Around 40 people attended an intellectual property (IP) law webinar organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company and Anti Copying in Design (ACID) earlier this month.

The event, which took place on Tuesday 17 November, informed delegates about critical changes which will affect design protection on 1 January 2021 following the post-Brexit transition period.

Liveryman and IP specialist lawyer Niall Head-Rapson of McDaniels Law guided participants through what, to many, can seem a complex set of laws and Immediate Past Master and CEO of ACID Dids Macdonald concentrated on some basic and practical steps to create a proactive IP strategy.

Immediate Past Master and CEO of ACID Dids Macdonald said: “British furniture designers and makers are some of the best in the world but unfortunately, there are those that want to take the fast track to market by free riding on ideas and creativity to copy or “adapt” them. Designers in the furniture/furnishings/interiors/bedding sector work in a diverse landscape. So, whether you design for homes, offices, schools, luxury yachts, restaurants, or public places or maybe you are a bespoke furniture maker, the designs you create are all underpinned by intellectual property which needs to be protected. Gaining knowledge about the IP that protects your designs and brands is important as is the protection of trade secrets – the knowledge, technical skill, know how that sits under your brand and sets you apart from the competition.”

If you couldn’t attend the webinar but are interested in design protection, ACID has provided some useful key points of reference, handy tips and a link to the webinar if you would like to visit.

  • Find a link to the webinar here  together with a link to the presentation here
  • Learn about the basics of a proactive IP strategy here

  • Many think that by changing a design by a percentage or a number of changes it becomes a new design. ACID share some of the most common misunderstanding or myths about IP, here
  • Discover more about an SME designer Simone Brewster, who acted against retailers and manufacturers Swoon. here

  • ACID works closely with the furniture and furnishings sector, find out more here
  • For generic agreements see ACID Shop Latest ACID Magazine here
  • IP attaches are based all over the world to help you in key export markets. Find out more here

And finally, disappointingly, after a four-year ACID campaign, from 1 January, UK designers will lose unregistered Community design protection in EU 27. To understand the consequences of this please find out more here. 

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