Contract furnishings association BCFA and design rights champion ACID have entered a new partner relationship to combat copying in the furnishings sector.

The design and production of furniture and furnishings will generate intellectual property (IP) in different forms including design rights, copyright, trade marks and patents – and the copying and infringement of these rights from businesses based both in the UK and globally is an ongoing challenge, and one that many businesses in the sector struggle to protect against effectively and affordably. 

The BCFA and ACID have worked collaboratively for many years, and have formalised this by entering into a new partner arrangement to support BCFA members in protecting their rights in this area through education and access to ACID support and resources. 

BCFA MD Jeremy Stein says: “Respect for intellectual property rights is a key part of the BCFA members’ Code of Conduct, and is evidence of our members' ethical approach to manufacturing. At the same time, our members must continue to be vigilant to ensure that their products and designs are not being copied.

"I am hugely pleased therefore that the BCFA has now entered a new partner relationship with ACID that I am sure will provide our members with a new level of support and IP awareness about the protection of their intellectual property.” 

Dids Macdonald, OBE, CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID), adds: “ACID has worked collaboratively with the BCFA over many years and there has been much reciprocity on many issues. Raising the importance about respect for intellectual property issues will, in the fullness of time, resonate with all those who care about ethics. Now that we have formalised our relationship by becoming partners, I am delighted to be working much more closely with Jeremy and the BCFA. The many benefits of our new partner status will, I am sure, bring added value to all.” 

On British IP Day 2022 (29th June), ACID launched an ACID IP Charter encouraging those who endorse IP ethics, respect, and compliance to sign and display a prominent logo. As momentum gathers this will also be a fund to help lone, micro and SMEs fund litigation should they not have the resources to do so.