Blockchain (2)

Blockchain technology recently hit the headlines when Bank of America, Barclays and Mastercard all sought to legally protect blockchain-based systems in the race for market leadership. Currently, finance offers the strongest case for blockchain technology, but this is by no means the only market that could benefit from blockchain. The use of blockchain in intellectual property has potential.

Waking up to blockchain technology

Blockchain offers a safe and accurate digital trail of information that cannot be controlled by a single entity and has no single point of failure. The blockchain is a digital recording of information that is hosted by millions of computers. Blockchain eliminates risks that come with data being held in a single place, such as hacking or corruption. Blockchain security methods use encryption technology and distribution to millions of computers to ensure an accurate record of information.

The IP application

Blockchain has the potential to significantly support idea generators and those that work with them to create revenues from innovation. One of the most obvious applications of blockchain technology is as a registry of IP rights, to catalogue and store original works. Consider ideas generation. Organisations go through a long and expensive process to protect their ideas with patents.  Blockchain could help companies innovate more efficiently by using blockchain technology to privately store and share company innovation. Blockchain technology could also help companies quickly discover prior art, helping shape ideas more effectively into patents.

Igniting change

Blockchain could have a significant role to play in the IP industry – if the industry can find a means to adopt the technology in the short and medium term.  The technology has the potential to significantly support idea generators and those that work with them to create revenues from innovation.  This will not happen overnight.  It was simple to adopt Blockchain for crypto currencies, where no central verification method existed to support the new currencies.

Applying Blockchain to an industry that already has proven (albeit often slow and challenging) methods will be more challenging. Ultimately Blockchain could be more impactful on the IP industry than it has been even to the financial services industries.  The challenge will be in creating the right adoption path for the technology.

If you are a CPA Global customer, you can hear Toni talk in more detail on how Blockchain could be key to transforming the IP industry at the CPA Global IGNITE! 2018 conference in Austin Texas, Monday 4 November.

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