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Blockchain And Ip Law

What Ip Attys Need To Know About Blockchain

What Ip Attys Need To Know About Blockchain

What IP Attys Need To Know About Blockchain Law360 (February 28, 2018, 9:33 PM EST) -- Financial companies are leading the rush to file patents for tools and products based on blockchain, the ledger technology underlying bitcoin, and a wave of litigation could be on the horizon. Here is what intellectual property attorneys need to know about the patent landscape for the increasingly popular tech. Blockchain was introduced in 2008, when bitcoins creator, an anonymous figure known by the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, published a paper describing his invention. Generally, the technology is used to create public ledgers of transactions and distribute them in a decentralized manner to several computers. The benefits of this ledger technology such as an immutable record, reliable time stamps and distributed control over the ledger extend to applications well beyond cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, experts said. It is being adapted across a myriad of industries, including real estate, health care and insurance. Much like the dot-com boom where everything moved online, the blockchain boom is trying to move everything into a blockchain, or at least adopt certain pieces of blockchain technology where it makes sense, Ted Mlynar of Hogan Lovells said. Patent filings have grown at an exponential rate as companies look to protect improvements on blockchain. A recent analysis from Rimon PC showed there were over 740 blockchain patent publications worldwide in September, a 300 percent increase from January 2016. Experts dont expect that type of growth to slow down any time soon. I have every reason to believe this will be sustained for several years and that well be looking at thousands of patents in a couple years, said Marc Kaufman, an attorney at Rimon. He and others said a good deal of re Continue reading >>

The Patentability Of Blockchain Technology And The Future Of Innovation

The Patentability Of Blockchain Technology And The Future Of Innovation

The Patentability of Blockchain Technology and the Future of Innovation Inayat Chaudhry is currently a law student at UC Berkeley School of Law, focusing on technology law. She went back to school to get her Masters in Law after receiving her JD and working in San Francisco for a year on intellectual property, technology, and privacy law issues. Download a printable PDF of this article (log in for access). Over the past few years, the number of patent applications filed for blockchain technology has been on the rise in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. If one does a quick search of the term blockchain technology on the US Patent and Trademark Offices database, it brings up 16 patent applications. 1 And, the search term blockchain brings up 60 patent applications. 2 The same search term, i.e., blockchain, on the UK Intellectual Property Offices website brings up 54 patent applications and on the Canadian Intellectual Property Offices website brings up 15 patent applications. 3 Firms like R3CEV and Chain have said that they will make their blockchain software code open to the public. 4 This article looks at two main issues: (1)whether blockchain technology is patentable in the United States, along with a brief discussion of whether it is patentable in the United Kingdom and Canada; and (2)the potential effect that allowing blockchain patents may have on innovation, collaboration, and interoperability. In November 2008, Bitcoins creator, known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, published a paper via the Cryptography Mailing List titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. 5 In it, he describes blockchain as [a] purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [that] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to Continue reading >>

Unlocking The Blockchain: Using Intellectual Property Rights To Protect Distributed Ledger Technology - Chapter 3

Unlocking The Blockchain: Using Intellectual Property Rights To Protect Distributed Ledger Technology - Chapter 3

Unlocking the blockchain: Using intellectual property rights to protect distributed ledger technology - Chapter 3 | Global law firm | Norton Rose Fulbright Unlocking the blockchain: Using intellectual property rights to protect distributed ledger technology - Chapter 3 Our global blockchain team has published a global legal and regulatory guide titled Unlocking the blockchain. Interest in blockchain technologies has grown dramatically over the last twelve months. This has triggered growth in investment in businesses operating in this area and marked engagement from all industry sectors (and financial institutions in particular) in blockchain technologies and their disruptive potential. Such engagement has led to the development of increasingly sophisticated proof-of-concept use cases and notable live deployments. In view of these developments, we have produced a new global legal and regulatory guide to blockchain technologies in which we explore the regulatory considerations and a range of other legal issues that should be taken into account with any proposed deployment. The guide will be published in a series of chapters, with the first one covering an introduction to blockchain technologies that we invite you to read. Chapter 3: Using intellectual property rights to protect distributed ledger technology A significant amount of attention is being paid to the disruptive potential of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and many businesses are making huge investments in DLT-enabled products and/or services. Whilst a significant amount of time is now being spent by businesses on analyzing the various legal and regulatory issues impacting upon the DLT space, many businesses have not yet considered strategies as to whether to (and how to): Protect their investment in the te Continue reading >>

Insights | How Can Blockchain Technology Influence Ip Law?

