Topic: Design

Architects Case Study

Case study: Bruce Bell, Wilson & Bell Architects and Designers   Company: Wilson & Bell Architects and Designers Established: 2002 Innovation: The Facit pre-fabricated timber building system Designer Bruce Bell and his business partner, architect Nick Wilson, first met while both working on a number of cutting-edge projects at Norman Fosters architectural practice in 2000, including the winning competition entry for the Greater London Authority building, the Millennium Footbridge and Norman Fosters’ own home in the south of France. Nick went on to work at Buschow Architects and MacCormac Jamieson Pritchard, while Bruce took time out to complete a masters at the Royal College of Art in London. It was there that he first experimented with the digital fabrication techniques that would, seven years later, become the Facit pre-fabricated timber building system.   ‘We spent many years in research and development (R&D) in house manufacturing technology before we finalised the materials for the Facit house-building system,’ says Bruce. ‘At the time of development, I was aware of the importance of IP to protect our innovations, particularly as we were planning to set up a company to produce and market the system. However, I realised that my IP strategy needed a bit of a rethink after visiting an IP advice session at Own-it, a couple of weeks ago, where I ran our proposed approach for registration and enforcement past the Own-it lawyers. Some...

Read More

Design Case Study

Case study with Mark Champkins, Concentrate Company: Concentrate Established: 2006 Innovation: Products to help children concentrate better at school Although he is best known for being one of the few entrepreneurs to enter the Dragon’s Den and emerge with some investment, Mark Champkins’ Concentrate brand dates back much further than that. He first came up with the idea while applying his studies in industrial design engineering to the furniture and equipment being used in primary schools, as part of a research commission by Helen Hamlyn Research Centre in 2003. ‘At the time there was a lot of investment in school buildings as a means to improve schoolchildren’s learning skills,’ says Mark, who had just completed a degree at the Royal College of Art. ‘But what I actually found was that although the buildings had been improved no end, the furniture within them was still old-fashioned and uncomfortable. Teachers told me that the hard chairs and desks made it difficult for the children to concentrate, but that the budget didn’t exist to upgrade in large numbers to more comfortable furnishings.’  Mark saw a gap in the market and designed a range of products to fill it. These included the Concentrate chairpadbag, a rucksack that has a special padded flap that folds out over the back rest of school chairs to make hard seats comfy, and the bottlecoolerpenholder, which reminds children to drink water throughout the...

Read More


The Glossary of IP Terms was originally prepared by Sarah Andrew of Arts Council England. Appropriation (1) The first step in the act of theft e.g. ‘A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.’ (1968 Theft Act) (2) An act of cultural practice, e.g. ‘Everyday life invents itself by poaching in countless ways on the property of others.’ (Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 1984) Assignment Passing on the rights of an author/creator, usually for money, always in writing. Moral rights...

Read More

IP for Freelancers

More and more creatives are working freelance. As a freelancer in any creative field it is vital that you understand your intellectual property rights. One of the most common issues in freelancing is about ownership. Usually, if you create something in the course of employment the creation belongs to the employer (depending on your employment contract of course.) However, as a freelancer this is not the case and you can retain ownership of your work. It is a good idea to set out in an agreement or contract who owns what before you do the work as it is...

Read More

Design Rights: The Basics

What are design rights? Design rights protects the appearance, the shape and/or configuration of objects – so how your product looks for example. Design rights arise automatically and can also be registered. Unregistered design rights automatically protect your design for 10 years after it was first sold or 15 years after it was created (whichever is earliest). Registered design rights can last up to 25 years (if you renew every 5 years), gives you a registered design number and makes it more straightforward in protecting your design against infringement. Why would I want design rights? Design rights can help you...

Read More

Find a Lawyer

This website is an educational resource and we do not offer any legal advice. However, we do have a list of law firms that may be able to help you.