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Case study: Stuart Scott, designer and IP protector

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 05 March 2016

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When you build a brand and your business it must be heart-breaking when another person decides to impact that in a detrimental way.

Stuart Scott, a designer found this out the hard way. However, it did encourage him to kick-start protection over his intellectual property to secure his business’s future.

Starting in 2011 in Wiltshire, Stuart describes the business as “a relatively small brand who design and produce a collection of high end furniture, consisting of both upholstered and cabinetry pieces, for the luxury market.”

When he started the business, he confessed that he had limited knowledge of IP and did not have any inclination to make it a priority.

This was a clear mistake as in the following years, the brand suffers a number of imitations that were not up to standard of the original creations. One situation involved the copying of a chair design which appeared in a London restaurant. Another design also appeared in a Scottish Hotel. Both situations, it was clear it was directly copied from Stuart Scott designs.

Not only did the business suffer financially, the substandard quality of the copycat products started to have an impact on Stuart Scott’s reputation with customers

After limited support from the unregistered designs rights that they relied on so far in their business as it is difficult to take action against a copier, they needed a new strategy.

Their saving grace was registered design rights.

After the damaging incidents, the business started to register all of their designs with the UK Intellectual Property Office. This has helped in a big way as there is a clear record of ownership over that design. Therefore, if someone tries to copy it you have the evidence you need to stop them and prevent any damage to your brand.

Stuart has also gained some experience in relation to copyright which they are looking to enforce using registered trade mark and copyright symbols which have so far deterred future copycats.

Making an overall comment and giving advice based on his experiences with IP Stuart has said that “protecting your creations through the IPO is hugely important as your intellectual property is arguably the single, most important, and potentially valuable aspect of your business.”

If you want to follow in Stuart Scott’s footsteps and protect your IP, get in contact with Lawdit.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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