Insights | How Can Blockchain Technology Influence Ip Law?

Insights | How can blockchain technology influence IP law? The potential for blockchain technologies in developing trustworthy, efficient and cheap registries is huge! says Justin Spratt, Ubers Head of Business for Sub-Saharan Africa. Spratt used the examples of Everledger , which uses the blockchain to protect luxury goods (primarily diamonds) and CoinSpark which acts a blockchain for notarial services and at IPLive we are curious to see the effect that blockchain technology may have on IP law. The Economist describes the blockchain as: The blockchain is a shared, trusted, public ledger that everyone can inspect, but which no single user controls. The participants in a blockchain system collectively keep the ledger up to date: it can be amended only according to strict rules and by general agreement. If you look at this definition of the blockchain it has the following qualities: a collective commitment to keeping the ledger up to date; amended only according to strict rules and general agreement; and We can all agree that these are requirements for the kind of IP Registries that we would like to see. IP Registries that are open, decentralised with integrity at every step. The potential for blockchain technology is not merely for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Blockchain technology provides a means to create cheap, tamper-proof public databases for a variety of purposes. How could this work? According to the Economist: A group of vetted participants within an industry might instead agree to join a private blockchain, say, that needs less security. Blockchains can also implement business rules, such as transactions that take place only if two or more parties endorse them, or if another transaction has been completed first. IP Registries worldwide largely depend on t Continue reading >>

Navigating The Uncharted Waters Of The Blockchain: Ip Law Bulletin

Navigating The Uncharted Waters Of The Blockchain: Ip Law Bulletin

Navigating the Uncharted Waters of the Blockchain Posted in Patents , Rules and Regulations Akin to the hype that surrounded the Internet during its early years in the 1990s, blockchain technologies and their associated cryptocurrencies have dominated the news cycle recently. Cryptocurrencies are a form of digital currency that use cryptography to enable financial transfers between two parties without an intermediary. By touting a new technology that could reshape the way transactions are performed, cryptocurrencies grew exponentially, attracting investors searching for the next big thing. The demand for cryptocurrencies has reached such a fever pitch in the past two years that cryptocurrency trading platforms have struggled to keep up with the demand for new accounts and trading services . Driven by media coverage of extravagant returns for investors in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, among others, some of which have exhibited 100,000 percent or more annual growth in the last year alone , the cryptocurrency market, and the blockchain technologies by association, have received a tremendous amount of exposure for an industry that is still in its infancy. While the prevalence of the Internet and social media have greatly contributed to the explosive growth and popularity of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, such growth so early in the lifecycle of a fledgling technology can have negative consequences, such as significantly impairing development despite an overwhelming number of new adopters entering the space daily. In this article, we will explore patent considerations in regards to cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology. Companies that have invested into blockchain-related technologies should research the present Continue reading >>

Why Blockchain Challenges Conventional Thinking About Intellectual Property

Why Blockchain Challenges Conventional Thinking About Intellectual Property

Why blockchain challenges conventional thinking about intellectual property Blockchain technology has turned conventional thinking about intellectual property and copyright on its head. from www.shutterstock.com, CC BY-ND Why blockchain challenges conventional thinking about intellectual property Associate Professor in Commericial Law , University of Auckland Alexandra Sims receives funding from the New Zealand Law Foundation. She is a member of the Asian Pacific Copyright Association and the Blockchain Association of New Zealand. Cryptocurrencies are getting a lot of attention, but finance is only one of many applications of the blockchain technology behind it. Blockchain technology is poised to revolutionise almost everything from supply chains (including illegal fishing and human rights abuses), insurance and health . It is flourishing in an open-source environment, which raises the question whether our current intellectual property laws are fit for purpose to foster innovation. Read more: Demystifying the blockchain: a basic user guide Intellectual property laws incentive theory Intellectual property laws, such as patents and copyright, are premised on the incentive theory . To incentivise people to create, they are given, in effect, a monopoly (with some exceptions) on their creations and can go to court and stop others from free-riding on their work. The digital world has made the tension between innovators and free riders even more acute. In the pre-digital era, copying a book incurred considerable costs for the copier. Now, given that digital files can be copied indefinitely for near zero cost, one could argue that we need even stronger IP laws to prevent rampant and unfair copying. But theory does not always match reality. History is littered with examples of Continue reading >>

