Protecting your Design Work through law

A report for designer-makers identifying legal methods and their suitabilities to the small design business

Prepared for: M A Design Management, Managing Design Module DES7004 Prepared by: Laura Katriina Pollard, S11732343, MA Design Management, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University Submission Date: 23rd February 2012





A. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

List of figures and tables Introduction Intellectual Property Rights – key facts and a brief history How IPR is valuable to design (and your business) What’s the relevance and what’s the use of IPR? Recommended strategies: a product based analysis Conclusions References and Bibliography Appendix A 3 4 10 12 16 19 20 22

Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

List of Figures and Table
Title Page

1. 2.

Photograph, Kishu vase, Maya Selway, (2011) Visual Map of IPR, illus. based on Branagan (2011) and Practical Law Company (2011), Pollard, L.




Photograph, Tatty Devine and Claire’s Accessories Necklaces , Tatty Devine Blog, (2012) 14


Photograph, 3 Moiré Vessels by Victoria Delany Design by Matthew Booth, (2011). 16

1. IP Analysis of Moiré Vessel by Victoria Delany Design 17

Cover image: Pollard., L Photograph of Moiré Vases and Ceramic Vase, 2011.

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

1. Introduction
This report concerns itself with setting out fundamentals of intellectual property rights and their suitabilities to a particular area of the design industry; the small designer-maker business. For the purposes of this document the Design Council’s definition of this type of design-led business is used to represent the industry sector.
Operating on the edges of commercial design practice are many crafts-based designermakers. Bridging the gap between purely artistic endeavours and commercially briefed work, designer-makers design and manufacture limited edition, one-off or bespoke products for retail. Design Council Website (2012)

The report presents considerations and recommendations for such businesses and their owners. This document makes reference to the legal systems of the United Kingdom and relevant European Union law relevant to arguments presented, and as such is aimed at designers and design businesses based or founded in the UK. For designers’ businesses functioning outside of the UK, the legal systems of the businesses home country will differ and should be regarded as first reference in such cases. Disclaimer: It should be noted that none of the commentary contained forthwith amounts to legal advice. It is advisable, according to Branagan (2011: 142), that as well as learning about the legal and regulatory requirement governing your particular area or sector of industry, you should also take advise from a lawyer who has a proven track record in your sector.

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

2. Intellectual Property Rights – key facts, a brief and recent history
To cover the history and complexity of this area of legal subject here would be ambitious, rather a brief overview of the history and key developments within the sector, including insights into the current arguments in the sector. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are the legal mechanisms available to businesses and individuals which can protect an object, product or piece of work both in 2D and 3D, from varying threats which can undermine the product’s value and perception or the business and people associated with it. Intellectual Property (IP), according to the Practical Law Company, market intelligence analysts for lawyers (2012) is a series of legal rights attached to certain types of information and ideas and to their particular forms of expression. It goes on to say that “businesses need to be aware of different IP rights to ensure that they protect what they create, maximize their competitive position and avoid infringing the IP rights of other people and businesses.” Branagan in The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers (2011: 143), calls IPR “A series of rights, both moral and financial, that govern artists, designers, inventors and businesses/brand-name rights.” Fundamental to a designer’s practice and business should be the actions taken to ensure work produced is adequately protected by the laws existing within the UK and EU. These laws aim to consolidate a products’ position and a businesses position within its market and deter others from using your work to their gain, financial or reputation. There are a series of laws which can be used by a design business to protect its work visualized in a map (Fig., 2) adapted from Branagan (2011) – adapted for the context of this report, setting out the areas of IPR identified appropriate to designer-makers.

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

Firstly it’s relevant for a designer-maker to know that these rights protect the appearance (whole or part of) a product, it’s – LINE COLOUR SHAPE TEXTURE MATERIALS (whether of the product or it’s ornamentation)

Fig 1. A photograph of the Kishu vase by Maya Selway, silversmith. A small batch production vase outline object made from ethnically sourced silver and oxidized copper, 2011.

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Must be innovative, novel, have industrial application A sign or symbol distinguishing a product or service from other traders

Must be registered

Once published information becomes public

Financial Rights (royalties) License or assign to another for a fee

Lasts upto 20 years

Can be expensive

An unregistered mark TM EU Community Protection available A brand name, a house mark a logo


Financial Rights

Moral Rights

Shape of product or packaging, Colours associated with the trading style, sounds smells and slogans Protect your brand and business name Must be capable of graphic representation, distinctive, distinguishable goods/ services, not excluded by law

Author is rights holder unless an employee

Trademark Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
Unregistered EU Right protects for upto 3 years only

License or assign to others for fee

Automatic - unregistered

Renew every 10 years if registered

Then renewals every 5 years

Registered Right protects for 25 years

Design Rights
Relatively low cost

Register then Renewals every 5 years

Registering your work protects you in the design marketplace

File designs with an IP Solicitor Community Design Right (EU countries) Unregistered UK Right lasts for 10 years

Designed works limit 25 years

Protects original artistic, musical, dramatic and literary works including sound, films, broadcasts

Fig. 2, A visual map of Intellectual Property Rights for Designer-Makers, based on Branagan (2011: 148,149,151) and Practical Law Company (2011)

MA Design Management – Managing Design Module


To explain the types of rights and laws shown in Fig 2., it’s useful to understand there are categories of IPR to which they apply. The Practical Law Company (2011) explains Unregistered Rights are automatic, protecting against copying or using a product. They include copyright, unregistered design rights, unregistered trademarks and confidential information. Registered Rights are granted on application to an official body such as the UK Intellectual Property Office. They give monopoly rights, meaning that owners can stop others from using the right without permission. These include patents trademarks and registered designs. Criteria for these applications exist, for instance a registration for Design Right is valid when the design work is new and has individual character. A design is not new if published in the world, except where you couldn’t reasonably know this had happened in the EEA (European Economic Area). (Marks and Clark, 2011). There is a grace period of 12 months for the designer to disclose this if it’s occurred, however it should only be used as a last resort and not relied upon, according to the lawyers Brackenbury, A., (et al) of Olswang. (2011) Analysing this further, the characterisation Individual Character, is defined by Marks and Clark (2011) as “a design which produces a different overall impression on the informed user from any prior design available to the public.” In other words, the product is not a ‘variation on a theme’. Apparently, where the work originates from a field of similar activity or technical constraints which limit design freedom, small design differences prove individual character. This could be useful for designer-makers, where objects, functions and technologies can be very similar from one business to the next. Another point useful is the law of confidence, which exists according to Bessant and Bruce (2002: 204), to prevent ideas, preliminary design and prototypes and other such confidential information being used by third-parties during a product’s development and launch on the market, or at least, to offer some “legal redress”. They say it is important to impose an “obligation of confidence” for instance when issuing development work to potential
MA Design Management – Managing Design Module


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

manufacturers or retailers. i.e. a designer should remind the potential manufacturer that she is issuing work in confidence, and it shouldn’t be distributed to others, along with other constraints.

UK Registered Designs Act 1949 definitions of Design and Product, as quoted in Cornish and Llewelyn (2003: 542) give a context to this report: Design is defined as: “The appearance of the whole of part of a product, resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contour shape texture or materials of the product of its ornamentation.” Product is: “Any industrial or handicraft item other than getup [e.g. bottle shape] graphic symbols, typographic typefaces and parts intended to be assembled info a complex product.” A very brief history and the current context of IP The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 replaced the Design Copyright Act of 1968, and set out these different Registered and Unregistered Rights for Design. Interestingly, they also constrained an intrusion of artistic copyright into industrial design, according to Cornish and Llewelyn (2003:540) by limiting 3D object copyright to a 25-year term. Explaining the reasoning for limitations of time on design elements, Cornish and Llewelyn argue that IP in Industrial Design occupies a midway point between patents and copyright, at one pole with trademarks at the other. They say, “trademarks need to continue for as long as a business continues to use them”. (Cornish and Llewelyn, 2003: 535) They define industrial design, as where designed elements are incorporated into mass-produced products that aim to enhance their attractiveness by their appearance. They consider also that design is used as a distinguishing factor, which is often not easily
Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

separated in minds of purchasers and users from trade marks and similar symbols – and because most consumers use trade marks as a reference point for securing qualities of goods/services which they’ve come to expect or enjoy, the borderline between design a trademark rights is fuzzy. Cornish and Llewelyn (2003: 543) consider the fact that handicraft is also included in the Community Registered Design definition, an indicator that the European Commission’s determination to embrace variation in production/design processes; as they regard handicrafts to be the “antithesis of the machine-made”, unrestricted by industrial process. The designer-makers products are offered the same opportunities to protect their work alongside that of the mass-produced volume product, using the same strengths, values and protection offered to such industrial products by law. The Hargreaves Review of IP in May 2011 stressed that IP law must adapt to change, and that the UK’s IP system was falling behind industry’s needs, especially in the area of copyright. (The Practical Law Company, 2011). It is this area of copyright which has led to discussion in the design industry press of late where the perceived inequalities in copyright law between design and artistic works have been highlighted. The editor-in-chief of Elle Decoration UK Michelle Oghundehin wrote in 2011 about what she calls “UK endorsed intellectual property theft”, where copyright eligibility appears to classify 3D design as unworthy of the full protection afforded to works of literature, drama and music (et al), which are protected for 70 years after the death of the originating author/s. Oghundehin says this amounts to cheap products, facsimiles of design classics, which are inferior. The ‘worlds highest selling luxury modern interiors magazine’ has taken the step to prompt debate by currently running a campaign – Equal Rights for Design, gathering names for a petition to lobby the UK government to change design copyright laws. (Elle Decoration, 2012) On the counter side of this argument is a business-led proposition of a free-market approach to
Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

growth. Less restriction on design work replication and licenses of designed works as a result of shorter copyright terms, it could be argued as Cornish and Llewelyn (2003: 542) appear to, drive competition to deliver efficient, value-for-investment products which pushes manufacturers and design businesses to produce these designed objects to a larger market. Price points are more varied and volumes of unit sales increase. Cornish and Llewelyn (2003: 542) argue that after the 25 year term ends it essentially opens up a product to copying by competitors, resulting in “convergence” issues, where commercially successful products have built up as trade marks in the interim, and perhaps be under ‘full-term’ copyright where registered in other member states of the EU.

3. How IPR is valuable to design (and your business)
There is value in protecting your assets as a designer-maker; Hart (2006:214) advises that by using IPR you can protect yourself from: Copying, mimicking or using your design work to gain profit Preventing ‘passing off’ – when your work is used under someone else’s name Others using your brand and stripping value from your business To explain how this happens, we can look at areas of a small design business individually and identify IPR’s value in each area. Ownership IPR affects designers and their businesses in a few different ways, and one such area is that of ownership. Asserting your ‘paternity rights’ – your right to have your name associated with your work when published, used or communicated in public, is a legal mechanism that can be important. This is the right to be acknowledged as ‘author’ of the work. (Branagan, 2011:143) For instance, when a building is completed an Architect will often assert this right so when written about or photographed in media, their name must be used in description of such building.
Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

There are requirements naturally to securing this right. Hart writes (2006: 214) that the person must be entitled to use the right, and this must be asserted when copyright is assigned. The right to have your name associated with the work should be explicitly set out when assigning the copyright. Commissions When working to commissions, the ownership differs between laws of the UK and EU. In a Community Registered Design Right, the designer is the owner. A designer should be aware that if the commissioner wants to apply to protect the work through a Community Registered Design Right, an assignment needs to be obtained from the designer. (Marks and Clerk, 2011) i.e. Through agreement ownership moves to the commissioner. It’s important to resolve ownership issues before applications are made as retrospective changes and discussions on the matter can be costly both in terms time and cost of a project.

Documentation It’s worth remembering that when having design work photographed, under the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, the author of the copyright work is the owner (the photographer), as opposed to the commissioner, (you the designer). This is an area of ‘moral rights’ in IPR which Hart (2006:216) writes that can’t be assigned, but are attached to the work, which only the author can waive or assert. Agreeing usage terms before commencement can help resolve how you will see your work used, and avoid confusion or difficult situations when you wish to use the photography, and when and how the photographer does too. Employment When a designer is an employee, and during the course of normal work for the employer they produce a piece of design, normally, the employer is the owner of such work. (Marks and Clerk, 2011). If a designer produces work beyond the scope of the employees contract, it can be argued that any such work is then under the designer’s ownership.

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

Websites Domain names, according to Stokes (2001:168-169) whilst not being classified as a species of IP, are treated as if they were and thus conflicts can arise between them and trademarks. Stokes writes about ‘cyber-squatters’ who register a similar or identical domain name in an artists or organisations name to then barter over its return by seeking money. In the UK this can amount to trademark infringement or ‘passing off’. In the case of designer-makers, should someone else own the domain name for your business name, which is very often the designers given name, whilst not initially problematic in future should the designer find themselves established and very well known in industry, this could be a potential cause of conflict and ultimately litigation. It’s advisable to register/purchase your domain name as soon as possible when setting up in business as a designer-maker, perhaps even before you produce you first piece of work.

4. What’s the relevance?
Think about your business as a designer-maker - What are the things that make it what it is? The products; the customers; the shops and retailers; the media – there are many outlets and potential opportunities for your IPR to be exploited here. Contracts and Clients The Design Council advises designers to decide upon their position on IP and set out in contract through terms and conditions their attitude to design rights and the value of ideas. (Design Council Website, 2012) This can start from simple statements setting out a copyright assignment – asserting ownership, any reproductions, and references to design work. If a client is likely to be selling your work as a retailer or promoting it as part of their business activities, it’s important to be in control of how
Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

your name and brand are used. When working freelance for a design agency or consultancy, consider your contract. When delivering fixed-fee work products, the Design Council (2012) advises it is typical that IP will assigned to the commissioner; you’ll be required to waive your copyright to the work. Here risks or liabilities for the product, in say, manufacture will rest with the commissioner. the Consumer Protection Act 1987. The Council says it’s about negotiating a mutually acceptable agreement and contract. It may be possible to share the risk through licensing or royalties, an agreement will need to be drawn up (usually with the help of an IP lawyer) which sets out how the designer will be recompensed for sales. Whilst this is usually a slower and lower income stream from product sales, it can provide long-term income from a product. If you are entering into an agreement with a new client and are unsure of the consultancy’s integrity, protecting work through a Registered Design Right may be a consideration. Risk Management Minimizing the risks involved by anything you produce as a designer is important. Implementing levels of control in design development, function, safety and action planning will reduce the risk of litigation if you start producing products in volume scales. Given McRobb (1995: 57) argues product manufacturers should implement standard practices an procedures to minimize this risk, through checking parts suitability, maintaining records and carrying our safety analyses, it’s also sensible for a designer-maker to adopt these practices. As well as reducing exposure to potential litigation these practices could also have an impact on professional practice. Managing Threats – what happens when somebody copies your work The difficulty small design businesses face in using the law to protect their work is highlighted however by a recent example from the jewellery design company Tatty Devine. In February 2012, Tatty Devine, an independent UK fashion jewellery business established in 1999, wrote on their blog about what they claim are copies of their Perspex jewellery accessories
Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management

When selling

any product the seller is affected by what McRobb (1995: 3) calls a ‘duty of care’ resulting from


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

being on sale in branches of Claire’s Accessories, a mass-market UK high street chain-retailer. Their blog shows pictures of Tatty Devine’s jewellery products next to very similar looking versions sold by Claire’s Accessories. (Tatty Devine Blog, 2012).

Fig 3 Images taken from Tatty Devine’s weblog, on the left, Tatty Devine’s Dinosaur Necklace RRP £132, on the right, Claire’s Accessories Dinosaur necklace RRP £4

Inspired by a visit to the Natural History Museum, Tatty Devine’s Dinosaur necklace is made of about 50 Perspex bones, individually laser-cut and drilled – a labour intensive process according to Rosie Wolfenden, a co-owner of the brand, quoted in The Guardian’s Fashion Blog, (2012). Wolfenden also went on to say, "What's the impetus for small brands to start up if people can just take away their ideas?" Tatty Devine say they copyright all their products, and register their UK designed and made products with the Intellectual Property Office, (the UK’s IPR registration organisation) allowing them to take action against any infringers of the rights (which Tatty Devine it appears is now doing – Telegraph, 2012). The Guardian Fashion Blog (2012) states “[for] the for smaller labels
Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

and independent designers, the costs involved could make a lawsuit against a huge international retail giant impossible.” This seems to echo sentiments in the legal industry; law firm Olswang’s (2011) report Intellectual property rights in the fashion industry reports that SME (Small Medium Enterprise) designers’ products were routinely copied by major high-street retailers. This is exacerbated by design rights only being challengeable through civil sanctions (penalties), which is in contrast to copyright law which provides for criminal proceedings enforceable by police and trading standards officers. There appears to be a hurdle for the small design business to overcome here, the cost of implementing rights protection versus the potential loss of earnings through larger corporations copying design work.

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

5. Recommended strategies: a product based analysis
To help understand how a designer-maker can use IPR –a product analysis with recommended strategies, with respective advantages and disadvantages was carried out on a product from designer-maker Victoria Delany of Victoria Delany Design – her Moiré vessel. To provide some background on the designer, Delany is a graduate in Goldsmithing Silversmithing, Jewellery and Metalwork, and practicing designer with a consultancy working to private and commercial commissions and batch-produced products (Victoria Delany Website, 2012).

Fig. 4, A photograph by Matthew Booth, of 3 Moiré Vessels by Victoria Delany.

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

Delany’s Moiré Vessels, which are hand-folded folded and riveted vessels made from steel and powder coated in coloured enamel paints. Featured in an article in The Sunday Times, (2nd October 2011: 28-29), they were described as an imaginative, witty re-creation of traditional craft.

IP Analysis of Moiré Vessel by Victoria Delany Design Feature The product Shape and Colour, texture (as above) Registered Design Right Through a solicitor and application Protection of 25 years, a solid deterrent Possible IPR Unregistered Design Right Strategy Automatic, qualification as 3D object Advantage No cost to register Disadvantage EU protection only lasts 3 years Often difficult to enforce/prove infringement Costs can be expensive, legal advice required. Renewal costs every 5 years Initial development work (drawings, plans, notes) Documentation - Contractual terms and conditions Product Name and Brand Name Registered Trademark of Moiré Vessels and Victoria Delany Design Various Copyright – unregistered/ registered Automatic unregistered Registered – Filed with solicitor Marked with © Ensure ownership and copyright is assigned accordingly. Strengthen brand and product range should it become mass-produced via licensing Deters others copying the name of the company and the product Cost can be prohibitive unless income from sales is high. A deterrent to copiers Brand strength and professionalism Confirms design ownership and IP Can be contested if contracts aren’t checked by a lawyer Difficult to prove date of conception if not filed correctly.

Table 1. IP Analysis of Moiré Vessel shows features of the product and relevant associated work, strategy for use and possible advantages and disadvantages of usage. Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

Note on Patents: patents have been excluded in this case as this did not seem suitable for the product; none of the technology used to produce the Moiré vessel is new or unique to Delany, nor can they be seen as an ‘invention’ (Hart, 2006: 9-13), and as such the high cost of applying for a patent based purely on the design/3D shape wouldn’t justify the protection it offers. Patents are renewable only for a maximum of 20 years (IPO website, 2012) To summarise, there are various options available when considering how to protect the Moiré vessels – but the decision making process isn’t definitive; rather, it would appear variable. Vital to understanding whether to go through full and financially costly application processes to secure Registered Design Rights and Registered Trade Marks for instance, is the designer’s assessment of estimated sales income and life-span of the product. If the product is in demand from retailers or consumers, and market research and feedback suggests the item will deliver significant profit for the designer, it may be a worthwhile exercise for the designer, to 1. Protect the item from being copied and 2. Strengthen the designer’s brand, image and portfolio. Three steps to IPR protection have been included in an Appendix A (p.22) to the report, setting out practical recommended strategies that can be undertaken by all small design businesses.

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

6. Conclusions
Following basic steps to protect a designer-maker’s work will often cost nothing except time. Where required, speak to a specialist IPR lawyer; seek advice from specific resources like Own-It and ACID websites, which understand the industry sector you work in. Accommodating the challenges which digital technology is bringing to design production, the grey areas between Design Right and Copyright is leading policy-makers to reconsider law in this sector – the Hargreaves report and the UK Government’s broad endorsement of the review’s recommendations together with the Intellectual Property Office’s research and consultation with design businesses (Olswang, 2011), will hopefully lead further improvement proposals aimed specifically at this vital sector of the creative industries in the UK. In this report advice has been adapted from more general resources written for artistic and design-led businesses including general legal industry resources on IPR. The subject matter is complex and often difficult to interpret into plain English. Hopefully this report goes some way in offering clearer arguments and commentary on the subject. Word count 3790

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

7. References and Bibliography
Branagan, A., (2011) The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers, London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd. pp. 142, 142, 148, 149, 181. Bessant, J., and Bruce., M (2002), Design in Business, Harlow: Pearson Educational Ltd. pp: 204. Burroughs, K., (2011) Easy Seats, The Sunday Times – Home Section, 2nd October 2011, London: News Group International, Available at <> [Accessed 22nd February 2012] Crowhurst, A. M., (2012), Did Claires Accessories rip off Tatty Devine? [Weblog], Guardian Newspaper Fashion Blog, London: Guardian Newspapers Ltd., Available at <> [Accessed 26th February 2012]. Cornish, W., and Llewelyn, D., (2003) Fifth Edition, Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights, London: Sweet and Maxwell. Pp: 535, 540, 542, 543, 542. Design Council (2012) [website] Available at [Accessed 14th February 2012]. Design Council, [website] (2012), [Accessed 15th February 2012]. Elle Decoration Magazine – Media Pack, (2012), London: Conde Nast Publications, Available at <> [Accessed 14th February 2012]. Hart, T., Fazzani, L., and Clark, S., (2006) Fourth Edition, Intellectual Property Law, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp: 9-13, 216, 214. Marks and Clerk, (2011) A short guide – Designs, London: Marks and Clerk LLP Marks and Clerk, (2011) A short guide – Trademarks, London: Marks and Clerk LLP. McRobb, M., (1995) The Product Liability Risk Minimisation Book, Bristol: Syndey Jary Limited, pp: 3, 57. Own It, (2012) [Website], How can I make sure I am credited as the originator of my own work? Updated 18th November 2009, Available at [Accessed 22nd February 2012]. Stokes, S., (2001) Art & Copyright, Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp: 168, 169. Tatty Devine [Weblog], (2012), Can you spot the difference?, February 22nd 2012, Available at [Accessed 22nd February 2012]. White, B., (2012) Tatty Devine call in the lawyers over copycat Claire’s Accessories designs, 24 February 2012, London: The Daily Telegraph, Available at [Accessed 26th February 2012].
Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

