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Design protection: designers use their hindsight to advise others

12 September 2017

When you design a product, it's essential to ensure that the design is protected - for both personal and commercial value. Nobody knows this more than Rob Law, creator and CEO of Trunki, the children's travel accessory brand.

Last year, although it had design rights in place, Trunki lost a Supreme Court battle with a rival over product design rights.

Since then Rob Law has continued to support the importance of getting the correct design protection for a brand. He'll be discussing the issue, along with a panel of industry experts, at a Q&A event as part of London Design Festival.

The event, hosted by international law firm Gowling WLG - in collaboration with tangerine and Design Council, will be a Q&A with a number of world-famous designers with different experiences, offering insight from their hindsight.

Chaired by John Coldham, an Intellectual Property expert and head of the design team at law firm Gowling WLG, join the following panel to discuss their experiences of protecting and exploiting designs.

Rob Law MBE, founder and CEO of Trunki, the brand behind the much loved children's ride-on suitcase. The company is forging a new retail category of Children's Travel Products and offers a whole range of innovative solutions that help families on the go. Law is a passionate business speaker with a fresh approach to leadership, instilling innovative thinking across his organisation, as well a committed champion of British manufacturing and design rights.

Ellie Runcie, future programmes director at Design Council, leading the organisation's development of new products and services, as well as building the teams that take these new concepts through prototyping, pilot and launch. Her work involves working with the Design Council's unique portfolio of design methods and its growing international network of associates.

Martin Darbyshire, CEO at tangerine. Martin founded tangerine in 1989 and under his stewardship it has developed into a global strategic design consultancy, creating award-winning solutions for internationally recognised brands such a British Airways, LG, Samsung and Sky+. He has served as UKT&I Ambassador for the UK Creative Industries, two terms as a board member of the World Design Organization (formerly ICSID) and was formerly a visiting professor at Central Saint Martins.

Milan Patel, general counsel, Ceravision Limited. Milan is general counsel of Ceravision Limited which has invented and commercialised a unique, plasma lighting solution. He has helped develop a global IP portfolio for the company, with in excess of 500 patent filings, numerous design right applications and trade mark application.  Milan is part of Royal Bank of Scotland's mentoring group, which supports start-up companies, with a particular focus on the protection of their IP rights.

John Coldham, director in Gowling WLG's intellectual property team. John is an experienced litigator of all types of IP, but his particular focus is on designs and brands law. Representing major international brands like Dyson and G-Star Raw as well as smaller design brands such as Joseph Joseph and GLTC, John has helped clients understand the choice of design rights available, worked with them to secure the best portfolio for their needs, and prevented others from copying them.

Registration for the event starts at 16:00, with the formal session starting at 16:30. The panel discussion will be followed by a drinks reception hosted jointly by Gowling WLG, tangerine and The Design Council on a balcony with superb views of the Thames. We expect the panel discussion to finish at around 17:45, and we hope you will be able to join us for the networking and drinks afterwards.


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