Read about how Face Lace utilise their ACID Membership Benefits to support their IP rights.
I self-funded my business through a need I recognised as a Professional Makeup artist. I have worked as a Makeup artist for over 30 years and needed this type of Product for photographic work, fashion shows, live events and TV work. Sometimes a Makeup artist has to do very quick dramatic makeup changes that are perfect in a few minutes – my products are the answer to this. Although the general consumer have also used and enjoyed our brands for special occasions.
My only knowledge of IP was as a creative in the fashion and advertising world. Doing a direct copy of another contemporary artist’s work was severely frowned upon in fashion. It was OK to be inspired by an artist from another field entirely and/or from another era, like an homage, but if an artist was caught doing a direct copy of a well-known image by a contemporary, the industry would be very unforgiving, and call them out for sure!
The difference in IP issues, from being a freelance creative to a creative with a business which relies on designs and images, is that the copyists will not be known to you. My experience has shown that the copyists of my designs are extremely elusive as they are in Asia. The IP infringers can be all over the world profiting from your work.
When IP theft happens in your backyard and you know who they are, they are usually very big players that have weighed up the likelihood of you taking them to Court successfully.
Which ACID Membership services have you used and how have you benefitted from being a member?We have used the ACID Affiliates and spoken to legal experts on issues regarding copyright in our original designs and tackling infringement. We also used one of ACID’s recommended lawyers to confront a High Street brand (here in the UK) for naming a product “Face Lace” for infringement of our trademarked name.
We have also had a very informative conversation with one of ACID’s legal affiliates about the best way to go about reporting and achieving removal of Asian products pretending to be Face Lace on Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Alibaba, Ali Express and other sites where copies of our products are sold.
We have also taken advice about using social media to name and shame another High Street giant who sold a design remarkably similar to our “Espina” design. Our “Espina” design was actually registered with the IPO. We spent a lot of money starting legal action against a High Street accessories chain only to have to step down at the last hurdle as we didn’t have legal insurance in place to cover expenses if we lost. The legal team we used at that time heavily discouraged us from using social media.
ACID has assured us that next time they would be there to advise us on how to use social media to name and shame. This method might have been a more successful and less expensive way to stop them selling what we considered to be an infringing product.
Have you brought anything new to the marketplace recently that you would like to share? In winter time our masks are very popular – we made a mask based on a Cat Face with Egyptian design references called “Bastet” which was very popular for Halloween and Masquerade Balls. We have a few designs we launched at the very beginning which have remained popular for 4 years such as “Burlesque”. Over the Last year we began to add second layers of materials like our design “Starway 2 Heaven” this was popular in the summer and at Christmas. This year we launched Eye-Lobes which can be worn around the eyes or as an Ear Cuff – “Eye-Lobes Rings”.
We are creating new designs using several layers- which we hope will be more difficult for the copyists to achieve. We have been using a wonderful holographic material for many of our newer designs, which reflects like jewellery on the skin. I would like to create makeup embellishments which are like a cross between makeup and jewellery on the skin.
What is the best aspect of ACID Membership for your business?All my designs are unique, and I love to do research for each one. I hand paint my designs before they are put into a computer system to link with the machines for cutting. Once the designs are finalised, the first thing I do, before we do the photography, is submit them to the ACID Copyright & Design Databank. Then we also get them design registered with the IPO.
We had a frustrating correspondence with a Swedish company, that wouldn’t take down the Asian copies from their website, even though we had a lot of Press of when we launched our designs naming myself as the Creator of Face Lace designs. The Swedish company said unless we showed them proof that we had officially registered the designs they would continue to sell the fakes. Most other companies have been compliant, but it made us realise that we needed the support of official organisations like ACID to protect our Intellectual Property. We show our membership of ACID by using the Member of ACID logo on our website home page.
What advice would you offer to a new designer?
If finances are too tight to register all of your original designs before you launch, ensure that they are on the ACID Copyright & Design Databank.
You can then leave the decision to register with the IPO or EPO for up to 12 months to see which are the best sellers and choose to register the ones you think are most valuable to you. Eventually I would aim to get all new designs registered.
The Asian infringers haven’t copied any of our registered designs, yet.Face Lace Twitter