Published  10/05/2005

Unauthorised unoriginals

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There has been new attention to the continuing habit of plagiarism in design, which in the furniture world is escalating. But a new group, called Anti Copying in Design (AciD), is fighting back for the originators of designs. Recently, it has won the case in over ten disputes where furniture designs are copied, or products imitated. There are also some two dozen further cases awaiting resolution.

AciD will soon have a thousand members if the current effectiveness of its advocacy continues apace. City of London solicitors Theodore Goddard have advised AciD, and their Intellectual Property specialisation has helped bring such protective measures to fruition. It is important not to be too specific in print about some of the ‘usual suspects’, but very large corporations are known to have overstepped the borderline, as AciD is aware. The furniture of the late, great, Alvar Aalto marked the development of a new classicism in the use of timber in furniture, yet it laid him open to exploitation by imitators, like Sheraton before him. Charles Eames’s grandson, Eames Demetrios, has been able to pursue copycats with greater success.

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