Government announces ‘Calls for Views’ for design and intellectual property

Posted by Louise Prance-Miles on 7 February 2022

Following its recent survey on the Designs Framework, the IPO has now also announced a major Call for Views on Design and IP, which is long overdue to support an important UK sector that is a USP on a world stage.

Drawing pencils and a hand holding a pencil Design is a national and international asset for Great Britain and is also an impressive export sector.

This is an excellent opportunity for designers/manufacturers and all those engaged who use design to innovate in many different sectors to examine whether current design laws are fit for purpose and respond by reviewing the existing Designs Framework.Complete the Call for Views here even if you have already completed the earlier survey.

ACID's Chief Executive Dids Macdonald, OBE., CEO of ACID says, "Designers' livelihoods matter and this is dependent upon a Design IP framework which is fit for purpose. From the seed of idea to market reality takes sweat equity, time, and finance not to mention all the other aspects of R & D, prototyping et al. Design infringement is a sanitised word for theft and it is critical that designers are supported by a law that has a real deterrent factor.
"The introduction of criminal provisions for the intentional infringement of an unregistered design (in line with copyright protection) would act as a real deterrent as a minimum. After-all, most UK designers rely on unregistered rights. We believe that individual directors should also be liable in line with the IP Act of 2014."

According to ACID, designers continue to be baffled by a law that makes it a criminal offence to copy a two-dimensional design drawing but when that drawing is converted into a 3D product there is no criminal offence involved should it be copied.

Nick Kounoupias, ACID's Chief Counsel said, "I'm pleased that designers have been given the opportunity to explain once again how British laws need to change to better protect them. Designs law is currently over complex and not fit for purpose. Criminalising unregistered design right infringement to bring parity with copyright protection is the least they and we can expect."

Design Council's Chief Design Officer, Cat Drew, said: "Intellectual Property rights are fundamental to the business of design. We want a design IP system that keeps pace with and reflects new technologies and global markets. It's important that people from across the design industry give their views on the current IP framework and how it can be improved for designers. As part of our Design Economy work, we are looking at ways to enable designers to provide more value for people and planet, and we will be looking carefully at the suggestions emerging within this important review by the IPO."

Please email ACID to discuss any element of the Calls for Views, which is unclear

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