Safeguarding the Future

Following Government’s failure, in recently published research on Design Rights’ Infringement, to address current trends and challenges in the design sector, ACID, supported by the ACID Council and the leading design-led organisations, has produced a blueprint strategy for Design & IP Policy. The recent IPO research provided no new insights into design infringement nor future proofing. It also failed to establish a robust methodology to measure infringement now and in the future. ACID is confident that the principles for a new “Design & IP Strategy to Safeguard the Future” will be a sound and realistic starting point to address the legitimate concerns and expectations of this sector which is integral to the UK economy.

Dids Macdonald, OBE CEO of ACID and Vice Chair of the Alliance for Intellectual Property stated, “Endorsed by Government as the UK’s significant voice for Design & IP, I am confident that we can still continue to work with the IPO positively and in collaboration to re-engage with the design sector to ensure that the design sector’s IP needs are evaluated from a position of market reality supported by cost and time effective enforcement. ACID will also work with an independent team to address the issue of design infringement measurement with a view to consolidating our strategy with robust methodology to measure design infringement for the future. This will ensure that policy is anticipatory and, as much as possible, including future proofing for decades come.” 

In summary, IP Policy: What does ‘Safeguarding the Future IP Framework’ look like?

Creating a long-term and effective intellectual property policy and framework for design is of critical importance to the UK design sector. Deal or no deal post Brexit. Government and policy makers must ensure they are creating a supportive IP framework under which UK firms can export to the world safely, knowing that access to a robust IP enforcement is in place. UK micro and SME design innovators must have effective cost and time legal support that deters copiers supported by a deterrent damages system. Such a system must disincentives IP infringement by those who take the fast track to market by copying.

Respect for IP is incomplete in the absence of corporate social responsibility. This endorses the stark reality that stealing IP is the same as property theft. Few of us would steal from a shop but many happily buy fakes, counterfeits and copies with impunity, often putting themselves and their families at risk. EU Customs have confirmed that over 30% of fakes coming to the EU have the potential to damage health and safety.  

There is an ongoing disparity between design right infringement and copyright infringement. Albeit, the infringement of a registered design is now a crime, but the infringement of an unregistered design is still not a criminal offence and, as the majority of UK designers rely on unregistered design protection, this should be addressed sooner rather than later.

For effective policy to emerge, enlightened and informed anticipatory governance is essential not only looking at the creeping threats, trends and challenges of today but contemplating and reacting with an effective National IP Crime Enforcement body.

DRI Executive Summary!AlSilpqvxROOhCauKKWvJ-0IL2bQ

DRI Full Report!AlSilpqvxROOhCeOAQYvVr0xPwCs

Full ACID response to the DRI research see here!AlSilpqvxROOhCTSFG49KxOn8ThM

For a list of organisations who share some, if not all of ACID’s concerns:!AlSilpqvxROOhCGqH4fU6YPMVc7J


Contact: Dids Macdonald tel.0845 6443617 e-mail: web:



Twists Glass Studios are finalists for Tableware international awards of Excellence 2019.

Twists glass Studio are delighted in being in the final line up of three, for the Artisanal awards 2019. The 17 award winners of over 51 finalists will be announced at Frankfurt on the 10th February at Ambiente.

Twists glass Studio has offered a unique original design, in British hand made glass for 21 years, this year since founding the business in 1998 in the Scottish Borders Uk.

Sue from Twist Glass Studios said: “We offer British Luxury at its very best and have earned our place in the British and international world of glass, with innovative designs and well-made products for over 20 years with many designs which have influenced glass design on a global scale”.

Michael James Hunter designer and maker of all Twists glass designs are delighted to be in the line up of Finalist. Judged by 28 high calibre international judges this is an honour to be chosen as one of the finalists.

Visit them at hall 6 stand S02 at Spring Fair in February.



