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ACID Campaigning Landmarks

Gowers Review of Intellectual Property

In 2006 ACID CEO Dids Macdonald wrote an open letter to the Chancellor Gordon Brown on the announcement of an independent intellectual property review.

Dids said,  “I am writing an open letter to you in response to the announcement made at the Enterprise Conference on 2 December 2005 regarding your invitation to Andrew Gowers to lead an Independent Intellectual Property Review. I understand this is to examine the UK’s intellectual property framework with a commitment to “modernise copyright and other intellectual property so that they are appropriate for the digital age.

ACID (Anti Copying In Design) welcomes this and any other initiatives which will serve to highlight what we consider to be an escalating and serious problem within the creative industries in the UK. Government is already well aware of the scope of the problem having received, year on year, alarming statistics which demonstrate that last year, for example, a staggering 11 billion pounds was lost through counterfeiting, piracy and product plagiarism.” 

ACID included amongst a list of requests:

  • The appointment of a dedicated Minister for Intellectual Property
  • Criminal sanctions for deliberate Design infringement
  • National Mediation Service
  • IP Educate to Protect program for schools and universities
  • A new name for the Patent Office to encompass all IP rights

When the review was published ACID commented, “The lack of importance that design right  has been given in the Gowers Review appears in direct conflict to the Chancellors belief that design should be fostered, encouraged and protected. The Gowers Report did not address the disparity between copyright owners and design right owners i.e. “why should an artist, author or songwriter receive stronger rights and be able to rely on criminal sanctions and a furniture or lighting designer cannot? In addition, Andrew Gowers did not satisfactorily address the issues of deterrent damages for IP theft in civil cases.”

The Gowers Review endorsed ACID’s “EDUCATE TO PROTECT” campaign as, “a good example of ways in which public and industry awareness can be increased.”

Read the full Gowers Review here







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