24 September 2011

Creative Barcode launches new micro barcode for commercialised creative works and extends its reach into the public domain worldwide

To mark its first year anniversary (Sept 2011) and to complement its digital barcode system for hallmarking and protecting pre-commercialised concepts, Creative Barcode has upgraded its App and introduced a micro barcode for application to completed works displayed in the public domain.



Fig 1. For use on ‘pre-commercialised concepts’ sent to a known recipient through the file transfer system where the Trust Charter is accepted before download of files is permissable.


Fig 2. For use on completed works displayed in the public domain for marketing purposes online, on exhibition panels and marketing materials. Scan of barcode leads to Creators contact details 


Each Barcode is unique. They are produced by the member using the intuitive App (barcode generator) which digitally encodes each one with Creators details and Trust Charter agreement. Barcodes (Fig 1) are applied to proposals, visual concepts and correspondence associated to the project before being disclosed to a third party recipient via a file transfer system where the Trust Charter is accepted before download of file is permissible.  

Barcode 1 (fig 1) is used to confirm concept authentication and to protect concepts and all parties’ interests during one to one negotiations with industry and potential co-creation partners.  It enables tracking of the concept journey from creation point to final commercialisation.  As such it accrues an IP development value for investment purposes and a validation evidence base should that become necessary.

Micro Barcodes (Fig 2) are digitally encoded with Creator contact details. They are applied to exhibited works, printed materials, enewsletters displaying works, web sites and individual images.

When scanned the micro barcode leads directly to the members contact details displayed in the community directory. It enables interested parties to ask permission to use particular works, or to purchase existing works or commission new works. It enables members web portfolio’s to be viewed online by phone, ipad or laptop and to instantly integrate with social media networks.  

Unlike barcodes produced purely for marketing purposes which generally just contain web links Creative Barcode members equally promote the authenticity of works, ownership, and permission based usage and uphold the value of creativity.

The introduction of the micro barcode gives members the best of both worlds.


This development comes at an important time coinciding with the implementation of the Hargreaves IP Review recommendations and a call for ‘evidence’ from the design community regards the effectiveness of registered and unregistered design rights. www.ipo.gov.uk/hargreaves.htm

A short survey has been set up https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/cfedesigns to enable designers and firms to provide the IPO and Ministers with a clear idea of the issues effecting businesses with regards to their registration of design rights.

On 21st September IP Minister Lady Wilcox gave a key note speech at an IPO event hosted by the Design Council she said “Design is important to the UK economy, with an estimated £33 billion or 2.4% of the UK’s GDP being invested in design in 2008”. “But there are questions about the extent to which the design industry – ranging from clothing through to industrial design – is properly supported by the intellectual property framework”. The designs right system may not be adequately geared to the needs of business, and there is a gap in the evidence on how such rights impact on particular sectors. “To enable us to understand the economic benefit design provides to the UK economy, and how to provide an IP system in the UK which meets the requirements of individual designers and industry, I would like as many designers as possible to complete the ‘call for evidence’”


Dids Macdonald, CEO of ACID, a panellist at the event said, “This is a very encouraging start but it will only be effective if the whole design sector is prepared to contribute, with real evidence and case studies to highlight some of the challenges facing design through IP infringement and Government listens and acts.  This is a huge opportunity for designers to speak out about their IP issues!”

Creative Barcode CEO Maxine Horn present at the event supports the Ministers call for evidence. “I would like to see a robust but far less complex system for design rights registration and protection.” “The current complexities present layer upon layer of ambiguous definitions within national, European, Hague and the International systems. This is not helpful to businesses, in particular the UK design sector which comprises over 11,000 micro sized firms and over 250,000 freelancers, short on time and money. A less complex system must equally be matched with a more cost efficient means to enforce design rights. One without the other would be like a bicycle without pedals”.       

The Creative Barcode system was developed with these key issues in mind. It is time and cost efficient and straight forward to enforce should any breach occur. In the 12 months since its launch in September 2010 not a single breach has occurred.

This is likely to be due to the non-complex terms of use which leave no room for ambiguity for any party involved in disclosures. Further, the system promotes a mutually beneficial exchange and enables a wholly positive approach to open-protection and provides a safe negotiating environment.

Should any breach occur, the intervention of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is instigated and favours mediation, to a fixed cost, over litigation.  

The role of design within the innovation process is critical and upholding the value of creativity will lead to better products and services of benefit to businesses and consumers worldwide. It is thereby in the interests of all parties to ensure the creative community is fully engaged and is not de-motivated by fear of misappropriation.


Creative Barcode

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