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From the Newsdesk

Rupert Welch Joins ACID as an Ambassador

ACID is delighted that long time ACID member Rupert Welch, Joint Managing Director of Robert Welch has accepted an invitation to become an ACID Ambassador. Robert Welch are market leaders in kitchenware and homeware manufacturing and the supply and retail of cutlery knives, kitchenware, and homeware products nationally and internationally.

Accepting the role of ACID Ambassador, Rupert Welch, said: “The UK has always been and continues to be a worldwide epicentre for innovation – from electronics to furniture, medicine to art, we lead the way. However, we must do better to nurture creativity, encourage invention and design and protect those ground-breaking ideas which bring so much to our country across all sectors. Without tough laws to rely on, and clearly defined boundaries and structures to work within, design in the UK will not only be stifled but will always be vulnerable to IP theft, leaving the UK disadvantaged in a Global market. The failure to help UK innovators safeguard their IP is a scandal and the existence of a legal system where smaller designers have no hope or defence against corporate copying and theft, a travesty. This is why I and Robert Welch Designs fully support all that ACID is striving to achieve. I am deeply passionate about protecting our IP and at Robert Welch we take the prevention and stamping out of design infringement extremely seriously. We look forward to a time when UK design and innovation is treated with the respect that it warrants.”

ACID CEO Dids Macdonald, OBE., said, “Robert Welch have had their fair share of copying over many years, often by well-known high-street retailers. We very much welcome Rupert Welch joining as an ACID Ambassador at the crucial launch of our ACID IP Charter, it is timely and much welcomed. Along with other ACID Ambassadors, members and advocates it’s time for real change. Our ACID IP Charter is a simple set of principles, all are signatories of IP respect, ethics, and compliance. We would like to thank Rupert, Alice, his co-Director, and the Robert Welch Designs team for their advocacy in our continued fight against design theft.”

Nick Kounoupias, ACID Chief Counsel and IP Director, said: “Rupert’s incisive understanding of IP law and his considerable will to change the status quo that copying is an acceptable business model will be a huge asset to our continued campaigning for better design law and accountability.”

Robert Welch Design are members of ACID because they acknowledge the realisation of the intellectual capital asset value within their company of which intellectual property plays a significant part.

Robert Welch Design is one of the largest companies in the Cotswolds and employs skilled designers, talented craftsmen, and a dedicated team, all of whom help to create and maintain the company’s well-deserved image of design, precision and quality. In 2016 Robert Welch Design was awarded the Queen’s Award for enterprise, considered the pinnacle of business success within the UK and in 2017 Robert Welch design was one of only 176 British businesses to be recognised for the Queens Award for Innovation. Principal markets are the UK, US, Australia, EU, and the Middle East.

Rupert talks of his father’s legacy,When Robert Welch MBE, my late father, left the Royal College in 1955 he set up our company with just his drawing board and a camp bed in a little rented room in a disused workshop in the 18th century Silk Mill in Chipping Campden. Today, Robert Welch trades internationally and employs sixty-eight people. Our company, employees and their families rely on their ongoing future without IP infringement challenges.”

Sign Up to the ACID IP Charter here.

Anti Copying in Design (ACID) is a trade association for designers and manufacturers with a diverse membership ranging from individuals to multinationals and spanning many industry sectors. The organisation is committed to fighting design theft and lobbying Parliament for design law reform. Members have many free benefits including access to a specialist intellectual property legal hotline for initial free advice and, if relying on unregistered Community or UK design rights, have unlimited use of the ACID IP Databank to help protect their intellectual property (IP) Rights. ACID’s key objectives are protection, deterrence, and education, working towards a safer commercial trading framework enabling originators to fully exploit and maximise their IP rights.

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