Craft Fellows: An introduction to Intellectual Property & Copyright

Adam Turley – IP Solicitor at McDaniel & Co representing Anti Copyright in Design (ACID)

A partnership between MAC Birmingham and Craftspace

Group of Craft Fellows standing together with representatives of ACID.

The group at this week’s session

Session notes

Top tips from Dids Macdonald – CEO of ACID from blog post

For more advice about copyright and intellectual property, as well as more top tips visit ACID’s website

1. Cross all your T’s and dot every I

If costs permit, make sure you register your designs as comprehensively as possible. UK and EU registration authorities do not examine your registrations so what you submit is what you have to rely on. So, the more detail you include, the better!
Alternatively, if you can’t afford registration ACID membership will give you access to a Design Databank through ACID marketplace which holds over 300,000 designs. This doesn’t add to your design rights but gives independent evidence of the date they are received by us.

2. Sign and date all your work

Sounds simple. But when it comes to proving your design ownership, an audit trail of the detailed journey from idea to marketplace is compelling. The majority of cases ACID members have settled are based on strong evidence to support designs. This is whether they are registered or unregistered.

3. Become IP savvy

Know the IP laws that protect you, watch the competition. What’s in a name? Trade mark your brand name if you can. The more you build up your reputation either under your own name or one you trade under, the stronger protection you have. Take a look at the IPO website.

4. Trade more safely

ACID started the UK’s first Designs Exchange, which the government warmly welcomed. It is a safer trading platform where designers can lodge their work and create positive relationships with design buyers. They can view your latest designs by registering and agreeing to the ACID Design Buyers’ Charter. The good news is that you can track who has viewed them.
Think about IP Insurance. You insure you car and your home, why not your designs and future? ACID will launch its own IP insurance product for registered and unregistered designs in the autumn.

5. Do you need an expert opinion?

Often, it is difficult to decide whether your case is strong enough to take legal action? Looking to the future, part of the IP Act will be to introduce a new IPO Designs Opinions Service. Also, if you don’t know what is and isn’t protected under unregistered rights, this has now been clarified.

We had an enlightening and informative session with ACID and their partner solicitors. ACID (Anti-Copying In Design) have been supporting, protecting and campaigning for artists and the sanctity of their work for 20 years, and are the leading representative of Intellectual Property for creatives in the UK. Our session was with Adam Turley from their partner, specialist IP solicitors McDaniel & Co. – as can be imagined as emerging designer/makers, we had many questions. Navigating and attempting to establish oneself as a creative professional is hard enough without the minefield that is IP, legality, theft and your rights, but all our questions and concerns were met with patience, understanding and expertise. What came across is ACID’s commitment and passion for what they do, that they take art and artist seriously at all times and fight for its value, and that you are in safe hands. It was extremely valuable to be aware, and to have contact with, such a valuable service, and I will definitely be aware of their work and services moving forward.

Amy McCranor

Where Next

Craft Fellows: Make Your Creativity pay – Undertaking a creative career

Pete Mosley led a session with the Craft Fellows on creative business planning and marketing

group of craft fellows standing together at their exhibition launch

Craft Fellows: Alchemy of Cloth – Textile Masterclass

A textile masterclass facilitated by artist Hannah Lamb.

craft fellows sitting around a circle table

Craft Fellows: Fundraising and application writing

Matt Roberts led a session on applying for funding

group of craft fellows standing together at their exhibition launch

Craft Fellows: Presenting with Confidence

Steph Vidal-Hall facilitated a session on being more confident presenting ideas


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