An Intellectual Property Office event hosted by the Design Council with Baroness Wilcox, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills, announced the publication of the first phase of research into the use of design rights in the UK, how this affects the industry, and a call for evidence on how the UK intellectual property framework can better support our globally successful design industry.
The key findings from the research show that the most intensive spenders on design in the UK are business services, manufacturing and construction. Relative to other countries the UK spends a lot on design related products and services; however there is very low awareness of design rights. The research also found that registered design rights are used mainly in specific business sectors, such as furniture and clothing.
Research from the Design Council found that the combined budget of in-house design teams and fee income of freelancers and design consultancies was £15bn in 2009.
But there are questions about the extent to which the design industry is properly supported by the Intellectual Property Framework. The lack of evidence on this innovative sector was highlighted by Ian Hargreaves in his review of Intellectual Property and Growth and the Government committed to gaining a better understanding of whether the design rights system in the UK is geared to the needs of business.
To help answer these questions, and properly target and inform future policy change, the Government today issued a call for evidence to the design sector and launched a separate online questionnaire/survey aimed at business.
"UK design has an excellent reputation. From fashion to aerospace, from graphic design to technology, the UK design industry is held in high regard across the world," said Wilcox. "But how do we maintain that excellence and what can Government do to better support design? I urge the design community to participate in this call for evidence and help influence and shape the designs regime for the future benefit of the UK."