Category Archives: Patents

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Distinguish “Smart Contract” From Abstract Idea To Pass Blockchain Patentability Scrutiny

The Situation Smart contracts are often mentioned in blockchain-themed patent applications and recited in claims. However, Examiners without a thorough understanding of this concept or unfamiliar with blockchain technology often equate smart contracts with legal or commercial contracts stored on blockchains. As a result, the Examiners may find claims directed to merely applying the blockchain … Continue Reading

Blockchain Patentability Through The Lens Of A Recent PTAB Decision

Blockchain patent applications may be divided into two types: underlying technologies of blockchain, such as consensus methods, security, etc., and applications of blockchain in, e.g., fintech, legal, and other industries. In patent examination, the first type, because it recites underlying technology improvement, rarely elicits subject matter rejections. The second type, applications of blockchain, are often … Continue Reading

How to Successfully Obtain Blockchain Patents

As with other rapidly-evolving technologies, the blockchain space is experiencing a frenzy of patent activity. The data shows that there are 3-4 times as many published applications as there are issued patents for these concepts. This trend strongly suggests that the number of blockchain-related patents will surge in the next couple of years. However, due … Continue Reading

Key Insights for Obtaining FinTech Patents

As with other rapidly-evolving technologies, the FinTech space is experiencing a frenzy of patent activity. As its name implies, FinTech is part financial innovation (“fin”) relating to new aspects of finance and finance-related business models, and part technological innovation (“tech”) relating to the application of, and enhancements to, technology that enables the fin-related innovations. Unfortunately, … Continue Reading

Patent Attacks Against Open Source Intensify!

We previously reported on how popular open source has been under attack from patent assertion entities. The attacks continue. The GNOME Foundation recently acknowledged that it was sued for patent infringement by Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC. The allegedly infringing product is Shotwell, a free and open source personal photo manager. Neil McGovern, Executive Director for … Continue Reading

Popular Open Source Software under Patent Attack

Sound View Innovations is launching patent attacks against commonly used open source software including jQuery and Apache Hadoop. Sound View is targeting end users of these software components. This is a typical tactic of non-practicing patent assertion entities. Unlike some commercial software, most open source software is licensed with a disclaimer of any warranties regarding patent infringement. This makes … Continue Reading

10 Things to Know About The Intersection of Blockchain Technology, Open Source Software, and Patents

On their own, blockchain technology, open source software, and patents each present legal issues that are often complex and frequently misunderstood. When combined, the complexity and misunderstandings of these three topics are magnified. This set of issues is important now because blockchain technology is on the verge of mainstream commercialization and much of it relies … Continue Reading

The Blockchain-based Supply Chain Adoption Tipping Point?

Blockchain has long been touted as having transformational potential. Yet, the commercial adoption has been slow. As with any cutting-edge technology, commercial adoption usually requires some tipping point. For adoption of blockchain-based supply chain, the tipping point may just have occurred. According to a recent article, starting in September 2019, Walmart and its Sam’s Club … Continue Reading

Drafting Effective Blockchain Patents

As the number of blockchain-based patents and patent applications increases, more companies have become interested in pursuing these patents. Other companies still think that blockchain-based inventions are not patentable. To help sort fact from fiction, we have prepared a paper to provide an update on blockchain patents, provide guidance on the types of blockchain inventions … Continue Reading

Patent Strategies for Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are rapidly emerging as disruptive technologies. As has happened with many new technologies, particularly disruptive ones, a patent arms race is occurring. The number of patents being filed for these technologies is rapidly increasing. The number of published applications shows roughly a tenfold increase over the number of issued patents. Despite … Continue Reading
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