15 June 2011

AHHHA USA signs partnership with Creative Barcode the world’s first open-protection system

Just 3 months into their launch, AHHHA – a social ideation platform designed to leverage ideas into tangible profits, has partnered up with UK based and recently USA launched open-protection system Creative Barcode, designed to uphold the value of creativity in the open innovation process.

USA corporates such as Procter & Gamble and General Electric lead the field in open innovation - a term first coined by innovation guru Henry Cheesborough who recognised that corporate R & D remaining closed to external innovation was a missed opportunity.

However, with an estimated 75% of all internal or external innovation not being subject to patent protection, the creative industries participation in open innovation has become far too vulnerable to potential exploitation. 

For good reason the Intellectual Property system does not protect ‘ideas’ alone but neither does it differentiate between notional unarticulated ideas of little value and the fully articulated knowledge-based ideas of the creative industries and academic sectors.

In open innovation, crowd sourcing began as a new form of customer feedback made possible by the internet, social networking portals and dedicated idea sourcing portals. The expansion of crowd sourcing into the creative and academic communities opens up opportunities for corporates and professional creative communities but arguably raises significant issues regards exploitation and remuneration models in industries traditionally engaged on a fee for services basis.

AHHHA’s mission is to strike a happy medium between crowdsourcing from the masses and the articulated ideas of professional creative industries. Professional submissions that meet a high standard and can be valued will be awarded Creative Barcode status before entering into the Open Innovation filters of corporate clients drawn from the USA Fortune 1000 companies.

It is recognised that safe disclosure provided by AHHHA’s integration of the Creative Barcode system, at the early and non-patent applicable stage of innovation is a crucial to creative industries, academics, and brand owners.

Creative Barcode enables AHHHA users to generate a digital barcode to determine date of creation, creation source, ownership and permission based usage only. It is under-pinned by a Trust Charter agreed between the Originator and any third party before disclosure. The Trust Charter agreement protects both parties. The Originator indemnifies the corporate by way of the barcoded concepts being their original works and on that basis the corporate agrees not to disclose or utilise any of the disclosed concepts without the Originators permission. Importantly such a system protects corporates from any later challenge arising as the barcode identifies original source. The Creative Barcode system in that regard works equally well for corporates own internal and employee generated concepts. If they are barcoded their original creation date and source is identified.

It is accepted that ideas can at times be very similar however the manner by which they are articulated and developed when and with whom is what determines first to market value and market success. Both creative and academic sectors are largely made up of individuals and micro-sized businesses that are not in a position to commercialise new propositions without the financial and operational infrastructure of the corporate brands.

Maxine Horn, CEO Creative Barcode says “The ethical debate has been growing louder in recent years over the stance taken by some corporate firms  and investors that no ideas have any value until they are commercialised and thereby only the commercialisation parties should reap all commercial benefits whilst originators receive at best a bit of PR acclaim. 

If the Originators contribution was merely an unarticulated notional idea then PR might be reward enough. If the professional Originators contribution was spotting a new market opportunity and developing a holistic articulated blueprint then reward must be more equitable. If it is not there is no incentive for professional Originators to participate in the open innovation activities of corporate firms”.

AHHHA will implement Creative Barcode to ensure the corporate innovation pipelines of the Fortune 1000 companies attract a high quality level of professionally articulated concepts under Creative Barcode and AHHHA terms of engagement and privacy.

AHHHA aims to utilize open-protection to draw an acknowledged distinction between the values of professional creativity in the innovation process separated from notional ideas of the crowd.

In doing so the aim is to increase open innovation activity between creative industries, academics and corporates and establish equitable and ethical best practice trading standards worldwide.

AHHHA achieved over 7,000 registrations in its first month of trading and is on target to achieve 50,000 registered users within 6 months. Only professional participants will be offered Creative Barcode membership and only those members will formerly be introduced into the higher level value chain.

By way of credits which can be later cashed in or used to purchase product, all other registrants and notional idea submissions will have an opportunity to benefit if any solid idea is commercialised through AHHHA including identified participants who add value to another party’s idea. 

Matt Crowe, CEO, AHHHA says “our model is first to provide a micro remuneration share to those who contribute identifiable value and to support higher remuneration shares to professional articulated propositions that are commercialised”.

AHHHA feels by providing users with the advantage of Creative Barcode, it can reduce vulnerability of concept exposure and draw a distinction between professional creativity value in the innovation process and notional ideas of little or no value.


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.

For further information contact

Maxine Horn, CEO,

Creative Barcode




About AHHHA, Inc.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, AHHHA is a new company driving social ideation, which enables people to stake claim in their ideas and tap into the wisdom of the crowd to drive continuous collaboration around their ideas. AHHHA’s social ideation platform then moves the best ideas forward to bring those to life.  AHHHA has collapsed the highly fragmented process required to turn an idea from concept into a real-world product, service or company.  Its social ideation engine manages the entire lifecycle while the idea-originator expends minimal effort and risk.  For more information about AHHHA, please visit: www.ahhha.com.



Maxine Horn/Matt Crowe
Creative Barcode/Ahhha

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