The February 2016 announcement surprised many as the proposed changes were four years ahead of an intended 2020 introduction, sparking consumer outrage at the inability to buy cheap furnishings and copies of famous iconic designs.

Bowing to pressure from a consortium of brands headed by Vitra, Flos, and Artek, the UK government deemed that the damage to their furniture industry was crippling future growth, the new laws included fines of up to 50,000 GBP and the introduction of jail terms.

Aligning with the EU, copyright was extended to cover the lifetime of the designer plus an additional 70 years after their death ('life plus 70'). The ruling was backdated, meaning many iconic designs that had been savaged by the replica market were now protected by the new laws!


Eames Chair knockoffs


Among many new initiatives, the replica furniture industry was outlawed in Britain, and retailers of unlicensed copied designer products had 6-months to quit stock and close up shop.

But now, as the UK heads towards exiting from the EU - will these significant changes for IP protection in the design sector survive Brexit?


Foreseeing this Dezeen led a campaign to the British Government in September 2016. The Brexit Design Manifesto outlines five key platforms that must be fostered to enable the future development of the industry and the initiative has been signed by an extensive list of industry luminaries and presented to the UK parliament.

The grassroots project was coordinated and produced by Dezeen has been endorsed by the architecture and design sector. Signatories included Thomas Heatherwick, Terence Conran, Richard Rogers, Jasper Morrison, and many more – see the full list here.

Dezeen Brexit manifeto

Read Dezeen Brexit Design Manifesto - here (2 pages)

Read the UK Government statement in full here and the Brexit statement here

Useful reading on consumer backlash


The Brexit Design Manifesto supported by:

Terence Conran (founder, Conran + Holdings)
Richard Rogers (partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)
Ivan Harbour (partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)
Thomas Heatherwick (founder, Heatherwick Studio),
Tom Dixon (founder, Tom Dixon)
Jasper Morrison (founder, Jasper Morrison)
John Pawson (founder, John Pawson)
Marc Newson (founder, Marc Newson Ltd)
David Adjaye (founder, Adjaye Associates)
Paul Priestman (co-founder, PriestmanGoode)
Amanda Levete (founder, AL_A)
Deyan Sudjic (director, Design Museum)
Ilse Crawford (founder, Studioilse)
Jay Osgerby (co-founder, Barber Osgerby)
Edward Barber (co-founder, Barber Osgerby)
Alice Rawsthorn (critic)
Rohan Silva (founder, Second Home)
David Shrigley (artist)
Antony Gormley (artist)
Patrik Schumacher (director, Zaha Hadid Architects)
Ross Lovegrove (founder, Lovegrove Studio)
Design Business Association
David Linley (Viscount Linley)
Benjamin Hubert (founder, Layer)
Max Lamb (founder, Max Lamb)
Nigel Coates (founder, Nigel Coates)
Paul Cocksedge (co-founder, Paul Cocksedge Studio)
Micha Weidmann (founder, Micha Weidmann Studio)
Judy Dobias (managing director, Camron PR)
Marcus Fairs (co-founder and editor-in-chief, Dezeen)
Anna Winston (architecture and design writer, and digital consultant)
Max Fraser (writer)
Peter Marigold (founder, Peter Marigold Studio)
Bethan Ryder (deputy editor, Telegraph Luxury)
Donna Wilson (founder, Donna Wilson)
Sheridan Coakley (founder, SCP)
George Clarke (TV presenter, architect, designer)
Will Hudson (founder and director, It's Nice That)
Alex Bec (managing director, It's Nice That)
James Mair (founder, Viaduct)
Lee Broom (founder, Lee Broom)
Sebastian Cox (founder, Sebastian Cox)
Sebastian Wrong (founder, Wrong London)
Philippe Malouin (founder, Philippe Malouin)
Wayne Hemingway (co-founder, Hemingway Design)
Luke Pearson (co-founder, PearsonLloyd)
Tom Lloyd (co-founder, PearsonLloyd)
Michael Marriott (founder, Michael Marriott)
Sebastian Conran (CEO, Sebastian Conran Associates)
Robert Mull (architect and educator)
Sam Jacob (founder, Sam Jacob Studio)
Phil Coffey (founder, Coffey Architects)
Kieran Long (keeper, department of Design Architecture and Digital, V&A)
Bethan Laura Wood (founder, Wood London)
Bethan Gray (founder, Bethan Gray Design)
Ben Evans (director, London Design Festival)
Asif Khan (founder, Asif Khan)
William Knight (show director, 100% Design)
Libby Sellers (founder, Libby Sellers Gallery)
Dick Powell (co-founder, Seymour Powell)
Claire Catterall (head of exhibitions, Somerset House)
Bodo Sperlein (founder, Bodo Sperlein)
David Gill (founder, David Gill Gallery)
Matthew Hilton (founder, Matthew Hilton)
Je Ahn (co-founder, Studio Weave)
Terence Woodgate (founder, Terence Woodgate Studio)
David Marks (co-founder, Marks Barfield)
Jeremy Till (head, Central Saint Martins and pro-vice-chancellor, University of the Arts London)
Daniel Charny (professor of design, Kingston University and founder, Fixperts)
Andrew Waugh (co-founder, Waugh Thistleton)
Chris Sanderson (co-founder, The Future Laboratory)
Martin Raymond (co-founder, The Future Laboratory)
Tara Bernerd (founder, Tara Bernerd & Partners)
Alex Michaelis (co-founder, Michaelis Boyd)
Tim Boyd (co-founder, Michaelis Boyd)
Piers Taylor (founder, Invisible Studio Architects)
Sebastian Bergne (founder, Sebastian Bergne)
Jon Powell (co-founder, Modus)
Dan Ziglam (co-founder, Deadgood Ltd)
Anthony Dickens (founder, Studio Make Believe)
Chris Romer-Lee (co-founder, Studio Octopi, and CEO, Thames Baths)
Jason Bruges (founder, Jason Bruges Studio)
Sophie Conran (founder, Sophie Conran)
David Collins Studio
Tala LED
Michael Sodeau (founder, Michael Sodeau Studio)
Matteo Fogale (co-founder, De Allegri Fogale)
Laetitia de Allegri (co-founder, De Allegri Fogale)
Douglas Hodgson (co-founder, TDO Architecture)
Francis Sultana (founder, Francis Sultana)
Guy Salter (chairman, London Craft Week)
John Miller (co-founder, MARK Product)
Livia Lauber (co-founder, Loris&Livia)
Loris Jaccard (co-founder, Loris&Livia)
Simon Alderson (co-founder, Twentytwentyone)
Tony Cunningham (co-founder, Twentytwentyone)
Richard Stevens (co-founder, Forpeople)
