<em>Edit Event</em> Protecting design: what exactly is “artistic craftsmanship”? A debate hosted by Simmons &amp; Simmons

Protecting design: what exactly is “artistic craftsmanship”? A debate hosted by Simmons & Simmons

Wednesday 9 May
Panel Discussion, 18:30-20:00
Drinks and Canapés, 20:00-21:00
Simmons & Simmons
1 Ropemaker Street

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020 7628 2020

The law now grants increased protection to works of “artistic craftsmanship”. But what are they? Join international law firm Simmons & Simmons and a panel of designers, curators and commentators to help shape the future of product design law.

In 2017, changes to UK copyright law gave designers of works of ‘artistic craftsmanship’ the same enhanced copyright protections afforded to visual artists, musicians and writers. The changes were hailed by many as the end of the UK’s lax approach to cheap unlicensed replicas of iconic mid-century furniture designs and other products. However, has ongoing uncertainty around exactly what counts as ‘artistic craftsmanship’ prevented the changes from having a real impact?

This discussion, hosted by international law firm and design law experts Simmons & Simmons, brings together a multi-disciplinary panel of experts to address this question from a number of viewpoints. Join us in attempting to see through traditional labels, categories and hierarchies to get to the essence of what it means to put artistic objects into the world today and to try to decipher what exactly we should consider to be ‘artistic craftsmanship’.

The panel will be composed of: 

Michael Bloch QC - Michael Bloch QC is a leading intellectual property barrister and Queen’s Counsel who has appeared in a host of substantial copyright and design right cases, including Lucasfilm Ltd v Ainsworth, the Star Wars stormtrooper helmet case.

Simon Joy - Simon Joy played a significant role in the successful lobbying effort for the repeal of section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 when he was UK Managing Director of the Poltrona Frau/Cassina Group until 2016.

Tom Raffield - Tom Raffield is an artist and designer maker who works with wood using the method of steam bending. He has created a furniture and lighting range by steam bending a variety of woods, chiefly temperate hardwoods including ash, oak and walnut.

Dr Catharine Rossi - Dr Catharine Rossi is a design historian based at Kingston School of Art. Her research interests include post-war Italian design and the relationship between craft and design past and present, and she recently co-curated Night Fever: Designing Club Culture 1960 - Today which opened at Vitra Design Museum in March 2018.

Makers & Partners involved

Simmons & Simmons