Famous design brands including Vitra, Artek and Flos have formed a coalition to lobby the UK government over a delay in a copyright law that was passed last year.
The Entreprise and Regulatory Act 2013 would ban the sales of copies of their furniture and lighting products, but according to government officials, it may not be passed until 2018.
The act maintains special provisions that would raise the standard of UK copyright law to the level of other European protection acts, where manufactured goods are protected for 70 years after the death of the designer as opposed to the UK’s 25.
“The UK has never had the same level of intellectual property protection as the rest of Europe,” Tony Ash, managing director of Vitra in the UK, USA, India, Middle East and Far East told Dezeen. “There it’s 70 years plus the lifetime of the creator but here it’s 25 years from creation. So we’ve always been at a disadvantage. We lose business and the designers lose royalties.”
Ash adds: “The UK has become a Trojan Horse for the importation of copies into Europe”.
Other companies in the coalition include Thonet, Republic of Fritz Hansen, Tecnolumen and Artemide. Together, they claim the delay in the law’s enforcement is “undermining the UK design industry and flooding the market with illegitimate and poor quality overseas replicas, with little benefit to the British economy.”
The law, which was passed in Spring 2013, and was expected to be implemented by April 2014, has been delayed by a three year transition period to allow affected businesses to adapt.