Early Action to issue writ in copyright row

Early Action Group chief executive Steve Barratt is to sue an IT client for breach of copyright after alleging that it took his design from an unsuccessful pitch and had it manufactured by another contractor.

Early Action Group chief executive Steve Barratt is to sue an IT client for breach of copyright after alleging that it took his design from an unsuccessful pitch and had it manufactured by another contractor. Barratt declined to name the firm or the exhibition where the stand appeared, but said: “We were working at the show and saw our exact design built in an identical way. We went to great expense to pitch in a professional manner and we are standing against this kind of behaviour” Barratt believes copyright infringements are on the increase with stand design contracts worth between £30,000 and £50,000. “One reason is because the larger client pitches would attract bad publicity if they received accusations of this kind. In the mid-range market, clients think they can get away with it,” he said. Barratt has also reported the contractor to the British Exhibition Contractors Association (BECA) but is taking legal action only against the client. “This type of thing is incredibly difficult to prove in court and all it takes is one point of difference for the case to go against the plaintiff,” said BECA director Lynn Felton. “When we receive complaints of this kind we inform the contractor but we would only take action after the outcome of the case.”

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