How Blockchain Technology Can Be Used To Protect Intellectual Property

How Blockchain Technology Can Be Used To Protect Intellectual Property

How blockchain technology can be used to protect intellectual property If you write, design or create any media that is protected by Intellectual Property (IP) law, youre probably aware of how easy it is for your content to be stolen online. And if chasing down thieves isnt hard enough, enforcing your legal rights as the owner of the content depends on demonstrating that you are the owner. While copyright law protects your work, until now there hasnt been a definitive registration system to prove ownership. But luckily, this is changing with blockchain. Blockchain is the system that makes Bitcoin work. But more importantly, it is giving creative people effective ways to protect their IP rights like never before. Intellectual property in the age of online Intellectual work is just as hard as physical work. By Daria V. When you create just about anythingbe it a song that is recorded, a piece of writing, a photographyou own it. At least, that is what the letter of the law says. But when it is your word against someone elses (say a thiefs), the lack of any official document or timestamp proving which version of the work came first makes copyright little more than a vanity. If you were an inventor, you could go to the patent office for protection, but as a creative, there is no designated way for you to legitimize your ownership of your work prior to its publication. And with the advent of the internet, the challenges associated with copyright protection have become larger. Now there is a gigantic repository of data online, and sifting through it by yourself just isnt possible. These days, just about anyone can download your work for personal use without your knowledge or consent. That beautiful illustration you spent weeks crafting? Its probably ended up as some anonymous Continue reading >>

Blockchain Technology And Ip

Blockchain Technology And Ip

Heralded by some as the future of financial transactions, there is no doubt that blockchain technology has the potential to shake up the world of finance. Already, financial institutions are looking to capitalise on the technology to create fast and low-cost payments for customers, investing millions of pounds in the process. However, the usefulness of blockchain technology is not limited to finance and banking. With its relatively low cost of maintenance, increased transparency, lessened administrative burden and resilience to fraud, blockchain is an attractive prospect to a whole host of different sectors and businesses. So what is blockchain, and could this disruptive technology have any application for intellectual property and its management? Put simply, blockchain (or distributed ledger) technology is a way of creating a shared database, which can record and track transactions and assets. Therefore, in theory, any database or ledger could be created and maintained using blockchain. And it does not have to solely lodge digital assets. For example, startup Everledger has used blockchain to create a database of diamonds, to ensure that they are not being used by militias to fund conflicts. Blockchain is not governed by one single user, so no centralised version of a ledger exists. Instead, it can be widely accessible to the public or to large groups (depending on permissions granted). The chain is also updated with each transaction, so users can see the chronological activity for that particular blockchain. This means that, once something is on the database, it cannot be removed. In practice, changes to the blockchain work as follows: This is broadcast to a network of computers, known as nodes The nodes use algorithms to verify the transaction 'Miners' aggregate tra Continue reading >>

The Intersection Of Cryptocurrency And Intellectual Property Law

The Intersection Of Cryptocurrency And Intellectual Property Law

The Intersection of Cryptocurrency and Intellectual Property Law Peggy Keene |2018-03-11T19:56:43+00:00February 27, 2018| This marks the last article in a series of blog posts regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. While cryptocurrency still seems like a relatively new term to the average citizen, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been around for about a decade. Its recent surge in popularity, however, has raised new questions about ownership, legal protection, and intellectual property laws role in its burgeoning growth. This article discusses relationships between cryptocurrency and intellectual property law. Blockchain Technology/Cryptocurrency and Intellectual Property Law As cryptocurrency and blockchain technology become more of a common household word, many experts in the field have openly wondered whether the technologys explosive growth will be eventually hindered or dampened by attempts to copyright, patent, or trademark specific cryptocurrency or the blockchain technologies associated with them. It is only natural that founders of the startups that utilize cryptocurrency or specific blockchain technologies may seek legal protection if they find a particular method, process, or even code uniquely integral to their business. As such, copyright, patent, and trademark law can all be used to provide some sort of legal protection in connection with cryptocurrency use as well as blockchain technologies. Many experts in the blockchain technology field, however, actively lobby against such protection. As most intellectual property attorneys know, there has always been considerable tension between innovation and the role of legal protection provided by intellectual property law. While both detractors and supporters of intellectual property law Continue reading >>

