Long-time member of design rights champion ACID, Rupert Welch, the joint MD of kitchenware and homeware supplier Robert Welch, has accepted an invitation to become an ACID ambassador.

Rupert says: “The UK has always been and continues to be a worldwide epicentre for innovation – from electronics to furniture, medicine to art, we lead the way. However, we must do better to nurture creativity, encourage invention and design and protect those ground-breaking ideas which bring so much to our country across all sectors. Without tough laws to rely on, and clearly defined boundaries and structures to work within, design in the UK will not only be stifled but will always be vulnerable to IP theft, leaving the UK disadvantaged in a global market.

"The failure to help UK innovators safeguard their IP is a scandal, and the existence of a legal system where smaller designers have no hope or defence against corporate copying and theft, a travesty. This is why I and Robert Welch Designs fully support all that ACID is striving to achieve. I am deeply passionate about protecting our IP and at Robert Welch we take the prevention and stamping out of design infringement extremely seriously. We look forward to a time when UK design and innovation is treated with the respect that it warrants.”

ACID CEO Dids Macdonald, OBE, adds: “Robert Welch have had their fair share of copying over many years, often by well-known high-street retailers. We very much welcome Rupert Welch joining as an ACID ambassador at the crucial launch of our ACID IP Charter – it is timely and much welcomed. Along with other ACID ambassadors, members and advocates it’s time for real change. Our ACID IP Charter is a simple set of principles, all are signatories of IP respect, ethics, and compliance. We would like to thank Rupert, Alice, his co-director, and the Robert Welch Designs team for their advocacy in our continued fight against design theft.”

Nick Kounoupias, ACID chief counsel and IP director, concludes: “Rupert’s incisive understanding of IP law and his considerable will to change the status quo that copying is an acceptable business model will be a huge asset to our continued campaigning for better design law and accountability.”