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January 25, 2008

Bic Pen Cutlery — Episode 3: Are James Rennick and Simon Kingston the Original Designers?


Just in from Rafael Morgan, this link to the photo above.

Investigation by my crack research team reveals the implements' creators to be young Irish industrial designers James Rennick and Simon Kingston.

Further sleuthing found a January 23, 2008 comment by Kingston on treehugger's January 21, 2008 post about an Italian team's Din-ink (below) —


designboom's "dining in 2015" 2008 awardee, one of three winning entries chosen from 4,843 submissions; Kingston's comment follows.

    dining in 2015: Din-ink

    Looks a little too familiar to a project a friend and I worked on nearly 2 years ago if ya ask me... see for yourselves here and here.

    Coincidence?? I can't help but be a little suspicious.


I just emailed Rennick and quickly received a response; our exchange follows.

    What year did you design the Bic Biro cutlery pictured on your coroflot page?


    I did them over a year ago and they have been knocking around on the internet for about the same time. My portfolio has been linked to many blogs during that time. I find it very fishy since from the whole angle they have on their design when googled ( for example, during the research stage) one would quickly come across links to my portfolio with the miele project (below).


    I contacted designboom but nothing can really be done about this and my boss agreed also. I am pretty pissed but I shall get over it. A learning curve I guess.


    James Rennick


"... nothing can really be done about this..." — I'm not so sure.

Seems to me there's at least a possibility the Italian team may have copied the Irish team's design without attribution, put their names on it and entered (and won) under false pretenses.

At the very least, should Rennick's and Kingston's creations be documented as having been produced in 2006 (as both men state above) — and even if the Italians deny ever having known of their work prior to their own submission — at least passing acknowledgment of them by designboom is in order.

Should designboom look into whether the Irish design preceded that of the awardees — and give Rennick and Kingston a share of the prize?

True, they didn't enter the competition, but their concept may have — under a false flag.

You tell me what's right.

Better yet, tell designboom — mail@designboom.com

January 25, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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Well, for your reference another prize winner had the same idea.

To summarize:

2006: "Bic Pen Cutlery", James Rennick and Simon Kingston

URL: http://www.bookofjoe.com/2008/01/bic-dining-ep-1.html

2007: Jaspal Marwah y Sarah Hunt in the competition "Dead Pen Challenge"

URL: http://readymademag.com/feature_31_macgyver.php

2007: "Bic-Nick", Pierre Haulot

URL: http://www.trendsnow.net/trends_now_/2007/03/pierre_haulot.html

2008: "Din Ink", Andrea Cingoli, Paolo Emilio Bellisario, Cristian Cellini e Francesca Fontana.

URL: http://www.designboom.com/contest/view.php?contest_pk=21&item_pk=19812&p=1

Posted by: Bruno | Feb 9, 2008 11:37:48 AM

Well, if you patented it you can sue a French designer too :-)

"Bic-Nick" by Pierre Haulot seems to have been invented on 2007.


Posted by: Bruno | Feb 9, 2008 11:15:21 AM

Yeah, I would think something could be done if designboom felt like looking into it. At least this blog entry adds to the chances that this information will turn up when someone goes looking for the item.

Posted by: Carol | Jan 25, 2008 8:47:18 PM

Well, the Irish Designers can prove they they have designed it in 2006, by collecting any publication like Blogs and Magazines articles. All these articles come with the publication date attached.
It´s copyright infringement, periode.
It´s now a matter of Design Boom´s ethics.

Posted by: Rafael Morgan | Jan 25, 2008 2:50:10 PM

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