Gallery Image
Gallery Direct Strengthens their Complete Interiors Solution with the Purchase of Parlane International.
In a deal designed to reinforce their business further, leading interiors company Gallery Direct has announced the purchase of Parlane International, one of the UK’s top interior companies, who design and supply home accessories to the trade. The purchase, which was completed on 3rd January 2019, was part of a strategic decision to expand Gallery’s home accessories collection to boost their complete interiors offering.
“This is great news for Gallery’s and Parlane’s clients” commented Peter Delaney, Managing Director of Gallery Direct. “The two companies share the same core values and work ethics. Like ourselves, they are a well-established business who have developed a strong, trusted brand, focusing on design, quality and value for money. They have close working relationships with their suppliers, who produce excellent products for them. Many are designed in-house by the Parlane team or are exclusively procured from their high-quality international suppliers. I am confident that the two businesses will work closely together to deliver benefits to both companies and their respective customers.”
The strength of the combined team’s offer, with their knowledge and experience, and in-house design and development teams, will ensure Gallery stay at the forefront of the interiors sector. Their already impressive trade show stands look set to become even larger and more eye-catching.

Mike & Caroline Burgess

Mike and Caroline Burgess

Mike Burgess, Managing Director of Parlane International Ltd, commented, “We are very proud of our business, which has been developed over the last 48 years with the outstanding team here in Bourton-on-the-Water. We have grown to a size where we now need to partner with a like-minded business. The synergies between Gallery Direct and ourselves are obvious and we are delighted to become part of the Gallery team going forwards.”

Peter Delaney added, “Mike and his team have such in-depth sector knowledge that we know will help our ongoing strategy and expansion further into the sector. It has been a pleasure dealing with and getting to know him and the Parlane team, and we look forward to welcoming them onboard. We are excited about the future and have great plans to continue leading by design!”

Parlane Collections





GOTY Email - One Day To Go...

It’s the final day of our competition!! Yes, you only have one day left to enter our Gift of the Year 2019 competition. Entries will close at 11pm tonight! so you still have a full day to enter and complete your entries.

Thank you to all those have entered and good luck for the initial stages of judging. For those that have not entered yet, what are you waiting for?…The competition is a great way for you to raise the profile of your products and businesses as well as all your hard work as you get them in front of our judging panel of industry judgesincluding, buyers, retailers, and key industry experts. To find out more about the benefits then speak to a member of the team.

If you’ve already filled in your product details, you might want to make sure your entries are all present and correct or even enter a few more categories out of the 20 we have in this year’s competition.

Take a look at last years winners…

GOTY Email 3

All entrants will receive branding they can use online or in print, with even more exclusive marketing goodies if your products are shortlisted, become finalists or even win. The winners will be announced at an all-inclusive, free to attend a special ceremony hosted at Spring Fair.

Enter Button

The timetable for the competition is as follows:

  • The closing date is this Wednesday, the 5th November 2018 – 11PM;
  • Shortlisted companies will be notified w/c 13th December 2018;
  • Shortlisted samples will be required by 8th January 2019

We look forward to seeing what you’ve got in store for the judges. The Gift of the Year team is here to help, so if you need guidance please contact us on 0121 237 1142 or email

Good Luck

The Giftware Asociation Team


Is this what we have waited nearly four years for?

Acid Press Release

Seven years after Professor Hargreaves stated that the role of IP in supporting this important branch of the creative economy has been neglected, the long-awaited new Government research was published yesterday (which has taken nearly 4 years and has cost the tax payer tens of thousands of pounds). It sheds no new light on the types of infringement that occur, and which ACID has communicated on a consistent basis for over two decades. In fact, it misses out swathes of IP issues which should be measured, for example, the increasing infringement of designs online.

For over twenty years, Anti Copying in Design (ACID) has been at the forefront of design law reform and during this period has worked collaboratively and positively with the Intellectual Property Office. During this period, we have consistently urged Government to focus on any design infringement research which will shed new light on this insidious crime and guide proactive and forward-thinking policy for the future.

The fundamental objectives of the research were to:

  • Finalise a suitable methodology for measuring the extent and scale of design infringement in the UK
  • To produce a robust measure for the extent and scale of design infringement focusing on the incidence of infringement, although monetary value would be desirable
  • better understand the attitudes and behaviour of designers and owners of designs towards infringement

In 2011 Professor Hargreaves, rapporteur of the Hargreaves Review said, “The growing design sector is the largest source of intangible investment in the UK economy and the emergence of 3D printing has increased the need for a thorough reassessment of IP and design evidence- based assessment of the relationship between design rights and innovation, with a view to establishing a firmer basis for evaluating policy at the UK and European level.

