For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Happy birthday, ACID

Yesterday a sweet little birthday party was held at the headquarters of the Design Council for ACID (Anti-Copying in Design). This dynamic activist lobby and support group is now ten years old, though you would not have thought it [the IPKat counted just seven candles on the stylish birthday logo that adorned the day's stationery products).

The star of the show was ACID's driving force, designer-turned-rottweiler-in-chief Dids Macdonald. Dids spoke eloquently of her outrage ("I was disproportionately passionate but nevertheless real") when, as a young designer, she discovered that her work was being shamelessly copied by some ostensibly reputable businesses.

Left: Dids reads the Lesson to a spellbound congregation

Purchasing a single share in one such company, she theatened to picket its fancy Annual General Meeting at Claridges and very soon persuaded the company to take the infringing copies off its shelves and make suitable recompense. Listing the achievements and increased influence of ACID -- it holds some 250,000 designs for its members, which is roughly the number of Community designs OHIM has registered -- she reminded us all that, in the global economy, the real fights on behalf of designers still remain to be fought.

Dids was followed by Baroness Morgan of Drefelin, the Minister responsible for intellectual property. While the appointment of a Minister was something for which ACID had lobbied, and which the IP community has warmly welcomed, the IPKat still has his misgivings: somehow, if all the responsibility for IP is devolved to a single relatively lowly Minister, other government ministries and departments might feel absolved of the responsibility of having to look after IP too -- which would be a tragedy. Anyway, the Baroness spoke of the government's commitments towards creativity in Britain, starting in the classroom [Merpel adds, and finishing in the betting shop?].

Baroness Morgan was not the only nobility in action. She was followed to the podium by a noble man, John Noble to be precise -- the driving force behind the ascent of the British Brands Group and an enthusiastic proponent of the need to harness the combined forces of design and branding in the marketing of products that will truly strike up an assonance with the consumer. Standing in for Sebastian Conran at short notice, John (shown, right, talking with Professor Ruth Soetendorp) produced a powerful visual display of design in branding to support his points.



The conclusion of John's talk was the cue for a presentation to Dids of a rather lovely non-infringing vase, accompanied by the distant thunder of popping corks ...


Footnote: This is how the Chinese reported this event. If anyone in China reads this post, you should know that China came in for very heavy criticism from the speakers for being the leading source for fake products in the world. For some strange reason this criticism has been omitted here ...

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