The Importance of Original Design
Posted on April 26 2020
Today is World Intellectual Property Day. Did you know that? Me neither, not until just recently anyway. It seems quite a random thing to have a 'day' for, but then there seems to be a day for pretty much everything nowadays so I guess it's not that surprising.
The reason I'm so interested in this one is because Intellectual Property is something which is really important to me. In case you don't know what it is, Wikipedia describes it as "a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect." So basically it's stuff you can't necessarily see, touch or hold- like ideas and designs. You will have heard of the most well known types of intellectual property (or IP), which are copyrights, patents and trademarks.
In an ideal world if you designed something you'd automatically own the intellectual property to that design or thing, but in reality it's an incredibly foggy area and it's actually pretty hard to protect your ideas and concepts. Let's face it, you don't have to look far to find copycat examples in pretty much most markets, be that fashion, skincare, furniture or tech. You'll most likely have heard stories of brands taking each other to court over it, but sadly this will most likely only be the big boys because the smaller companies quite simply don't have the resources.
Original design is something I'm really passionate about, and as a brand it's something we work really hard at. We stay on trend but we don't copy. We will always bring you unique designs with that something a little different, and that only comes from having a genuine passion for what we do, and continually seeking out original inspiration and ideas.
We've been copied before and I'm not going to lie- it does hurt when you’ve worked hard to create something truly original and all they’ve done is copy it. We tried to take it to court but it came down to the fact that they had more financial resources than me to keep the solicitor’s (often ridiculous) letters flowing. We’re now a lot savvier in terms of registering designs, but the biggest success is in working even harder on the design side of the brand, so they’ll always be (at least) one step behind. I also think consumers are becoming ever more savvy and want to buy from brands with true integrity and passion for what they do, and you can’t copy that.
Mimosa has inspired a number of designs over the years
Ultimately there will always be leaders and followers – for the former it’s primarily for passion, for the latter it’s profit. Social media has made it easier to call people out nowadays – even the big companies, and like with most big changes, reducing infringement will have to be consumer lead. Hopefully the young people of Generation X, having grown up in a more ethics lead fashion industry, will continue to seek out true originality and support more design lead brands, because the more the copycat brands feel this in their pocket the more they’ll have to take notice and invest in their own, original design.
Parts of this blog have been taken from an interview I did about the importance of IP protection by ACID- Anti Copying In Design, who are the UK’s leading design and intellectual property campaigning organisation. Click here to read the full interview.
So thank you for reading this, because if you got to the end I guess Intellectual Property is something which is important to you too, even if you didn't realise it. So let's all sit back and enjoy World Intellectual Property Day, perhaps by doing something creative and unique.
Main image: Picturequotes.com