Craft Focus - February / March 2021 (Issue 83)

87 ACID To find out more, visit Amazon Brand registry – Many may not know about an excellent initiative by Amazon. If you are a rights owner with a registered trademark, you may be eligible to enrol your brand in the Amazon Brand Registry. The Amazon Brand Registry provides access to powerful tools including proprietary text and image search, predictive automation based on your reports of suspected intellectual property rights violations and increasing authority over product listings with your brand name. To learn more and start the enrolment process, visit You can read more about Alibaba’s policies on the ACID website and in a report created by ACID following their IPR Summit last year at alibabas-business-ipr-protection-summit report.pdf WHAT IF THE COPIES AND COUNTERFEITS SOLD ONLINE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE IN THE UK, BUT THE WEBSITE IS NOT BASED IN THE UK OR SUBJECT TO UK LAW? If copies and counterfeits of your designs are marketed to a UK audience, your rights are being infringed. If contacting the seller or intermediary website (either directly or via the site’s notification procedure) does not result in the infringing items being removed, you will need to consider whether the extent of the infringement is sufficient to take legal action. Consider contacting HM Customs & Excise with a view to preventing the importation of the infringing products purchased on the website. Customs can take random samples among items that fit the description provided. This is by no means fool-proof and is usually easier to implement in respect of registered rights, particularly trademarks, but it can provide an additional level of protection. In order to maximise your chances of success, you should try to obtain as much information as possible about the goods, from where they are being shipped to what their packaging looks like. Increasingly, the UK Courts are willing to consider granting orders against UK-based ISPs preventing access to foreign- domiciled websites where they contain substantial infringements of IP rights. Many are resorting to social media to name and shame! ACID’s advice is to approach this type of reportage with caution. Never accuse someone of infringing your rights as you may be sued for making what, in the fullness of time, could be construed as a groundless threat. Never make libellous statements about another individual or company. ACID is always happy to advise on the right sort of wording in these situations to mitigate any legal challenges. Increasingly, the design community is seeking social media to raise awareness to shame individuals into submission. ACID’s advice is to do so with care! Government action on this subject is ongoing. In March 2018, the UK Government, and the UK Creative Industries, through the Creative Industries Council, “agreed to a Sector Deal to unlock growth for creative businesses.” Among other objectives, the UK Government committed to collaborating with rights holders and (1) the online advertising industry, (2) social media and user upload platforms, and (3) online marketplaces who are signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) “to assess the evidence base and, where appropriate, agree [on] further action to reduce online infringement.” An MOU would go some way towards improving the status quo for creators which ACID welcomes. RECENT POSITIVE CASE STUDY Talented designer, Emily Royston recently found copies of her brand Chasing Threads (under her other company Maid in China) on Etsy. It was the best-selling item The Stitch Passport Cover. Etsy behaved very responsibly indeed and following a report online outlining the infringement the infringing items were removed overnight. She was fortunate because she had that all-important evidence of a long-standing listing and she also had independent third party evidence of the date when the designs were lodged on the ACID IP Databank. Each lodgement has a unique, tamper proof numbered certificate. Etsy take down links