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Protecting your idea - we talk IP with the Founder of Creative Barcode, Maxine Horn

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by Startacus Admin

Making Intellectual Property sexy! Startacus chats with Maxine Horn, Founder of Creative Barcode, a digital IP App...Maxine Horn

Intellectual Property may not be an easy subject to understand initially but it's one that you really ought to spend some time learning about. After all, Intellectual Property (IP) can make or break what you can do with that big idea that you have or thought that you owned! With this in mind we chatted with Maxine Horn Founder of Creative Barcode, a digital Intellectual Property App that offers a non complex framework to support collaboration and innovation whilst giving the idea maker the security that their idea remains just that - their idea.

Maxine thank you for chatting with Startacus. We know about Creative Barcode, but tell all our readers what is Creative Barcode and why should it matter to them?

Creative Barcode is a digital Intellectual Property (IP) App which enables any user of it to not only attribute their work but to protect it and safely share concepts with third parties. The App is predominantly used by Creators, entrepreneurs, micro & start-up businesses, designers, writers, software & games developers etc. In a nutshell users whether individuals or businesses launch the App and their create unique QR code identifiers (call them time-stamps if you like) which become embedded with the owners contact details and IP status. It’s all very fast and easy to do. The very visible identifiers are then applied to any concept document, correspondence, proposal, visual etc to attribute the work to the owner, protect the core idea and when using the file transfer system to safely disclose concepts to third parties. The disclosure system is under-pinned by a Trust Charter where recipients of files accept its terms before download can commence. I believe trust matters to everyone.

No-one likes their thing being stolen whether it’s their physical property such as their phone or their intellectual property such as their ideas. What Creative Barcode has essentially done is to put a non-complex legal framework around trust, eliminated the need for complex non-disclosure agreements and instead opened up innovation and collaboration opportunity by making conversations with others safe and trusted.

What would you say is the most common problem that exists in someone trying to protect thier business idea?Intellectual Property

No business, product, service or process was ever brought to market without the core skills and collaboration of several expert parties. Therefore the most common problem that exists when seeking to collaborate and gain market feedback, an investor, or a business partner is to share in confidence without offending anyone, such as by pulling out a fat legal agreement or lawyers details before you can even have a safe conversation .

People feel vulnerable when disclosing their ideas to strangers or even people they know. There is always the worry that their idea will he used without their permission and perhaps commercialised by a person/company it was disclosed to in good faith. Creators and entrepreneurs can confirm the trust of another party in an easy, fair, fast and visible way. The Trust Charter effectively contains just two undertakings. The first is given by the owner of the works to the recipient party and that is to legally confirm that what is to be disclosed has been created by them and is theirs to disclose. In reverse, the recipient party legally confirms that the works disclosed to them will not be used in any manner whatsoever without the Creators/Owners consent. At early stage that is all that is needed for both parties to have a safe discussion. The terms of the Trust Charter have never been breached. Creative barcode has users in more than 26 Countries and has therefore proven its workability internationally.

And in terms of collaborating with others - what are the basics that someone can do to protect themselves?

There are a variety of things such as writing your own agreement which all parties sign or setting up a non-disclosure agreement or engaging lawyers to draft agreements. Having a third party involved in the disclosure can also be a safe-guard such as using the Creative Barcode system. A strong benefit of Creative Barcode is that the code and ownership panel remains visible on all documents and visuals and therefore all collaborators remain aware of the owner identification & usage terms throughout all iterations. This is particularly important when new comers join the project. It also enables other collaborators to use the same identification &usage terms in order to value all contributions to a project and agree final deals based on known and identified contributions. You’d be surprised how quickly people forget the origin of contributions to a project or over-value their own contributions when success looms.

Intellectual PropertyPeople may not realise at the outset how important that is. However many people have learned harsh lessons when success looms and people want their share of the income. Or even when there is a lack of income and commercialisation takes longer than people envisaged or changes are required Original collaborators can become less willing to continue their input without payment. Therefore without clear IP terms at the outset it can cause problems when seeking new investors on any terms. The lack of clear ownership can sink an otherwise great idea and end up causing relationship breakdowns. We would also advise that a partners Service Level Agreement is drawn up. That agreement should detail what is expected of partners, delivery time frames and what the course of action is if problems arise.

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Published on: 7th February 2013

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