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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

You have been involved in innovation in one way or the other for 20 odd years - how innovative is British business compared to the rest of the World?

Official statistics would cite Britain as the origin of 50% of the world’s innovations since the end of the 2nd world war. But whilst we are historically an inventive nation and are highly regarded as a hotbed of creativity, it remains to be seen if UK Plc. can maintain its status against the USA global giants and their and other nations less risk averse investment approach to start-ups. That’s why I’m such a fan of Startacus, its at least one platform that supports and encourages individuals and teams to start-up a business and provides supportive resources to them. Equally the digital age has provided new ways of raising funding such as Crowd Funding. This has enabled creative companies, entrepreneurs, digital and technology firms to attract donations, without conceding equity, to get their businesses of the ground.

So the answer to how innovative is British businesses compared to rest of world will be determined in the future by how much genuine thinking, creativity and effort those starting a business are prepared to make using the platforms and tools available to them. If the internet is just used as a source to find and re-hash ideas it will limit innovation. If it is used as a source of inspiration to support original thinking and confirm originality, it will support innovation.

How did the idea for Creative Barcode first come about and what next for the business?
Intellectual Property

I am a proposition designer myself and ran an organisation for designers and innovators for over 17 years. So I had a deep understanding and first-hand knowledge of the vulnerabilities faced by all type and size of Creator when they sought to disclose their ideas to others in the course of development and deal-making. It also became apparent that certain myths needed to be dispelled such as the myth that ‘ideas’ are protected under unregistered copyright. They are not. Above all my experience backed up by research confirmed that any new IP mechanism designed for individuals, start-ups, creative firms etc had to avoid the complexities of the traditional mechanisms, be visible, easy to use and non-combative. Trust and ethics were core issues desired of creators and therefore these principles were placed at the heart of all development and decision making.

The next task is to seek to make Intellectual Property more palatable and dare I say it, more sexy. We have plans to seek to wrap IP into an Augmented Reality platform that adds layers of information such as interviews, walkthroughs, video’s etc behind images of inanimate objects. The layers will seek to humanise the Creator behind the products, services and businesses whether viewed online or brought to life behind an image in a magazine, on exhibition stands, in art galleries and so forth, using an smart phone or ipad. Not only will all content be visibly protected before going public on or offline but it will enrich the knowledge of the end consumer regards who the Creator of the work/product/service/business is or was.

The Augmented Reality link with IP runs deeper as not only will it humanises the Creator and their innovation journey but it becomes part of the confirmation of the Intellectual Property they have developed and its value to those who want to enjoy it or engage with them.

It’s a big ambition but so was innovating in a staid and complex Intellectual Property sector and challenging the status quo at the outset – and as innovators ourselves we are always up for disruptive and evolutionary challenges for the good.

Thank you Maxine for your answers.

Maxine is happy to offer Startacus members 50% off of the £95 plus vat annual fee for the CB-PRO annual membership that includes 120 credits to create your unique Rights Reserved, Free-Use, Safe-Disclosure and Trust Charter Company barcodes. Plus use of the file transfer system to safely send barcoded documents and visuals to third parties.
Members - email with your profile name and account email address and we will send you on the promo code!

Check out the Legal section of the Startacus toolkit for handy Legal tips, articles and links. 

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Published on: 7th February 2013

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