Blockchain Technology and IP Aspects

Blockchain technology is an internet of digital assets, for simple, secure and timeless transaction. Providing with a peer-to-peer network, blockchain technology is viewed as “the future for financial services infrastructure”. It was originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, and ether; however, the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology. Expert says- “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”Pseudonymous developer(s) Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin, offering a currency of only 31,000 lines of code and an announcement on the Internet. 

Bitcoin and Ether both are crypto-currencies, but the Bitcoin blockchain and ether block chain are way different from each other. Bitcoin serves purely as a digital currency while Ethereum blockchain is in general an implementation of blockchain technology. Though more advanced calculating features are embedded in Ethereum blockchain, complexity makes the platform more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than Bitcoin.

Like fiat currency (paper money) and gold before, Bitcoin and ether allows people to exchange value, on the contrary these are digital and decentralized unlike the fiat currency and gold. Block chain facilitates people to exchange value without intermediaries which translates to greater control of funds and lower fees.

More often, people inadvertently uses “Bitcoin” to mean block chain. They are related but not the same. Bitcoin is the digital currency used for making transactions with cryptocurrency. Transactions using Bitcoins are stored and transferred using a distributed ledger on an open, public, and anonymous peer-to-peer network. Blockchain is the under gird technology that maintains the Bitcoin transaction ledger.

Further, the blockchain technology is revolutionizing industries as varied as finance, fashion, government and health care, among others. The Digital Asset Research Lab has been funded as part of a three-year partnership with Imperial’s Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering (IC3RE). Its purpose will be to operate as the leading international centre for ongoing research and application related to cryptocurrency and block chain technology.

The Blockchain Wallet API provides a simple interface to the merchants, so that they can use to programmatically interact with their wallet.

Anything recorded on a blockchain cannot be altered, and for each asset there are records. So, in a business network where participants might not be able to trust each other,they can trust the blockchain. The benefits of blockchain for business are numerous, including reduced time (for finding information, settling disputes and verifying transactions), decreased costs (for overhead and intermediaries) and alleviated risk (of collusion, tampering and fraud).

Today, it is the top agenda of major multinational companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon and IBM, as well as all leading fintech firms. Blockchain technology has manifested its potential to reshape the financial world, with as wide as a revolution that experienced when the internet came to be. It is therefore a good reason that the fintech industry and governments are keenly looking for the bandwagon to capitalise on the technology and pioneer its potential through IP protection.

As far as Intellectual Property is concerned, these thousand lines of codes need to be protected for monetisation. The controversy here is, they must overcome the hurdles presented in a 2014 US Supreme Court decision: Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014).The Supreme Court unanimously held that claims related to a computer-implemented technique of mitigating “settlement risk” in financial transactions were patent ineligible. Further, the Court has clarified the “abstract idea” subject matter cannot be prosecuted to grant a patent. The software patents can be patent eligible only when applied to a computer. In contrast, a patent application that improves the technological functioning or process of a computer system could be eligible for patentable subject matter.

However, lot of applicants from financial service industry are trying to protect their blockchain inventions under IP protection and claiming a subject matter to get monopoly to commercialize and the filing numbers are dramatically increasing each year.Especially the key concepts such as Blockchain database, Blockchain transaction, security and authentication, Block chain smart IP contracts are the emerging technologies where the widespread filing of patents is happening.

Einfolge has been a pioneer IPR player in blockchain field. Einfolge provide end-to-end solutions including prior art researches, drafting the patent applications, Examination Responses and thus helps many Blockchain Companies including Start-ups to protect their IPR assets.


Written by:

Our Proud Einfolger:  Mrs. Rajeswari Panda