29 February 2016


90% of all industrial & product designs (3D), produced worldwide each year rely upon unregistered design rights. This amounts to an estimated 6,207,171 million new 3D designs that come to market every year.

Unlike automatic © copyright, (Unreg) Design Rights (UDR) are rarely marked or time-stamped acknowledging the designer. Unregistered Design Rights are protected for up to 10 years from date first launched but must be made available for license by year five.

However, with no accurate, irrefutable record of design ownership or launch date, it is notoriously difficult to trade designs or enforce infringement claims.

Search engines also divorce design images from owners web sites and social media platforms returning unattributed designs to internet users with no easy means of identifying, attributing or contacting the designer. Historically this may lead to a significant increase of Orphan Works‘ (designer unknown) and incorrect attribution.

Criminal sanctions were introduced in 2014 for blatant copying of a ‘registered’ design that could result in a jail sentence of up to 10 years. This significantly increases the need for accurate, irrefutable record of the original design, later iterations, design registration date and expiry dates to minimize legal dispute time and costs. Similar benefits could apply to Unregistered Design Rights carrying the same identification, time-stamp and irrefutable record and thereby enhance tradability and support creative and cultural history.


Enter the IP Blockchain 


Creative Barcode and MetaLair are turning attention to Blockchain technology as the means to bring accurate record and attribution to Unregistered Design Rights for commercial, cultural and historic benefit

Currently, Blockchain is the technology enabling and maintaining the public ledger of every bitcoin transaction that has ever taken place. Transaction records are added in blocks and are linked together in a linear chain in chronological order where every block contains a hash of the previous block.

The Blockchain is a de-centralised system of recording transactions between one party and another. Once added to the Blockchain, transactions cannot be tampered with and exist in perpetuity. Amendments recording iterations and any transactions aligned to that iteration enter the block as a new instant. A transaction can include a disclosure to a third party of a given design (whether a concept or a completed live design); contracts, licenses and financial transactions.


Feasibility study and verification report due to conclude to support $7.5 million private fund raise

Following 12 months of early stage research, Creative Barcode appointed Security and Blockchain technology specialists MetaLair to verify and sense check its blueprint against a background of IP laws and design processes.

The feasibility research is supported by Innovate UK under it’s Innovation Voucher scheme and precedes a private $7.5 million fund raise taking place in early 2016.

Creative Barcode’s existing frond-end process and database of existing identified and time-stamped IP design, invention and content records will locked on to the blockchain along with in date Registered Design Records data drawn from recent World intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) registration database. Brand and digital agency Mellor & Smith (formerly Mellor & Scott) are retained to integrate front-end, user database structure with the blockchain back-end.


Appointment of Design and Legal Advisory Board

A Board of up to 20 advisors drawn from private and public sector, industrial designers (in-house corporates and consultancy), Legal Counsel, Universities and IPO’s are committed to support the fund raise and to beta test during implementation phases.

Additionally, several third party platforms heavily engaged with the Creative Community are engaged to adopt the final solution under an integrated API.

Advisory board and third party platform announcements will take place in 2016


Media enquiries and further information requests or expressions of interest to:

Maxine Horn, CEO, Creative Barcode


01273 906067

Twitter @creativebarcode

Johnathan Turrall Bsc MSc, Managing Director, MetaLair


01273 773004

Twitter: @MetaLair | https://twitter.com/MetaLair

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/metalairuk

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+MetalairOrg/


When responding please state your name, organisation and nature of your enquiry or expression of interest. We will endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 48 hours or sooner if of an urgent nature


Post script

Background information on commercial and cultural risks and opportunities can be found by downloading the Creative Industries Report at the end of the press article

Creative Industries Report: Opportunities and Risks






Creative Barcode / MetaLair


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