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Support the ACID "Commission it, Don't Copy it" Campaign

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Support the ACID "Commission it, Don't Copy it" Campaign - Sign ACID's Retailer Code of Conduct

ACID (Anti Copying in Design) is calling all designers who deal with high street retailers to sign a petition to invite major retailers to join ACID’s “Commission it, Don’t Copy it” campaign, sign a voluntary Code of Conduct and adopt IP guidelines to help buyers avoid unintentional infringement.

Whilst the majority of retailers support and respect design origination, there are some retail design buyers who do not! With the recent emergence of a stream of look-alike designs, never has there been a better time for all design buyers to put their full weight behind British designers and join ACID’s Government endorsed “Commission it, Don’t Copy it!” campaign

The UK currently has around 240,000 designers, many of whom are product designers. ACID sees the “Commission it, Don’t Copy it!” campaign as a positive initiative to provide opportunities to support these UK designers who lead the way in innovative and creative design. It is a British campaign and the idea is simple. Buyers will be encouraged to commission original UK design and pay a royalty for each product sold. Major retail buyers (who usually have the purchasing power to source cheaper products) will still have the opportunity for cost effective manufacture. However, there is also the opportunity to publicly support British designers and possibly to create signature ranges. The consumer is then provided with a bona fide product which is originally designed, the designer is acknowledged and the consumer is not misled into buying a look alike without knowing. It is a win-win for retail, a boost for Design UK and the consumer buys an original UK design-led product thereby supporting the originator.

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO says, “Major high street retailers are invited to sign the ACID voluntary Code of Conduct. This contains a framework of values, with the intention of providing consumers with assurances as to the integrity of the designs and conduct of retailers. It is often difficult for design buyers to easily recognise design origination or understand about intellectual property ownership, so ACID has created a simple set of guidelines which it is intended will be helpful to work within to comply with UK IP law.”

The campaign is supported by Elle Decoration and also (on behalf of Government and in support of the ACID campaign) Baroness Wilcox, the former Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “The UK is rich in design talent. Its many design-led small businesses not only generate direct value for the UK economy, they also underpin success for many larger firms across all sectors. Anti Copying in Design’s ‘Commission it, Don’t Copy it’ campaign aims to engage plc buyers in working with the UK’s designers. The relationships that develop will help more of the UK’s design businesses to emerge as key players and ensure that our major retailers reap the benefits of access to outstanding design and a corporate reputation for true originality. I welcome ACID’s work to help engage with and protect the UK’s design sector.”

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