On British IP Day 2021 Anti Copying in Design (ACID), joined other members of the Alliance for Intellectual Property for British IP Day celebrations virtually, showcasing the multi-faceted contributions Intellectual Property (IP) makes to the UK. The UK’s creative industries are a success story and as the UK begins to re-open post-lockdown, we reflected on the significant impact IP rich industries have on UK growth for a positive future that maximises this potential and recognises the successes of our creators.
ACID is also delighted to congratulate ACID members Claire Elsworth and Zoe Hewett as joint winners and Rakha Madahar and Lizzie Doe as runners up of its Design Law competition/survey launched recently.
The survey https://1drv.ms/b/s!AlSilpqvxROOhVMboxQgSpQUPWJ- was launched recently on World IP Day to try and establish the facts around what we believe is a very confusing area of law for designers and the results reinforced our belief that there are many myths surrounding design law and much confusion.
Approximately £10.7m was lost to 54 responders through IP theft over five years though many could not say exactly how much or quantify it. Of the 14 who could put a figure on it, this works at a staggering average of £199,296 per respondent or £99K per year.
- The majority knew copyright, trade mark and registered design infringement are criminal offences (we believe this is because of the significant deterrent effect this has against IP theft).
- Nearly half were confused about whether unregistered design infringement is a criminal offence.
- A worrying 30% still thought they had EU Unregistered Design Right post Brexit.
- Around 50/50 thought design was a Cinderella right
- The majority were wrong about designs’ impressive value (£85.2billion to the UK’s GVA) and how many people employed in design and design skills (1.69m).
- It is of concern that 50% thought they would be still protected if they launched an unregistered Designs in EU.
Nick Kounoupias, ACID’s Chief Counsel said, “It’s no wonder that design law is considered a poor cousin or the Cinderella right when even designers are unsure of the scope of protection available to them. This is because the UKs design laws are the most complex In the world and perhaps also the most unfair. How can it be fair for an artistic work in 2D to be protected by the criminal law but for that protection to cease once the design is actually made. An overhaul of design law is well overdue.“ At today’s IP British IP Day Roundtable event, with the Minister for Science, Research & Innovation, Rt Hon Amanda Solloway MP, Dids Macdonald, OBE., CEO of ACID reminded the Minister, “That, post Brexit, UK designers have faced an existential threat having lost automatic EU27 unregistered design protection.” and asked for a commitment for it to be a priority for discussion when the IP Committee is set up with the EU. She also asked the Minister whether she would consider increasing the protection for unregistered designs in the UK? After all, why should a 2d designer be able to rely on copyright and tougher sanctions but when his or her design becomes a 3D product term and protection are significantly reduced.”
The Minister responded, “The UK sought agreement with the EU on reciprocal disclosure of Unregistered designs and this would have been beneficial to design businesses. However, disappointingly the EU decided to pass up the opportunity to conclude mutually beneficial text. There are no plans to revisit this issue with our EU partners. However, the government recognises this is an important issue for UK designers and we are considering it in our future work in terms of the UK design system. IP protection as we all know can be incredibly complex and also overlap and items can both qualify for design and copyright protection depending on what the product is.”
British IP Day followed hot on the heels of World IP Day so take a moment to listen and watch Sebastian Conran here, Will Butler Adams CEO of Brompton Bikes here Fashion Designer, Jess Linklater of Robe de Voyage in her battle with COS here and Rob Law, MBA., of Trunki here