Supplier of bedding and upholstery components Handy has become the latest organisation to join the fight against design theft, becoming a member of Anti Copying in Design (ACID).

The design industry’s estimated worth is over £72b to the UK economy, but 97% of SMEs admit to not having an Intellectual Property (IP) strategy – which could protect them from any infringements of design fraud.

ACID is the UK’s design and IP campaigning trade association, set up in 1996 to protect designers and manufacturers from design theft by providing cost-effective tips, advice, and guidelines to help members protect their IP.

With a range of over 1300 products and a bespoke product development service, Handy joined ACID to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the industry, and itself, against design fraud.

MD Nick Harland Smith says: “Not only do we work with some of the leading suppliers to the industry, in the past 30 years we have invested heavily into bespoke product development, answering to individual requests from our customers as well as developing our own innovative new components to respond to the specific needs of bedding and upholstery manufacturers.

“That’s why we have decided to become a member of ACID, who are doing a fantastic job to protect and support designers and manufacturers against design and IP fraud in the UK.

“Our IP library, developed over many years, is a valuable business asset. Innovation is needed to drive bedding and upholstery manufacturers forward, speeding up manufacturing processes, enhancing the aesthetics of a product, and adding improved functionality. To achieve this innovation, designers need to be fully aware of the rules and regulations surrounding IP protection.”

Dids Macdonald OBE, CEO of ACID, adds: “We are very pleased to have Handy Ltd join us as a corporate member and to proactively raise awareness of our campaign against design fraud. It’s important that designers and manufacturers research and plan their IP strategies to futureproof their designs and protect themselves against fraud.”