For fans of digital currency Bitcoin, the year had a volatile start. On January 5, a Bitcoin changed hands for about $ 1150 almost most of the record in September, three years ago. Since then, it has reduced by 33%. In other parts of the country of coins, things are moving more slowly, but soon, there will be problems: potential patent war hovers over the block chain, authentic distributed row book and records all Bitcoin transactions.
Discussions on intellectual property are not new in emerging technology markets. But since Beheerder This is expected to shake every block chain as valuable diamonds are traded guaranteed to the way the stocks could mainly be fierce fresh battles.
Given this fact, the block chain is not easily lend itself claims to the intellectual property October mentoring. The creator of Bitcoin, known only by his pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, published an article about his innovative invention coding the first application and then disappeared which means that the core of technology is now part of the public and only additions and significant differences Of domain can Patent, and components of the block chain are widely known. US court decisions, as well as a new law on granting patents make it difficult to claim ownership of such financial innovations.
This has not prevented significant company patents improvements to try block chain, including security techniques and encryption, says Colette Reiner Mayer Morrison & Foerster, a law firm. Applications are always public because the United States Patent Office has to unlock 18 months after its submission. Research Espacenet, the global database, generates 36 courses; Hundreds more are expected to be in the pipeline.
Financial firms are among the most common contributors: MasterCard, for example, four patents seeking associated payments; Goldman Sachs has been a distributed row book contours can process foreign exchange transactions. New companies including Coinbase, Inc and Cadena Inc have a lot to do, too. And then there's Craig Wright, an Australian that Mr. Nakamoto claims to be, but has no conclusive evidence provided. It was registered in a device called in Antigua EITC Holdings, presented 73 patents in the United Kingdom.
Few patents have been issued. And all known candidates say they want patents to be used only "defensive", that is, to protect themselves against lawsuits. Owner banks can go to newcomers, and "non-practitioners" (also known as "patent trolls") may try to extort money from other companies: However, legal battles are likely. Could the pace of innovation slow, warns Brian Behlendorf of Hyperledger group projects block chain number.
In order to limit this kind of struggle, several new companies opening their IP. Chain, Digital Asset Holdings and Hyperledger have made their software open source, so the revenue below is freely available, which makes it even more attractive to users and developers. Some programs come with a license queue making it impossible to enforce patents against those who use the organization code. Block Stream, another start-up, has a signed "authorization patents", and has promised another not to use long non-processing of its own patents offensive.
There are also discussions on the formation of a patent and Invention open network, in 2005, set up for business member suits for the use of Linux, to protect the very popular open source operating system. The OIN acquires patents and licenses, then free to members who do not possess agree to impose patents on it.
If this mutual disarmament strategy is enough to avoid another patent war it is only if and only if the block chains have obviously become a multibillion dollar business. Announced this week DTCC, a clearing and settlement service provider, that the next generation of chain block information system based trading and SWIFT payments network, said that exploited the technology. This could result in more applications.