John Lewis has become the first retailer to sign up to pressure group Anti Copying In Design’s code of conduct against copyright theft of product design.
Acid has targeted nine retailers and seven hotel groups as part of the first phase of a campaign that aims to protect designers’ intellectual property rights by preventing stolen or plagiarised designs being commissioned or sold.
It hopes retailers, manufacturers and hotels will take on board intellectual property rights as part of their commitment to ethical trading, says Acid chief executive Dids MacDonald.
According to Design Council chief executive Andrew Summers, John Lewis’s signing is ‘very significant’. He says, ‘John Lewis has always been at the forefront of good corporate responsibility and I’d be delighted if more retailers followed suit. But the key thing for designers is to register their designs at the very earliest stage.’
Legislation introduced earlier this year in the UK and Europe now gives designers greater protection. Design registration law allows companies to register almost every element of a brand’s product appearance, including its shape, graphics, colour typography, packaging and get-up, according to Stringer Saul solicitor Jane Elkington.