Brexit: Design Right to Meet the ACID Test

ACID (Anti Copying in Design), is a membership trade organisation for designers intent on stamping out intellectual property rights abuse. Brexit, they contend, provides a unique opportunity not only to ensure the best possible IP design rights’ negotiations, but also create strengthened protection. Thus enabling UK designers to be on a par with their EU counterparts who can rely on unfair competition when UK IP law fails them, as demonstrated by the high profile Trunki case. A UK unregistered design right only offers protection for the shape and configuration of a design but EU unregistered rights protect a combination of colours, ornamentation, lines, texture or surface decoration as well as shape and configuration on which thousands have relied to protect their designs. Dids Macdonald, OBE., ACID’s CEO said, “The majority of the UK’s 350,000 designers rely on unregistered EU and UK design rights and being unable to rely on EU unregistered design rights would seriously affect them. Currently, both EU registered (with one application) and unregistered rights (which arise automatically) offer UK designers design protection in 28 member states for 25 and 3 years respectively. EU unregistered design is a much stronger design right and loss of access, potentially, could influence UK designers to launch new designs in alternative European locations to secure stronger design protection.”