there are also IP challenges – as the majority of UK designers rely on UDR, currently not a criminal offence, this leaves the door open (potentially) for organised crime.
  • Despite improvements to the IPEC and Small Claims Track, it is cost prohibitive for most micro and SME designers to pursue infringement.

Nick Kounoupias is ACID’s Chief Legal Counsel leading on all IP issues and is a member of the ACID Advisory Council. Nick is also CEO and founder of KounoupiasIP

*(Haskel and Pesole for IPO 2011) Updated October 2012