Protecting design from copycats

Tony Ash, managing director of furniture brand Vitra, says designers need protecting from copycats – but readers aren’t sure that cheap rip-offs are the design industry’s biggest problem.

“Copyists are eating away at the creativity of our industry,” said Ash, who called on the UK to tighten up its intellectual property laws in a column for Dezeen last week. “Why should these designers bother working anymore if their designs aren’t even going to be protected? And if the designers lose their motivation, then where will the firms get their talent from?” he asked.