Be Original Americas™ Opens Membership to the Public on 14 March
[ official release ]
Grassroots design advocacy organization Be Original Americas is launching its official membership drive on March 14, 2014. Founded in 2012 to champion original design in the face of a burgeoning global market for counterfeit goods, the group’s charter members include Alessi, Artek, Bernhardt Design, Cassina/Poltrona Frau/Cappellini, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller, Ligne Roset and Vitra.
Companies, individuals, and arts and educational institutions are encouraged to join the movement to inform, educate, and influence the public on the value of original design. Members are invited on three levels: members, affiliates, and individuals. Supporters may submit information via the organization’s web site.
According to the International Chamber of Commerce, 2.5 million jobs have been lost due to the proliferation of fake products in the global marketplace. The projected annual value of counterfeit goods is estimated to reach over $1.7 trillion(1) by 2015—an alarming increase from an estimated $650 billion market value in 2008.
Recent lawsuits have made positive steps in fighting intellectual property violations, setting design-industry standards to stop trademark infringement. This year, Be Original Americas charter member Emeco Industries, Inc. settled a dispute with East End Imports, N.Y. Inc. and Sugar Stores, Inc. for infringement on Emeco’s Navy Chair and Kong Chair lines. Emeco is not alone: Herman Miller and others involved in the Be Original Americas movement independently continue to bring actions to stop trademark infringement, design patent infringement, false advertising, counterfeiting, dilution and unfair competition, refusing to surrender to deliberate exploitation of their brands and the designers they represent.
As its membership grows, Be Original Americas will continue its mission to educate the community about authentic, original design by holding events throughout 2014. Charter members will host lectures, panels and workshops in design and architecture offices, showrooms, stores, and schools across North America. Programming will be announced soon. To host a Be Original Americas talk, seminar, or workshop, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow real-time announcements, news, and information on the movement via Be Original Americas’ digital channels:
Be Original is committed to initiating discussion on the importance and value of preserving original design across North America through informational, educational and influential marketing initiatives and consistent efforts to promote this agenda in various design contexts.
Be Original charter members – including Alessi, Artek, Bernhardt Design, Cassina/Poltrona Frau/Cappellini, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller®, Ligne Roset, and Vitra – believe that the value of authenticity cannot be underestimated or taken for granted in the marketplace. Through an aggressive program of lectures, workshops and roundtables, the movement campaigns to establish a set of industry standards that encourages public and professionals along with our media partners, to fully support creativity and authenticity to invest in the future of design, incentivize innovation and give back to the industry and the people it serves.