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Legal matters

Knowing what the law has to say on design and technology-related issues can be very important. Having a good idea is only the start of a successful design or business venture. Companies need to be certain that no rival will pirate the result of their investment; designers want to ensure they're not ripped off with a token fee; consumers trust that a product will maintain the quality they expect from a well-known name. The complex questions of intellectual property are often taken for granted rather than made explicit in teaching.

Think Kit from Educational Communications is a very clear guide to the four related but separate issues of trademarks, copyright, designs and patents.

Using well-chosen case studies, it helps pupils aged 14 and over to draw the distinctions and apply their findings across other fields.

The Pop Idol series becomes a focus for thinking about the format of TV shows, and for discussing how every element - from theme tune to running order - can make a programme more of a hit than its imitations.

The Virgin logo is used to explore how a shade of red and a set of scrawled letters can make us connect aeroplanes and trains with mobile phones and CDs.

The technology of Adidas sports shoes and the association of Audi cars with other "lifestyle" products add an international and legal dimension to the range of study.

Finally, students are invited to win prizes by submitting ideas for a new drink in a self-chilling can.

The pack offers young entrepreneurs of the future useful information and plenty of challenges.

To order Think Kit, contact Educational Communications Tel: 020 7401 4070 Email: requests@edcoms.co.uk www.patent.gov.uk

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