Well – for the first time in 2 years, Triclimb is not currently involved in any active IP disputes! (Although I’ve been so traumatised by the past 2 years I’ve not looked too hard recently to see if any new copies have popped up.) It’s a small victory, in a battle we should never have had to engage in – one that has left us scarred.

Read about why it’s a big deal here.

Even better, because of the way things have worked out, Triclimb’s IP battles have given us a chance to make a difference and be a champion for all the small businesses struggling with IP issues. Recently, I got to speak to an APPG for IP in the Houses of Parliament, which was an absolute honour and privilege.

What’s an APPG…?

All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups. They are run for and by Members of the Commons and Lords. In our case we (Triclimb) were invited to be part of the exchange and to have a voice alongside other individual and organisations outside of Parliament. APPGs play a vital role in policy changes and are critical building blocks to getting the relevant people involved in discussions. This meeting in particular came about after a key Intellectual Property Office (IPO) consultation on the UK’s Design Framework and Artificial Intelligence.

Why is it important?

The IPO recently sought views on the UK’s Design Framework as part of a set of reforms following the UK’s exit from the EU. Recent data suggests that the UK design industry generates roughly around £97.4 bn per year and that 1.97m people are employed in design or design-skilled jobs – which is no insignificant amount. The design community provides social benefits and makes a huge contribution to the economy.  These figures include the many design jobs in small companies across the UK. However, the protection afforded by a Design Registration within the IP framework is significantly less than that granted by other IP rights such as copyright, trademarks and patents. Not only is the IP system for design complex and difficult to navigate, it is difficult and costly to enforce against large corporations, particularly given the small nature of many of these design businesses.The APPG meeting was designed to give parliamentarians the opportunity to hear from industry experts and discuss these and other issues within the design industry as the group considers its responses to the Government’s consultations. So you can see this was never solely about Triclimb – but it does involve our story. We are a small part of a much wider and much bigger picture where countless numbers of small businesses have suffered, and not always survived, the theft of their designs. An incredible opportunity to stand up and give a real-life perspective to parliamentarians, to share a powerful example of what happens when a small business can’t afford to protect their registered IP Designs. A big deal for us and we hope we have done it justice for the greater good of all the small innovative business.

Read ACID’s account: HERE