 Nick Kounoupias, ACID Legal Counsel commented, “The UK design community deserves better than this. The report provides no new insights nor future-proofing to address current trends and challenges. It is disappointing that so much time and money has apparently been expended to produce a report that sadly doesn’t do justice to the legitimate concerns and expectations of the design sector.”

 Dids Macdonald, OBE CEO of ACID and Vice Chair of the Alliance for Intellectual Property stated, “Having reviewed this research, it fails to serve the design community and meet its own objectives. As a key design and IP representative body, despite many approaches to the IPO, they have thought fit to publish this research regardless. We asked for a postponement so that the IPO could engage with more stakeholders before publication, this request was refused. We believe the basis for this research raised some significant concerns for the following reasons:


  • The Design Rights’ Infringement Research (DRI) was based on Australian Patent Research. – This does not make sense. In Australia, there is no separate protection available for unregistered designs. Australian, US and China design patents are very different from UK and EU registered designs in that they are fully examined and there is a higher threshold of examination. The registration of a design is a simple deposit process (and relatively low fee) as opposed to cumbersome patent registration which can take years and costs tens of thousands. A patent is a strong monopoly right, though complex and requires significant cost and time resource to enforce. Designers and design entrepreneurs “design” prolifically; inventors, by nature of the time to have a patent granted, have a significantly longer-term approach to innovation.
  • Promised Focus Group meetings to discuss the fundamentals of the questionnaire did not take place – only one was held with a one designer design business, two legal representatives of design companies, one large and one small and two representatives of different design stakeholder groups. One focus group is not representative of the views of UK designers. The resultant questionnaire was over complicated, the language confusing and the perceived level of IP understanding by those questioned was under-estimated.
  • DRI Hypotheses questioned – Given designers rely on copyright as well as design rights to protect their work, only measuring design rights’ exclusively misses future tracking of swathes of different IP issues for designers such as 2D design, currently not tracked in the Online Copyright Index (OCI) (music, film, TV programmes, computer software, eBooks, video games). It is anomalous that search engines, online marketplaces and social media platforms will accept evidence of copyright for take down but will not accept evidence of unregistered designs, thereby leaving designers with little or no access to redress. How is this being measured now and how will it be measured in the future?
  • Futureproofing measurement such as 3D printing infringement. Having a methodology for measuring incidences of 3D printing infringement will be critical for future proofing policy making. Currently, because there are no criminal provisions for unregistered design infringement, for the majority of designers there is no criminal offence to enforce
  • Brexit – Given the effects of Brexit (and this research was commissioned in 2015 and did not start until 2016) it is unacceptable that the consequences of Brexit and the potential loss of EU UDR to UK designers was not considered. Deal or no deal, UK designers will be spectacularly disadvantaged if they lose EU unregistered design rights’ protection in 27 EU countries.
  • IPO and DCMS Consultation and collaboration – Pre-research commencing, there appears to have been no communication and collaboration between the IPO and DCMS to establish how the future needs of designers could be met with research on design infringement which would include copyright.
  • IP issues facing designers – There is little in this DRI report about which the Government (IPO) was not aware over a 15/20-year period, all of which has been consistently articulated by ACID and others over this time.
  • Data Analysis – with such a small sample of usable evidence, a sophisticated method of analysis was used which gave confusing results. ACID’s understanding of establishing corpus to generate an ontology necessary for methodology is that requires a sophisticated set of data and/or narrative from which to analyse. For example, of 194 replies in one section there is confusion in language used which suggests that the level of understanding of the respondents ranges from non-existent to poor to marginal to a reasonable knowledge of IP. Corpus would also require a set of questions which are understandable by the respondents. Comparative rather than converting it into meaningful insight and consistency; there is no clear differentiation between the owners of registered and unregistered design rights whose attitudes may differ significantly.


DRI Executive Summary!AlSilpqvxROOhCauKKWvJ-0IL2bQ

DRI Full Report!AlSilpqvxROOhCeOAQYvVr0xPwCs

For a full ACID response to the DRI research see here!AlSilpqvxROOhCTSFG49KxOn8ThM


For a list of organisations who share some, if not all of ACID’s concerns!AlSilpqvxROOhCGqH4fU6YPMVc7J

Acid Press Release 1 


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.

Contact: Dids Macdonald tel.0845 6443617 e-mail: web: