Last word with Dids MacDonald, CEO at Acid

Dids macdonald img 1339

Shock to some, welcome to others but as we dust ourselves off from the reality of Brexit, it is time to look at what this means to design and intellectual property (IP).

96% of the creative industries wanted to remain but the main message from ACID is to keep calm! Why? Because nothing will change overnight and European Union trade marks (EUTMs) and Registered Community designs (RCDs) will still give protection in the UK until at least Spring 2019, possibly longer.

HOWEVER! And here’s the big, however!

The majority of UK furnishings industry’s designers and manufacturers rely on unregistered EU and UK design rights and being unable (post Brexit) to rely on EU unregistered design rights will seriously affect them. Currently, EU registered (with one application) and unregistered rights (which arise automatically) offer UK designers design protection in 28 member states for 25 and 3 years respectively.

Acid brexit logo rgb.png 2


A UK unregistered design right only offers design protection for the shape and configuration of a design but EU unregistered rights protect a combination of colours, ornamentation, lines, texture or surface decoration as well as shape and configuration on which thousands have relied to protect their designs. It is a much stronger design right and loss of access potentially may well influence UK designers/manufacturers launching new designs to find alternative European locations to secure better design protection.

ACID is actively engaging positively with Government to create a new UK unregistered design law which mirrors EU unregistered rights but lasts for 10/15 not 3 years. This is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity, to put the UK designers at a competitive advantage by also Introducing Unfair Competition placing UK designers on a par with their EU counterparts when IP law fails them (e.g.,Trunki). Extending criminal provisions for the intentional infringement of an unregistered UK design will remain a top priority.

Without YOUR support this will not happen! A united and strong voice to ensure that UK designers are not disadvantaged by any erosion of either EU registered or unregistered design rights. The strongest possible negotiated transitional arrangements, reciprocity and a focus on International obligations will play a key role to ensure that UK designers are fully supported. Email your support to

The UK is still the 6th largest economy in the world and design punches well above its weight contributing £72 billion to the UK’s GDP. UK designers need to set themselves on a path of productivity to combat stagnation. If your company is still competitive then BREXIT is not relevant and really it is a case by case evaluation. If there is an enthusiasm to make it work irrespective of politics or, almost in spite of, confidence will play a huge part.