Financial firms and assorted startups are rushing to patent the technology that underlies bitcoin, The Economist writes and, according to experts, this rush to patent the blockchain is a sign of the technology’s promise.
— Chris Gledhill (@cgledhill) January 19, 2017
However, given that the blockchain is expected to shake up everything the legal fights could be especially fierce.
In fact, as the core of the technology is part of the public domain only important additions and variations could be patented.
This hasn’t stopped firms from trying to get patent protection on meaningful improvements to the blockchain. In this respect, financial firms are among the most assiduous filers including big brands such as MasterCard and Goldman Sachs. The other way around, also startups have been busy.
To limit such fights, several startups are opening up their IP whilst there are also discussions over forming a patent pool.
Wheter this strategy of mutual disarmament is sufficient to avoid another patent war will be clear only when and if blockchains have become a multi-billion dollar business, The Economist concluded.
And, according to experts like the ones from PwC, this won’t happen over 2017.