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Support Great British design

If you're launching a new product then support Great British design, says Dids Macdonald, CEO of Anti-Copying In Design (ACID)

Have you ever designed and successfully launched a new product into the market only to find it has been copied? Well, if that is the case help is at hand! Behind every new and original design is the intellectual property, which supports it and it's important that this is protected so that you can monetise your new creation from a position of strength.

In the autumn, ACID will be launching its very own online safer trading platform. ACID Marketplace has been created as a positive conduit where design buyers can view the newest and latest designs created by members, supported by an enhanced ACID Design Databank and tracking system developed by IP Tracker. ACID Marketplace will allow creators to exhibit existing and new products online and prospective design buyers can register to view, a bit like a permanent exhibition zone, but at a fraction of the price of an exhibition stand, and with control of who visits!

What's the history?
ACID has always championed original and independent design and its value as an individual selling point. Innovative designers are trail blazers and lead; others follow. Recognising that exhibitions have usually been the first point of market entry for new products, ACID supported exhibitors by attending hundreds of ACID Accredited exhibitions. Now, with the seismic shift to online trading, our energy is being re-directed and we are developing an online platform, our own ACID exhibitor zone. So, instead of an expensive one off exhibition for a few days only, now ACID Marketplace provides this all year round! It will also be an amazing launch pad for new product campaigns, seasonal trends and special offers. For those who continue to attend exhibitions in the UK and worldwide, there is also added assurance that their new products were first published on ACID Marketplace.

The current ACID databank is a service where documents can be lodged to provide independent third party evidence of their existence. Each year, up to 25,000 designs are lodged with ACID, which provides an IP audit trail; a bit like sending new designs to yourself in an SAE, but legally proven. Copies of designs are held on our secure system and remain unseen by anyone unless required as evidence to substantiate design ownership.

How will ACID Marketplace work and is there a cost?
Now, in addition to the Design Databank for hidden designs, there's the added option of choosing to place 'invitation only' designs on ACID Marketplace where buyers can send a request to view. Alternatively, designs can be on full public display to be viewed by all design buyers who register with Marketplace. From 1st September 2013, designs will be uploaded through ACID Marketplace, members will be able to continue to keep designs hidden and stored as before at just £1.00 per document for the life of the membership.

How will design buyers register to view designs?
They will register online for a log in to ACID Marketplace and a tracking service, similar to ACID IP Tracker, will be used to record information. This will be supported by a Design Buyer's Charter, which underlines the design viewing terms and conditions of use.

In the very unlikely event that someone who registers to view copies a design, what would happen? In each user's personal ACID Marketplace area there will be a list of all designs that have been submitted and also a list of all registered buyers who have viewed individual designs. This establishes a paper trail to show that a design was accessed. By signing the ACID Charter, all registered buyers agree to submit to mediation, a cost and time effective means of dispute resolution, and ACID is expanding its legal affiliates to offer broader support. All ACID members also sign a Code of Conduct where mediation is a first requirement.

What is the launch offer to existing members?
All existing ACID Members with current subscriptions on 1st September, 2013 will receive free access to ACID Marketplace with three free £10 exhibitor display spaces.

New members may purchase an initial block of 10 exhibition spaces on ACID Marketplace for an annual fee of £100. This ensures that they are able to carry out their own maintenance, their own personal listing, submit hidden designs and control who views their public designs.

For more information, visit www.acid.uk.com

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