Design or Die – know your IPR

27 February 2017
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Design or Die know your IPRDesign or Die is a collaborative program to help educate and provide new skill sets for Finnish designers and design students.

Design education providers must be able to respond to the shifting needs of the job market and wider society. The immaterial value generated by design is increasingly important as material values decline, and it is important that designers have the skills that reflect this development.

Design or Die, the latest project by the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo, sets out to achieve exactly that. The idea is to provide designers with the skills to manage and make the most of their own intellectual property assets. Intellectual property rights (IPR) are rights held over immaterial assets, including works such as artworks, design rights, trademarks, patents and trade names.

Ornamo has teamed up with Aalto University, Lahti University of Applied Sciences and the University of Lapland, Finland’s leading design education providers, to deliver this European Social Fund-backed project.

As part of the project, Ornamo’s Legal Advisor Iiris Adenius will be running a program of educational seminars and courses aimed at both students and lecturers. Legal counselling and online resources on IPR will also be provided as part of the project.

Promoting IPR awareness and skills within Finland’s higher education institutions is crucial.

“It is important to ensure that teaching about IPR issues is not just limited to dedicated courses on this topic. Students should be encouraged to consider the implications and the potential of IPR in everything that they do, including any projects they undertake,” Adenius explains.

Iiris Adenius has an excellent insight into the level of IPR awareness within the sector. She provides legal advice to Ornamo members twice a week. Last year, a total of 320 members benefitted from this service. Licensing agreements are one of the most common topics she is asked about.

“We know that designers would like more support in situations where, for example, a business wants to market their product as part of their own collection. We receive a lot of enquiries about standard contractual issues,” Adenius reveals.

Designers, she says, should set their sights considerably higher, however. The aim of the Design or Die project is to help students and established professionals to develop the skills they need to draw up their own IPR strategy and put it to use in their own work.

“An IPR strategy is a clear competitive advantage. Immaterial assets will generate more income during their life cycle if they are given proper protection,” Adenius points out.

Know more about IPR:


Contact BEDA  Koloniënstraat 56, 1000 Brussels (Belgium) t. (+32) 2 217 39 77  f. (+32) 2 217 99 72
CoFunded CEPEU

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