The Ipkat: Blockchain My Ip

The Ipkat: Blockchain My Ip

The notion of "blockchains" seems to be all around us, including as part of discussions regarding both information technology and intellectual property rights (IPRs). After listening to a myriad of different views and opinions, reading blog posts, articles (including by Guest Kat Rosie Burbidge, here ) and conference papers, one cannot fail to wonder: will blockchain indeed revolutionise the IP world? The first questions have to be: What is a "blockchain" and what are its main characteristics, benefits and weaknesses? In the language of cryptocurrency, a block is a record of new transactions (that could mean the location of cryptocurrency, medical data, or even voting records). Once a block is completed, it is added to the chain, creating a chain of blocks: i.e., a blockchain. As such, blockchain is a way of organizing digital information. Although use in cryptocurrencies is its most well-known manifestation, the scope of its potential applications is much more extensive than that. What blockchain offers is a secure (and indisputable as to its traceability) chain of events. What you can see following a blockchain transaction is both the nature of the event as well as the exact order in which an event has occurred. For example, you may see the value of bitcoins transferred and the date on which the transaction occurred. Making changes in the blockchain records is very difficult since in order to manipulate a blockchain, you would have to such a large number of changes in the records that it would be essentially impossible to do so. This also means that what is stored in blockchain is much more reliable than any data stored in decentralized databases. In fact, a transaction (or other information) stored in blockchain (a ledger), which has been accepted as correct may not Continue reading >>

Bernstein - Blockchain For Intellectual Property

Bernstein - Blockchain For Intellectual Property

A simple web application with powerful features. To get a blockchain certificate for any document or a collection of documents, just upload it. Bernstein will craft a special blockchain transaction that contains both a cryptographic fingerprint of your IP assets and a proof of your ownership.This transaction is the root of the blockchain certificate issued by Bernstein. The Bernstein registration protocol will chain together all certificates related to the same project, therefore allowing users to create a digital trail of records proving the evolution of the project. Each certificate can be independently verified by any third party without any involvement of Bernstein, thanks to the decentralized design of Bernstein registration protocol. Please note: getting a certificate for a document does not make it public, since the blockchain will only contain the cryptographic fingerprint of the document. Thanks to Bernsteins unique zero-knowledge architecture, users will be able to generate certificates for their digital assets without disclosing data to any third party, not even to Bernstein itself! All information and documents submitted by a user will be locally encrypted, right in the browser, before reaching the Bernstein server. And, of course, the encryption key is known only by the user and it never gets sent to the server. Therefore Bernstein is a new kind of notary service that completely ignores the digital assets it certifies. The Bernstein team has a unique experience in browser cryptography, dating back to 2007. Today Bernstein uses the most advanced Web Crypto API and proven cryptographic primitives and protocols. In order to validate a blockchain certificate (as any other digital certificate) the certified documents in their exact original format are needed. N Continue reading >>

Blockchain Based Solutions For Intellectual Property Management

Blockchain Based Solutions For Intellectual Property Management

Blockchain based solutions for intellectual property management The Statute of Anne, also known as the Copyright Act1710 One of the most obvious applications of blockchain technology is as a registry of IP rights, to catalogue and store original works. In the UK, copyright is unregistered and comes into existence automatically on creation of an original qualifying work. This means that, unlike registered trade marks which can be recorded and viewed on various registries around the world, there is often no adequate means for authors to catalogue their works. As such, ownership can be hard to prove. It can also be difficult for authors to see who is using their work, and equally difficult for third parties using a work to know who to seek a licence from. The result of this is that authors are often unable to stop infringements or to make the most of monetising their works. Using blockchain as an IP registry may help give clarity to copyright authors, owners and users. By registering their works to a blockchain, authors could end up with tamper-proof evidence of ownership. This is because a blockchain transaction is immutable, so once a work has been registered to a blockchain, that information cannot ever be lost or changed. In theory, third parties could use the blockchain to see the complete chain of ownership of a work, including any licences, sub-licences and assignments. Source: Law firms are partnering with Blockchain platforms In Europe and most countries, the rights to the invention belong initially to the first person to file a patent application (first-to-file system). Therefore, the application date is very important in the patent process. Prior to this date, no protection is provided and unfortunately it can happen that a company is overtaken and finds access Continue reading >>