Tom Bartlett (founder, Waldo Works)
Sean Sutcliffe (co-founder, Benchmark)
Lucy Kurrein (founder, Lucy Kurrein)
Jo Sampson (founder, Jo Sampson Studio)
Amy Hunting (co-founder, Hunting & Narud)
Oscar Narud (co-founder, Hunting & Narud)
Sally Mackereth (founder, Studio Mackereth)
Kia Utzon-Frank (founder, KUF Studio)
Phineas Harper (deputy director, Architecture Foundation)
David Kohn (founder, David Kohn Architects)
Anna Murray (co-founder, Patternity)
Grace Winteringham (co-founder, Patternity)
Faye Toogood (founder, Studio Toogood)
Gareth Williams (head of design, Middlesex University)
Jane Pavitt (dean, School of Humanities, Royal College of Art)
Sarah Teasley (head of program, History of Design, Royal College of Art)
Rama Gheerawo (director, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art)
Joe Morris (co-founder, Duggan Morris Architects)
Jonathan Barnbrook (founder, Barnbrook)
Loris Jaccard (co-founder, Loris&Livia)
Paul Simmons (co-founder, Timorous Beasties)
Russell Pinch (founder, Pinch Design)
Tara Bernerd (founder, Tara Bernerd & Partners)
Thorsten van Elten (founder, Thorsten van Elten)
Simon Hamilton (customer experience manager, Interface Ltd)
Es Devlin (stage designer)
Ben Rousseau (founder, Rousseau Design Ltd)
Bill Amberg (founder, Bill Amberg Studio)
Charlotte Fiell (co-founder, Fiell Publishing Limited)
Peter Fiell (co-founder, Fiell Publishing Limited)
Pereen d'Avoine (founding director, Russian for Fish)
Sabine Zetteler (director, Zetteler)
Tony Cunningham (co-founder, Twentytwentyone)
Neil Byrne (founder, Tomorrow PR)
Jamie Dobson (head of school, School of Communication Design, University for the Creative Arts)
Henrietta Thompson (editor at large, Wallpaper)
Jack Self (director, REAL and editor-in-chief, REAL review)
David Lyndon (co-founder, Lyndon Goode Architects)
Chris Lim (program director, Product Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design,
University of Dundee)
Alexander Taylor (founder, Alexander Taylor Studio)
Zerlina Hughes (director, Studio ZNA Ltd)
Stuart Walker (Professor of Design for Sustainability and co-founder and director, ImaginationLancaster Design Research Centre, Lancaster University)
Susanne Isa (Architecture Year 1 design coordinator, University of Greenwich)
Matt Railton (creative director, Four Colman Getty)
Lucy Bullivant (founder and creative director,
Felix de Pass (founder, Felix de Pass)
Ella Doran (founder, Ella Doran Design Ltd)
Davina Weir-Willats (founder, Cultural-Agenda)
Stephane Hof (founder, Hoffice)
Simon Herron (academic Leader in Architectural Technology and postgraduate design studio tutor to Diploma Unit 16, University of Greenwich)
Margaret Briffa (solicitor and founder, Briffa)
Amos Marchant (founder, Amos Marchant Design Studio)
Chris Billinghurst (creative director, Upcycled Homes)
Joseph Baxter (design student, Nottingham Trent University)
Seetal Solanki (founder, Ma-tt-er)
Hannah Martin (founder, Hannah Martin London)
Simon Goode (co-founder, Lyndon Goode Architects)
Je-Uk Kim (founder, JiB Design Studio)
Jess Tully (founder, Jess Tully Creative Strategy and Communications)
Ibrahim Muasher (graduate, Architectural Association)
David Michon (founder, David Michon)
Christy Cole (co-founder, Briggs & Cole and founder, Office for the Design Economy)
David Irwin (founder, David Irwin Design Studio)
Bianca Moldoveanu (graduate, Architectural Association)
Anna Jacobs (founder, Anna Jacobs Design)
David Hawkins (head of school of Design and Art, Curtin University)
Thomas Lane (editor, BD)
Alba Bayona (creative director, Eiger Gallery)
Deborah Spencer (founder, designjunction)
Martin Postler (co-founder, Postlerferguson)
Ian Ferguson (co-founder, Postlerferguson)
Maria Smith (founder, Interrobang)
Manchester Society of Architects
Lara Bohinc (creative director, Lara Bohinc)
Olswang LLP
Adam Holloway (founder, Adam Holloway Architects)
Francesco Draisci (founder, Draisci Studio)
Gemma Roper (interaction designer, Apple)
Jimmy MacDonald (founder, London Design Fair)
Katherine Sandford-Anderson (founder, Sandford PR)
Dean Pauley (designer, Micha Weidmann Studio)
