Acid petitions Number 10 on IP crime

Anti Copying In Design is launching two petitions destined for Number 10 Downing Street next week, in protest at what it calls a ‘scant attempt’ to recognise intellectual property crime in law.

Acid chief executive Dids Macdonald explains that the action follows the Ministry of Justice’s ‘failure to satisfactorily address lack of deterrents within the existing damages regime for IP infringement’.

The first petition will lobby for the introduction of criminal sanctions for design right infringement, while the second calls for changes to the existing copyright and unregistered design right infringement damages regime, to increase the deterrent against IP theft.

Acid estimates that the UK loses £10bn a year from IP theft. Macdonald warns that unless there is a ‘dissuasive damages system in the UK’, designers will become disincentivised to innovate.

Following Andrew Gowers’ review of IP in 2006, commissioned by HM Treasury, recommendations were made to the Ministry of Justice which, Acid says, the ministry has not addressed.

The Gowers Review stated that, ‘The Government should bring forward any proposals for change by the end of 2007.’

The review further recommended that the Ministry of Justice should seek proof that a system of deterrents is necessary – something that Macdonald says hasn’t been acted on.

In a call to arms to the design industry, Macdonald says, ‘We’ve given legislative procedure three years to go nowhere. It’s time now that designers speak for themselves’.

Those wishing to sign the petitions need to visit http///petitions.number10.gov.uk/DesignRight/ and http:// petitions.number10.gov.uk/IPDamages/ by April 2010.

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