Protecting Ip In The Blockchain Sector

Protecting Ip In The Blockchain Sector

Blockchain technology has already disrupted the financial sector and new blockchain use cases are emerging every day from corruption-proof land registries to licensing digital assets, to tracking individual diamonds. In fact, there are many who say that blockchain technology has the potential to be as disruptive as the Internet. A blockchain is a secure public ledger of digital financial transactions. Its the technology that underlies bitcoin and is known for its tamper-proof ability to verify high volumes of digital transactions. TechTarget explains how it works: When a transaction is made, it is packaged up with other transactions into a block and recorded across a network of computers, a majority of which are required to confirm the transaction in order for it to be accepted as legitimate a process referred to as achieving consensus. The block is then time-stamped with a cryptographic hash. Each block also contains a reference to the previous blocks hash, creating a chain of records that is considered impossible to falsify. This highly dispersed, highly secure method for recording transactions is proving to be much faster and much safer than the traditional hub and spoke architectures used today to reconcile and approve transactions. Entrepreneurs in nearly every industry, from banking and stock trading to academia and music, are now preparing to harness the power of blockchain. As such, the number of people and companies filing for patents on blockchain-related technology has been steadily increasing each year, said Nelson M. Rosario, Associate at Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP, in a recent Law360 Expert Analysis . As of March, Rosario said 879 patent applications have been filed with the USPTO that contain the words bitcoin, blockchain or distributed ledger. Of the Continue reading >>

Patent Strategies For Cryptocurrencies And Blockchain Technology

Patent Strategies For Cryptocurrencies And Blockchain Technology

Up-to-date Information on Intellectual Property Law Home > Patents > Patent Strategies for Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology Patent Strategies for Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are rapidly emerging as disruptive technologies. As has happened with many new technologies, particularly disruptive ones, a patent arms race is occurring. The number of patents being filed for these technologies is rapidly increasing. The number of published applications shows roughly a tenfold increase over the number of issued patents. Despite this increase in patent filing activity, many companies are unaware of what aspects of this technology can be patented and many myths and misconceptions exist. In addition to the usual misconceptions about patents (detailed below), the open source aspect of many blockchain-based inventions leads to greater confusion. The patentability of software and technology platforms does not cease just because some or all of the software is open source or built on a known protocol. This paper addresses what companies need to know about patent strategies for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The key takeaway is to consult with a patent attorney who focuses on blockchain technology and get an assessment of whether your inventions are patentable. Dont miss out due to misconceptions or bad advice. Continue reading >>

Blockchain And Ip Law: A Match Made In Crypto Heaven?

Blockchain And Ip Law: A Match Made In Crypto Heaven?

Blockchain and IP law: a match made in crypto heaven? By Birgit Clark, Baker McKenzie, London, United Kingdom Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies have been a hot topic recently, with multiple industries exploring their possibilities and new blockchain use cases emerging almost every day. But how might these technologies be used in the context of intellectual property (IP) law and practice? Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies are a hot topic, with new use cases emerging almost every day (photo: Rick_Jo / iStock / Getty Images Plus). Blockchain technology has become famous as the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. In its basic form it is an open ledger of information that can be used to record and track transactions, and which is exchanged and verified on a peer-to-peer network. Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies create a trustworthy and transparent record by allowing multiple parties to a transaction to verify what will be entered onto a ledger in advance without any single party having the ability to change any ledger entries later on. Each transaction or block is transmitted to all the participants in the network and must be verified by each participant node solving a complex mathematical puzzle. Once the block is verified, it is added to the ledger or chain. From the perspective of information, the real innovation of distributed ledger technology is that it ensures the integrity of the ledger by crowdsourcing oversight and removes the need for a central authority. In other words, transactions are verified and validated by the multiple computers that host the blockchain. For this reason it is seen as near unhackable, because to change any of the information on it, a cyber-attack woul Continue reading >>

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