Vincent Hartman (marketing manager, Amos Beech Commercial Interiors)
Sara Jaafar (founder, 1 Millimetre)
Peter Tennent (director, Factorydesign)
Neil Davies (founder, Neil Davies Architects)
Marion Friedmann (founder, Marion Friedmann Gallery)
Magnus Long (founder, Magnus Long Design Studio)
Jenny Hall (design writer, co-author of Design: The Whole Story)
Christopher Lee (co-founder, Serie Architects)
Cezary M Bednarski (founder, Studio Bednarski)
Nina Tolstrup (founder, Studiomama)
Simon Paterson (founder, Paterson AS Limited)
Nick Pearson (founder, Origin Furniture)
Mat Bembridge (senior design consultant, Philips Lighting BV)
Katie Treggiden (founder, Confessions of a Design Geek)
Jake Phipps (founder, Jake Phipps Limited)
Eddie Blake (architect, Sam Jacob Studio)
David Bull (founder, David Bull Design)
Craig Rice (director, Gradus Limited)
Bill Holding (co-founder, Morph UK LTD)
Adam White (director, Factory Design)
Sherezade Casado (design coordinator, Day2 Interiors)
Matthew Galvin (founder, Galvin Brothers)
Giovanni Corrado (creative director, Baroncelli)
Duncan Holding (director of Art and Design Technology, Greenshaw High School)
Daniel Alderson-Smith (director of contracts, Conran)
Caroline Denyer (founder, Growlmama)
Anna Louise Davies (interior architect)
Alex Swain (founder, ByALEX)
Claudius König (founder, CloserLondon Limited)
Barbie Blanchard (property professional and mother of architect)
Ewa Idzik (fashion designer)
Martin Sulzbach (art director and graphic designer)
Ben Capper (former director, Ralph Capper Interiors Manchester and interior consultant)
Arabella Lewis-Smith (managing director and founder, Salad Brand+Communication)
Noni Braithwaite (graphic design graduate, Kingston University)
Del Hossain (founder, Adrem)
Bompas & Parr
Alison Brooks (founder, Alison Brooks Architects)
Grimshaw Architects
James Plant (founder, James Plant)
Jane Withers (curator and founder, Jane Withers Studio)
Terry Farrell (founder, Farrells)
Mark Eley (co-founder, Eley Kishimoto)
Wakako Kishimoto (co-founder, Eley Kishimoto)
Niall McLaughlin (founder, Niall McLaughlin Architects)
Mark Middleton (managing partner, Grimshaw)
Mark Henderson (co-founder, The New Craftsmen, and chairman, Gieves & Hawkes)
Paul Karakusevic (co-founder, Karakusevic Carson Architects)
Sheppard Robson
Shay Alkalay (co-founder, Raw Edges)
Yael Mer (co-founder, Raw Edges)
Theo Samaras (lead 3D artist/visualiser, Tara Bernerd & Partners)
Sophie Bates (director, Sophie Bates Architects)
Sarah Douglas (creative director, Wallpaper*)
Lucy James (PR and marketing manager, SCP)
Kim Corbett (founder, Adventures in Furniture)
James Melia (founder and creative director, Blond Ltd)
Elly Ward (co-founder and director, Ordinary Architecture Limited)
Forbes Massie (founder, Forbes Massie)
Roksanda Ilincic (founder, Roksanda)
Roberto Sideris (BA Product Design student, UAL Central Saint Martins)
Yuri Suzuki (sound artist and designer)
Florian Dussopt (founder, Florian Dussopt Design Studio)
Dids Macdonald (chief executive, Anti Copying in Design (ACID) and vice-chair, Alliance for Intellectual Property)
Ali Morris (design writer)
Alix Cumersdale (design associate, Finch Interiors)
Crafts Council
Rosy Greenlees (executive director, Crafts Council)
Dan Hill (writer and associate director, Arup)
James O'Callaghan (director, Eckersley O'Callaghan)
Brian Eckersley (director, Eckersley O'Callaghan)
Wilkinson Eyre
Tobi Schneidler (CEO and founder, Bouncepad)
María Benitez (co-founder, Studio Maau)
Audrey Stallard (co-founder, Studio Maau)
Benjamin Alexander Hawkins (architect, Granit Chartered Architects)
Cressida Granger (managing director, Mathmos)
Felicity Bell (founder, Studio Felicity Bell)
Martin Kerem (founder, Genium)
Michael Clarke (architect, LyndonGoode Architects)
Olivia Mudie (director, Concrete Communications)
Sean Griffiths (founder, Modern Architect (former FAT director))
Simone du Bois (director, Decorex International)
Tate Harmer
Elliot Brook (co-founder and director, Deadgood Ltd)
Marno Herinckx (recruitment practice lead, RIBA Appointments)
Melanie Guy (artist, Melanie Guy, and designer, Alastair Guy Playgrounds)
