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No to replica furniture

In defence of Original Design, the community gathers. Ask your legal questions here

No to replica furniture


June 22nd, 2010

A group of passionate defenders of original design gathered last night in Sydney’s Surry Hills with the aim of building support for Original Design.

Designer Michael Young began the night by explaining how he protects his designs – by creating strong relationships with manufacturers to create complex, difficult-to-copy products.

“I get companies to invest in my designs,” Young said.

“I’ve been copied a lot less in Asia than I have in Europe,” Young told indesignlive.com. “It’s a kind of ironic concept to what most people think is the norm, that China is the copy nation.”

Robert Backhouse of Hassell spoke on the challenges of specifying for a large project – using the Docklands ANZ development as an example. Simone Oliver of Geyer added that, while Geyer takes pride in specifying authentic design, other firms have difficulty convincing clients with strict budgets that authenticity and longevity are important.

However, the presentations made way for an open discussion, which became heated at times, with Matthew Hall from Swaab Attorneys (commercial law firm) taking on the unenviable task of highlighting the great deficiencies of the Australian legal system in protecting product design.

Essentially, Hall explained that while ‘replica’ designs are obviously fakes, the law protects them, but the law does not similarly protect original design, which can be freely copied (from product to product).

There seemed a consensus last night that, with the ‘fakes economy’ gaining pace, an education campaign offers the most promising plan of attack for those interested in protecting original design.

Visit the Authentic Design Alliance website for more information and to lend your support.

The ADA have offered for Matthew Hall to be on hand to provide answers to your legal questions. Ask Matthew your questions in the comments below or simply tell us your opinions…

Authentic Design Alliance

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