The Furniture Awards returns to the January Furniture Show in 2016 to highlight the best new products launched at the event.

The awards programme, created by Furniture News magazine in partnership with the show’s organiser, sees shortlisted entries assessed by a team of expert judges from the domestic furniture industry, before recognising three best-in-class launches across various price points.

The judging panel for the 2016 edition comprises: Maxim Romain, general manager for Wayfair Europe; visual merchandising consultant Andrew Durham; ACID CEO and co-founder Dids Macdonald OBE; and Malcolm Walker, director of buying for Furniture Village.

Ahead of the new edition, sponsored by bed specialist Dreams, Furniture News presents an opportunity to meet one of the judges …

Dids Macdonald – CEO, ACID (Anti Copying In Design)

Dids Macdonald has over 25 years’ experience within the design industry, initially owning an interior design company, and later as a designer-maker. She co-founded ACID because her products were consistently copied – today, ACID represents thousands of designers within the creative industries.

Design reform has been high on ACID’s campaigning priorities, and in 2010 ACID supplied case study evidence to the Hargreaves IP Review. In particular, the submission pressed Government for more support for SMEs, parity of design right with copyright and trade marks, higher exemplary damages and a small claims track for IP infringements, which has subsequently been implemented.

In 2011, as a result of submissions from ACID and others, design was recommended by the Prime Minister as one of 10 key areas for new, clear IP policy. On 1st October 2014, history was made by various reforms being included in the IP Act. Of particular importance to designers was the introduction of criminal provisions for the intentional infringement of a registered design in line with copyright and trade marks.

Dids is also parliamentary convenor of the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN), and is third assistant to the court of The Furniture Makers’ Company.

ACID is supported by the Alliance for Intellectual Property, of which Dids is vice-chair. In June 2015, Dids was made an Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours.

The Furniture Awards recognise the best new product unveiled at the January Furniture Show, across a range of price points. A team of judges from the world of furniture retail will assess the creative and commercial value of the shortlisted entries before highlighting those considered best in class before the entire industry. Open to January Furniture Show exhibitors only, the awards' deadline is Friday 11th December 2015 – visit the awards web page to enter.