Is a Blockchain patent still possible?


#1

Great question for all #crypto experts: Is a #Blockchain Patent Still Possible? https://t.co/s33q2c6Cz1
(As per Efi’s kind proposal/invitation to post that question)


#2

Nothing is impossible, but I’m not betting on a patent to create any significant enterprise value.

I have personally be prosecuting a financial software patent for going on 5 years. In that time there have been 2 significant Supreme Court law changes. As the article linked acknowledges Alice is the one which is causing the most trouble (101 rejections). The trouble being that any patent pertaining to Software, and especially Financial Software is dead in the kill zone of Alice.

Regarding Blockchain patents specifically, I know Goldman Sachs has some patents, (I have not reviewed them yet), and a few other big corps threw their hat in the blockchain patent game.

If these patents are defensible these big financial corps will end up waging a never ending legal patent battle, just like the tech companies have over the recent past. I dont see this activity or effort creating any Real Economic value in the market place. More of a side show, or distraction.

Keep in mind, a small tweak to a blockchain’s functional design can be an effective “design around” and enable a competitor to slip right past the patent’s claims.

For me, this is more of a late stage initiative, not for start ups, something to be done when trying to shore up enterprise value, rather than create it.

Thanks for the Ask to Answer, and thanks again because this reminds me I need to reschedule a meeting with the attys. FYI, this is a US focused comment, I have no clue for Euro or other regions.


#3

@KarmaCoverage Interesting question. IANAL, but I do know that developer enthusiasm is critical to Blockchain platforms and that developers won’t support something that is not genuinely open source. So methinks spending fortunes with lawyers to get patents in every main region -America, Asia & Europe is not money well spent.


#4

Actually bumped into that news, which is already 1-month old. But still worth the read: http://www.coindesk.com/blockchain-energy-startup-patent/


#5

@Jmpailhon That is a great link. “Smart Grid” cant be fully accomplished without a dist ledger. This application is exciting.

I skimmed their patent, it had a lot of references to Heat Signals, Capturing Heat Energy, Heat Reservoirs, and Computation Device Heat.

I may be way off, but my first guess would be that because they are so focused on a physical device, and because “blockchain” is a minor component part to the entire method (just communicating payment info presumably) then they would not be sitting so close to an Alice rejection. It might be a stretch to call this a “blockchain patent” but it could be good verbiage for marketing a prospectus to investors.