Paul Perkins (director, Perky Productions Ltd)
Sam Oxley (development director, Produce UK)
Tash Walker (founder, The Mix London)
Rachel Bray (head of studio, Soapbox)
Coralie Lew (design studio director, Shaun Clarkson ID)
Arantza Vilas (founder, Pinaki Studios)
Philip Johnson (director, Locate East Sussex)
Carlo Viscione (creative director, Made With Volume)
Åsa Bäckman (co-founder and director, Milk:studio architects)
Barnaby Barford (artist)
Alex Kimber (design engineer)
Christian Papa (creative director, HMKM)
Corinne Twining (tile designer, Persian Glazes)
Elizabeth Wilhide (writer)
Ewan Venters (CEO, Fortnum & Mason)
George Thompson (designer, maker, and founder, Tenement)
Jeff Durber (senior lecturer, Sheffield Institute of Art, Sheffield Hallam University)
Kal Chottai (UX consultant, service designer, and creative strategist, Damdesign, Flinta)
Linda Hewson (creative director, Selfridges)
Louisa Pacifico (chief executive, Craft Central)
Nigel Carrington (vice-chancellor, UAL)
Paul Beale (founding director, Electrolight)
Samuel Wilkinson (founder, Samuel Wilkinson Studio)
Sophie Leach (assistant general secretary and AD editor, National Society for Education in Art and Design)
Tony Chambers (editor-in-chief, Wallpaper)
Juliana Ribeiro (project director, Produce UK)
Sophie Jump (theatre designer and associate director, Seven Sisters Group)
Fiona Watt (honorary secretary, The Society of British Theatre Designers)
Council for Higher Education in Art and Design
Kim Colin (co-founder, Industrial Facility)
Sam Hecht (co-founder, Industrial Facility)
Sameera Hanif (founder, Sameera Hanif Communications)
Ian Farren (associate dean – academic development, Plymouth College of Art)
Hannah Martin (founder and creative director, Hannah Martin Ltd)
Carlisle Design Studio
Daniela Livaccari (architect, Echo Architecture)
Ellie Burroughs (student, RIBA Part II, Northumbira University)
Toby Anstruther (founder, Brompton Design District)
Colin Anderson (associate, GD Lodge Architects)
Rosie Motion (scenographer, Rosie Motion Designs)
Rory Black (student, BA Graphic Design, Falmouth University)
Daniel Gava (director, Arper UK Ltd)
Make Architects
Martyn Thompson (founder, Martyn Thompson Studio)
Andrew Grant (founder and director, Grant Associates)
Richard Hudson (theatre designer)
Karolina Maria Roziecka (set and costume designer)
Petra Hjortsberg (theatre and performance designer)
Mark Paulley (student, BA Graphic Design, Falmouth University)
Yehya Al-Hafidh (student, BA Graphic Design, Falmouth University)
Scott Moyse (student, BA Graphic Design, Falmouth University)
Hilary Statts Evans (theatre designer and lecturer, Bridgend College)
Katie Scott (theatre and performance designer)
Paul Middlebrook (co-founder, The Allotment Brand Design)
Jane Goodsir (marketing manager, Londonprintstudio)
Jody Leach (founder, Jody Leach Design)
Henry Bourne (photographer and author)
Zina Preston (retired)
Alexander Rakita (founder and director, AR Architecture)
Ray Leek (founder, RLD)
Ashley Gilbert (director, Anglepoise)
Mateusz Wlosek (student, MArchD, Oxford Brookes University)
Thomas Linzey (student, BA Architecture, Oxford Brookes University)
Paul Burgess (theatre designer)
Andreas Skourtis (architect and scenographer)
Robin Soutar (performance designer)
Paul Dean (founder, Drinkall Dean)
Dovile Vaitekunaite (UK sales manager, BD Barcelona Design)
David Beirne (co-founder, Bright Potato)
Diego Martinez Pereira (co-founder, Bright Potato)
Matt Lindsay (communications assistant, RS Developments)
John McCart (principal, John McCart Architect)
Tim Ames (designer, Mister Ames)
Emma O'Kelly (journalist)
Pernilla Ohrstedt (designer and director, Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio)
Aditi Chheda (student, Oxford Brookes University)
Nicky Ryan (dean of design, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London)
Sam Fisher (content manager, Decorex International)
Holger Jacobs (founder, Mind Design)
Francesc Serra Vila (architect and scenographer)
Jonathan Woodham (professor of design history and associate head, School of Architecture and Design, University of Brighton)
Ysabel Kaye (freelance stylist and designer)