On World IP Day, Dids Macdonald, OBE., hand delivered a letter to the Prime Minister to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day’s theme – Powering Change – Women in innovation and creativity. She was accompanied to 10 Downing Street by ACID member Holly Hughes of Citradi winner of the 2018 ACID Female Design Champion Award and Nick Kounoupias ACID Chief Counsel. As well as celebrating UK designers’ laudable contribution to innovation and creativity, she expressed concerns about several design and IP issues and asked for her support.
Despite their success as IP creators, many of the UK’s designers are micro and small businesses, the lifeblood of this sector, but many are vulnerable because design law is not strong enough to protect them in the UK and in global markets because access to enforcement, for most, is expensive and difficult. Recent ACID research has revealed that 90% of those surveyed believe that copying is blatant and deliberate which is a real threat to growth in many cases. She also raised concerns about Brexit which provides its own set of challenges in a potentially calamitous scenario for UK designers. Most UK designers rely on the strong protection of EU unregistered design right.
Macdonald also raised the issue that there is a lacuna in current design law and asked the question why should song writers, artists, film makers have stronger and less complicated laws than fashion, furniture and lighting designers? This lack of law will also become a real threat when organised criminal networks and counterfeiters begin to realise that 3D printing provides an easy route to criminal activity.
Holly Hughes said “IP is important to all British designers and the industries they create for. A more robust approach to safeguarding it would lead to a stronger post-Brexit Britain.”
Nick Kounoupias ACID Chief Counsel said: “World IP Day presents a terrific opportunity to recognise the achievements of those designers that inspire their peers through their innovative creations and there can be no more deserving recipient of ACID’s award than Holly. It is incumbent on all lawmakers in the UK to ensure that UK designers are able to continue to benefit post Brexit from the very strong EU design law protection not only within the UK and but also within the EU.”
Read Macdonald’s letter below.