i+D - November/December 2019 - 24

Business
of Design
Intellectual
Property

Fighting the Good Fight
Battling intellectual property theft from foreign entities is one thing, but when it comes from
within the design industry, it can come as a shock. Just ask Victoria Reitz, principal designer
and owner of Victoria Reitz Interior Design and president-elect of the Los Angeles chapter of
the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
After designing a room in the historic Doheny Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills,
California, for a 2013 showcase, Reitz created and sold two dark-wood chairs featured
in the space. Months later, she discovered a local designer had introduced a line of
furniture that included her chair design. "I just about fell over," she recalls. "That was
my introduction [to intellectual property theft]. It was like being slapped almost."
Rather than getting embroiled in a legal battle, Reitz kept quiet and chalked it up
to experience, and has since exercised more caution in safeguarding her ideas.
Protecting the value of creative work is a challenge photographers know all too well.
For architectural photographer Peter Rymwid, the process starts with charging for his
services accordingly and working with design firms and magazines to get his images
published and paid in royalties, which helps keep him in business. "I think the biggest
consideration for all these photographers is to start to think the same way as I do as
far as talking to the editors and protecting their work right away," he explains.
"If somebody wants to use an image, I tell them, 'You've got to pay for it.'"

John Edelman,
Be Original Americas and
Herman Miller Consumer Group
(Image: Bonnie Edelman Photography)

Without copyright, patent,
or trademark protections, there's
virtually nothing to stop thieves
from stealing designs, inventions,
software, and trade secrets.

Too often, adds Rymwid, images get published
in magazines or on social media without consent,
which cuts into a photographer's profits-a
problem he addresses by working together with
design firms to get published and paid accordingly.
"Photographers should work together with the
designers and the architects to get them published
so that it becomes much easier for people to spend
money on good photography," he says.
On the product design front, organizations like
Be Original Americas are spearheading the effort
to educate designers, specifiers, and the public
about the problem of counterfeits and the value of
supporting original product designs. John Edelman,
president of Be Original Americas and chairman
of the board for Herman Miller Consumer Group,
notes that many consumers and even specifiers
don't realize they are purchasing knockoffs
or understand the impact such a practice has on
creating authentic designs. "Over time, it will
slowly kill the ability to fund original design,"
he reveals. "It's so expensive to do something
correctly and to have a great design."

Where your vision feels right at home.
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The cost of theft compounds the problem.
That's why Be Original Americas is working
directly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection
to prevent counterfeits before they enter the market.
To date, the organization has helped Customs
seize $15.1 million worth of goods intercepted
from 38 shipping containers. (For more on
Be Original Americas, see "One of a Kind,"
i+D, January/February 2018, p. 36.)


http://www.walpoleoutdoors.com

i+D - November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i+D - November/December 2019

Contents
i+D - November/December 2019 - Cover1
i+D - November/December 2019 - Cover2
i+D - November/December 2019 - 3
i+D - November/December 2019 - 4
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i+D - November/December 2019 - 6
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i+D - November/December 2019 - 8
i+D - November/December 2019 - 9
i+D - November/December 2019 - Contents
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i+D - November/December 2019 - 12
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i+D - November/December 2019 - Cover3
i+D - November/December 2019 - Cover4
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