Karen Jinks's picture

BUSINESS: Protect Your Rights

By Anna Stassen

Copyright infringement seems to be an epidemic of the modern age where the internet allows people to view and access the work of designers from all over the world. We've covered the topic before with advice on what to do if you find yourself in this unfortunate position.

ACID Lobby

Any mail readers amongst you may have noticed that retail giant M&S have been caught out selling t-shirts sporting designs which look remarkably similar to those of talented surface pattern designer and art and design consultant Rachael Taylor. You can read the full article here:


Rachael's original design products on display at Heart Gallery

I believe a copyright infringement has been made by Marks and Spencer from using my design and making it into a garment, then selling in their stores. This design is my hand drawn original and has been part of my signature collection for quite some time. It's sold on my own branded products 'Rachael Taylor Designs' from kitchen textiles through to stationery. The design has also achieved international success as a licensed design, appearing on numerous home decor products in the UK, Europe & USA.

I'm taking legal action against Marks & Spencer, as not only has my design been used for profit without my permission, I believe in standing up for the civil rights of myself and anyone else who has encountered this in their own professional life. It's really important to raise awareness, to stop this happening to other independent designers".
Statement from Rachael Taylor

Rachael with her original design products at a trade fair

Sadly, this isn's an isolated event by any means and being informed of the issue is positive action we can all take...."forewarned is forearmed" as they say.

Many designers are now members of ACID, which raises awareness about copyright and encourages respect for intellectual property. You may already have come across the ACID logo which is an internationally recognised symbol of deterrence and design protection, helping to protect members from the damage inflicted by intellectual property infringement. Find out how to become a member of ACID here: http://www.acid.uk.com/join-acid.html

I know we've said this before but here's a quick reminder on what you can do to protect your work:

  • Join ACID and display its logo alongside your work.
  • Display a watermark of your registered trade name across every design.
  • Register your design with the IPO (Intellectual Property Office), particularly if it is a 3D product with a new or individual character.
  • Stay vigilant and look out for others in your design community too.
  • If you think you have been copied, ask the alleged copycat to remove the design.
  • Seek legal advice, depending on the seriousness of the case.

For more information and to show Rachel your support visit: