Your chance to help protect design

Tear your attention away from the Olympics for just a moment because there’s something more prosaic – but hugely important – that requires your input.

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The Government is aiming to clarify the currently rather complicated and occasionally mystifying world of intellectual property in design.

The Intellectual Property Office has launched a consultation – running until 2 October – into the issue.

It’s looking at a series of proposals around simplifying the laws and improving the enforcement regime, and you can make your voice heard here: www.ipo.gov.uk.

Here’s why you should contribute. The world of intellectual property is, at present, often a baffling and unclear one, leaving designers open to exploitation.

For example, at a recent Designer Breakfast on the issue, Person Lloyd’s Luke Pearson said his consultancy has been involved in a pitch for a project that could have been worth £2 million for the client – and Pearson Lloyd was asked to hand over its IP for a token fee of £5000.

But, the issue for design is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to IP and copyright, which is something that the IPO, to its credit, seems to have realised, offering different proposals for different-sized consultancies and those working in different markets.

This is why it’s important for designers and consultancies and in all situations to join this consultation – as the more diverse the voices are, the more wide-ranging and effective any legislation can be.

Now back to the Olympics. Action is starting in the athletics today…

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