A KISSPatent report on Sep 17 reveals that more blockchain patents were filed in H1 2020 than the whole of 2019 and Alibaba will soon eclipse the New York-based technology company, IBM, as a single largest holder of patents.
In another twist, most blockchain patents were filed by traditional Fortune 500 companies and China trails the United States and the Cayman Islands as the originator of blockchain patents.
Alibaba Runs the Show
The intellectual property consultant in part notes that Alibaba is currently “running the show” and has published an astonishing 10X the number of patents filed by IBM not from China but through its subsidiary in the Cayman Islands.
At this pace, KISSPatent projects Alibaba to be the biggest holder by the end of the year.
It is expected that being ahead in the innovation curve by filling more patents gives an entity more legal patent power meaning “companies need to own blockchain patent applications in order to get blockchain patents.”
This in turn fans a virtuous cycle favoring firms who are willing to fund research and development programs.
Dr. D’vorah Graeser, the founder of KISSPatent notes:
“Blockchain innovators need to reconsider the role of intellectual property within their companies. Blockchain is here to stay and it will very soon be a dominant force in tech disruption. Big companies will use this technology to innovate and they will do everything in their hands to protect and monetize their innovations.”
Within the blockchain circles, nChain is assertive, earlier declaring their interest in patents claiming ownership of over 900 DLT patents.
The firm which describes itself as a “global leader in advisory” is associated with Craig Wright—who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the elusive founder of Bitcoin.
In a press release, nChain said their primary mission was to ignite global adoption and enterprise use of Bitcoin.
The United States Leads
Despite the notion that Chinese firms dominate, it turns out that most are not pure blockchain companies but firms keen on expanding their technological portfolio.
This could be in line with President Xi Jinping’s declaration that China must forge ahead and be a leader in emerging technologies of which blockchain predominantly feature.
The United States leads as a country with the most blockchain patents with 2,112–which is more than 6X those filed from the Cayman Islands at 350. China has 77 patents behind Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
In June, BTCManager reported of Amazon’s blockchain patent meant to enhance supply chain transparency.