07 June 2011

Brunel University back pioneering safe-disclosure and IP management system taking the lead on behalf of the HEI sector

The globally acclaimed Brunel University, recognised for cutting edge innovation, is the first University to form a partnership agreement with pioneering start-up Creative Barcode and back the world’s first open-protection model for creative industries, academia and brand owners worldwide.

Stephen Green, Programme Director in Design, Brunel University says “Creative Barcode is a simple solution to a complex intellectual property problem. It is also the beginnings of a new movement worldwide that seeks to over-ride the claim that all ideas are valueless until commercialised. It aims to achieve differentiation between the unarticulated notional ideas of everyman and the solution-driven creative ideas fully articulated by professional creative industries and academia”. 

Creative Barcode is a new software technology that enables users to download the App and create unique digital barcodes in 30 seconds. The barcodes denote date, creation source, ownership and permission based use only. When utilising the file transfer system to send barcoded files to third parties, a Trust Charter agreement is accepted by the recipient before downloading confidential files. Barcodes applied to work displayed at exhibitions and on web sites or disclosed in other forms denote permission based usage only and the scanned barcode provides owners contact details.

Brunel University holds a renowned international showcase event for Engineering and Design on an annual basis, known as Made in Brunel and so were quick to recognise the potential of collaboration with Creative Barcode. This year Made in Brunel will be taking place between June 9th and 12th, 2011, at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH See www.madeinbrunel.com for further details.

Creative Barcode will be offering students who exhibit in this showcase event a membership account for their first year to include their own App, 5 barcodes and an entry into the community directory and are in discussions with the University to introduce this to all students entering Made in Brunel in the 2011/12 academic year.


Barcodes applied to both written proposals and visual imagery denotes the work of the Originator may not be utilised without their permission.

Brunel University staff will be introduced to Creative Barcode membership and a discussion held to consider whether the early stage IP policy ‘no pre-contract proposal or visual concept leaves the building without its barcode’ should be adopted universally at staff and student level.

Adoption at staff level enables the University to monitor how many proposals it generates each year and how many come to fruition.  The same advantage would apply to any University or Creative firm or individual who becomes a member, uses barcodes and benefits from the in-built library of project proposals initiated. Permission based usage terms also enable the University to monitor the commercial impacts of its research work and acts as a potential lead generator and media monitor.

Maxine Horn, CEO, Creative Barcode says, “Brunel University’s’ School of Engineering and Design is internationally recognised. It is fitting that their vast array of technological, sustainable, humanistic and virtual innovation is acknowledged for its tangible value to industry. In that regard, ideas inherent in such work are neither valueless nor free to use, re-use, and remix without the permission, recognition and recompense of the Originator”.  

The traditional IP laws and mechanisms have not kept abreast of the digital age. New business models such as open innovation and crowdsourcing will give rise to greater opportunities but also heightened vulnerability and even inappropriate exploitation of a creative industry sector whose entire economic model is built on remunerated idea generation. 

Public domain in particular is becoming blurred. The ISP access, search engines; social networks and crowd source portals provision of free access to content is becoming confused with what is and is not free to use, re-use and re-mix from others work displayed on their and others web sites for marketing and commercialisation purposes.

The above issue formed the back-bone of the Ministerial level review of the UK Intellectual Property System being headed up by Ian Hargreaves. The 132 page report published May 18, 2011  http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipreview-finalreport.pdf is the result of an intensive 6 month independent review lead by Ian Hargreaves, commissioned by PM David Cameron in November 2010

To achieve critical mass it is essential that Universities, creative industries and journalists put their weight behind Creative Barcode. In doing so they will create the opportunity to put the collective power of their own crowd to good use and steer their ship away from an open-source collision course.   

Creative Barcode is supported and endorsed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).


WIPO provide an intervention and mediation service to any Creative Barcode member whose permission based usage terms have been allegedly breeched. This ensures that creative firms are not faced with the complexities and costs of David and Goliath litigation or weak copyright disputes.

Industry at large benefit from welcoming Creative barcode terms into procurement and creative industries engagement. Any challenge arising from any other party regards the source of a new idea implemented by an industry partner can be swiftly dealt with. The unique barcodes provide proof of creation date, creation source and ownership. 

Brunel University continues to demonstrate its pioneering approach to innovation by stepping up to become the first University to adopt Creative Barcode at both staff and student level.


Editors Notes: About Brunel University

Brunel is a world-class university based in Uxbridge, West London. Now over 40 years old, our mission has always been to combine academic rigour with the practical, entrepreneurial and imaginative approach pioneered by our namesake Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Brunel today

The name of Brunel University has become as well-known and respected in engineering circles as was the name of Isambard Kingdom Brunel a hundred years ago. Both reputations are well deserved, reflecting outstanding technical competence, creativity and commitment which have resulted in important advances in science and knowledge benefiting the lives of countless people. However, today, Brunel University's influence extends far beyond the fields of engineering, science and technology, which were its traditional strengths. A long succession of developments and mergers has brought the University from modest beginnings to a major force on the UK higher education scene.


Stephen Green


Stephen Green
Programme Director - Integrated Product Design / Designplus Leader / Admissions tutor
School of Engineering and Design

T +44(0)1895 266324 Direct



EDITORS NOTES: About Creative Barcode

Creative Barcode® is the world's first 'Open-Protection' system designed to uphold the value of knowledge & creativity in the innovation process. It is simply the best & most affordable safe disclosure and Intellectual Property management system for creative industries and brand owners worldwide. No complex paperwork. Just barcode it and share it.

No pre-contract strategic proposal or visual concept should leave your building without its barcode

Creative Barcode® members are creative, business and academic professionals worldwide. They use our software Application to generate numerically unique digital barcodes to apply to their strategic proposals and creative concepts before disclosing to any third parties.  Creative Barcode® is underpinned by a mutually agreed Trust Charter Agreement. There is no complex paperwork.  Barcode it and Share it.

Creative Barcode® membership upholds the value of creativity, skill, knowledge, experience, time and money invested in written and visual proposals and materials. Barcoded files equally safeguard the Intellectual Property position of the parties receiving and viewing 'response to brief' and other works requested from members.  

Additionally, visual works displaying a barcode, presented on own or others web sites, denote permission-based use only to support members' digital rights management

Creative Barcode international membership is just £30/$47 + VAT per annum. Benefits include:

  • the Creative Barcode software Application
  • 5 barcodes (more can be purchased starting at £4 each)
  • Unlimited use of the file transfer and tracking service
  • Support from the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) if your barcoded files are used without your permission.


Maxine Horn and Stephen Green
Creative Barcode and Brunel University
United Kingdom


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