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The Competition of Accumulating Blockchain Patents

By CIOReview | Monday, January 28, 2019

Big financial and technological enterprises are spearheading the global drive to develop blockchain applications. Few of the companies are exploring the potential of blockchain and trying to leverage its benefits in the desired domains. Companies are enticed towards the form of distributed ledger over emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing

IBM obtained nearly 9,100 patents last year in areas such as AI, cloud computing, and blockchain based innovations. They have a total of 110,000 patents, and out of which they announced six blockchain patents in just single week last year. IBM has already developed a private distributed ledger system which is a lot more useful than a regular public blockchain network. However, they are not at the top of the list when it comes to blockchain patents. A Chinese company, Alibaba is topping the list with 90 patents while IBM is just one step behind with 89 patents.

What Makes Blockchain Noteworthy?

The blockchain is easy to adopt and has a lot of benefits. It has entered in almost every major commercial sector while other technologies remain attainable to particular domains with superior technical knowledge. Blockchain technology has hardly scratched the surface and is still evolving. In the future, there are going to be additions and developments in this technology. In the meantime, power players like Alibaba, MasterCard, IBM, and many more are striving to gain more and more blockchain patents for its feasible deployment.

Importance of Blockchain Patents 

A blockchain patent, like any other patent, is a set of rights received by an inventor for revealing their invention to the public; issued by an official authority. The applicants get protection for their invention in many countries if they apply for international patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Blockchain patents are significant for companies that are working towards revamping the financial services industry or generate a large amount of profitable cryptocurrency-related businesses. Patents help companies attract investment, collect monopoly profits from other companies, and protect property rights.

2018 was the most fruitful year regarding blockchain patent applications. In the past few years, the number of blockchain patents increased year-on-year. According to Fortune, a global media organization, the number of patents this year is expected to be around 1,245. China has outnumbered every other country by filling 225 blockchain patents proving the importance of patents to the entire technical world.