Bibliography ACID IP Tracker Service, Anti Copying in Design, <> [Accessed 22nd February 2012]. (2012), [Website], Available at

Baden-Powell, E., Bleakley, A., and Eneberi, J., (2010), Fourth Edition, Intellectual Property and Media Law Companion, Haywards Heath: Bloomsbury Professional. Brackenbury, A., et al (2011) Intellectual property rights in the fashion industry, London: Olswang LLP. Claire’s Accessories, 2012, [website], Available at [Accessed 25th February 2012]. Hargreaves, I., Prof., (2011), A Digital Opportunity – a review of Intellectual Property and Growth, London: Intellectual Property Office. Available at <>

[Accessed 25th February 2012].
Maya Selway, 2012, [Website] Available at, [Accessed 25th February 2012]. May, C., (2007), Digital Rights Management - The Problem of Expanding Ownership Rights, Oxford: Chandos Publishing (Oxford) Ltd The Practical Law Company, (2012), Different types of intellectual property rights: a quick guide, London: Practical Law Publishing Ltd. Available at <> [Accessed 18th February 2012]. Tatty Devine [Website], (2012), Available at [Accessed 25th February 2012]. Van Tassel, J., (2006) Digital Rights Management - Protecting and Monetising Content, Oxford: Elsevier Illustrations Selway, M., (2011), Kishu vase, illus.

Tatty Devine and Claire’s Accessories Necklaces, llus. Tatty Devine, (2012) Available at [Accessed 25th February 2012]. Booth, M., (2011) illus. 3 Moiré Vessels by Victoria Delany Design

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

Appendix A.

Three steps to IPR protection for a small design business
1. Use automatic rights as deterrents – Enforcing challenges and starting litigation if your product is copied can cost more than the total value/income of sales of a small product for a small designer-maker, so Registered applications and legal advice may not even be within reach at the beginning of a career at least - the unregistered design right and copyright, together with law of confidence when used together can create a strong impression of a designer willing to protect her work, without getting lawyers involved. However, It’s about weighing up the value of protection versus income potential. If you foresee volume sales of a high-unit price object then protection via design rights registration may be a good option to keep brand and design integrity. 2. Terms and Conditions – set them out, then negotiate. Contracts – as Own-it website, (2012) suggests, set out some ‘insurance’ policies in your contracts and terms and conditions before entering into agreements with manufacturers or licensees. Decide on how valuable the product is to you in relation to the potential income that could be generated through a % based royalties agreement, and who the IP will belong to. They also say keep things simple; as litigation is something neither party will wish to start paying for. 3. Record-keeping – keep things organised Own-it – Intellectual Property website from University of Arts London (2012), suggests you keep original records of all this work, including notes, diagrams, emails, contracts, drafts, with evidence of their date of creation. Confirm this information is yours by marking it correctly -

Copyright © [designer’s name] [date]. All rights reserved
Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


Protecting your design work through law – a report for designer-makers

When sending any final drawings, plans or instructions to suppliers, manufacturers, it’s important to protect the copyright and product’s design. There are various mechanisms available for this, one being sending the same documents, drawings in registered, signed and sealed package to a bank or solicitor. Alternatively ACID the Anti Copying in Design organization, which operates an IP Tracker Service which for a small fee will keep a digital copy of the issue of any documents, IP and confidential information on secure servers proving you as the originator and sender of the delivery, when issued to a third-party such as a manufacturer. (ACID website, 2012).

Laura Katriina Pollard – Managing Design Module - MA Design Management


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