A new petition by Ralph Capper Interiors to extend the rights of designers will help their intellectual property rights to be taken seriously by Government, says lobbying group Anti Copying in Design.
Acid chief executive Dids Macdonald says that she thinks the petition, coming from an ‘independent grassroots’ level is an important step in addressing the disparity between design rights and those of other creative industries.
‘The innovation strategy released last week by the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills and various initiatives filtering through is really starting to put IP protection [for designers] at the top of the table. There is no better time for independent groups to show that this is a real problem,’ says Macdonald.
Earlier this month, the minister responsible for intellectual property, Baroness Morgan of Drefelin, spoke of the Government’s commitment to ‘safeguarding the intellectual property rights of those who make a living from their creativity, ensuring the long-term economic viability of our creative enterprises’.
‘There is no point in supporting the design industry unless there is a framework in place to protect against copying and infringement,’ she adds.
At present, it is legal to manufacture and supply copies of furniture in the UK, when the original design is more than 25-years-old. Unregistered design protection is available for just three years.
According to Acid, the furniture industry is the one of the most copied sectors in design.
Acid has long campaigned on behalf of designers and manufacturers to be afforded the same privileges as other rights’ holders, including authors and musicians.
The petition, organised by director of Ralph Capper Interiors Ben Capper, has so far attracted 105 signatories.
He says that original furniture designs, protected for 70 years after the death of the designer, as in Germany and Switzerland, would discourage immoral production facilities and plagiarism.
This would in turn, according to Capper, promote good quality, environmentally aware manufacturers and rightfully protect the royalties earned by designers.
For further information, go to: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/CapperCopyright/
For further information on copyright and registered/unregistered design rights, go to www.acid.uk.com