Blockchain technology has continued its prevalence in the digital sector.
Every company is trying to aid operations by implementing blockchain technology.
The blockchain industry has become a super-competitive industry.
So many investors and technologists are investing in blockchain industry.
As a growing technology, so many innovations are pilling up in the space.
Since this industry is booming, there is need to patent your blockchain ideas to avoid someone stealing your creativity.
As easy as this might sound, blockchain patenting is still confusing to people out there.
Having your blockchain idea is not enough, there are steps needed in making sure you own your ideas before someone else utilize them.
Also, as a startup blockchain firm, having a patent will boost your competitiveness and bring you closer to interested investors.
In this article, we discuss blockchain patent and answer some frequently asked questions about it.
What is a Patent?
As hinted earlier, patents are used to protect an innovation or how things work.
A patent is a right granted for an invention that has utility.
When an inventor patents his/her invention with a registered patent, he then owns the exclusive right to launch his invention or product commercially.
The inventor also has the exclusive right to license his ideas to others, who might use or sell the idea or the product.
Patent protection is a bit different from copyright as it can’t be given automatically.
Unlike copyright, the inventor must lodge a patent application, which will be processed for some months before getting the successful patent protection.
You are advised not to air any invention until it is patented.
What is Blockchain Patent?
A blockchain patent simply means the exclusive right given to an inventor to utilize his blockchain ideas and innovations.
As the blockchain industry keeps flourishing, a lot of innovations are birthed.
The need to patent your inventions becomes so necessary, to be on the safe side.
Also, you are not the only one with that idea, so the first to patent becomes the winner.
- Patent authorization is gained by who lodges the application first, so it’s better to patent your ideas faster before someone patents similar idea.
- Your invention is not yours until it’s patented.
Can you patent Bitcoin or Crypto?
Going straight to the point, you can’t patent Bitcoin.
Bitcoin was released by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.
The person or persons (Satoshi Nakamoto) who released it didn’t file for a patent then, so as a public payment system, it can no longer be patented.
What Blockchain product can you patent?
As discussed earlier, you can’t patent a crypto asset, but you can patent a blockchain application, idea or innovation.
Blockchain innovation that deserves patent must be;
- Not seen or heard before.
Before you patent your blockchain product, you need to understand the problem it solves in the blockchain space.
For instance, layer 1 cryptocurrencies have scalability issues, you can have an idea to enhance the scalability of such crypto assets.
That idea can be patented, as it has enough utility and use case.
Currently, the rate of blockchain patent filings have increased reasonably.
What to do if you have a blockchain idea
In the US, Having a blockchain idea could be productive if you follow the right measures;
Don’t file too late
Patenting your blockchain idea is a must, because big platforms are also doing same thing.
To compete successfully, you have to patent your innovation on time.
Someone else could file before you, if you delay the filing process.
As said earlier, it is first to file that wins the battle.
For instance, if I have an idea for years, and someone who just got the idea today files for a patent, the person has literally won the patent authorization.
Note: The best defence to your idea is to file quickly.
Also, in the US, before any patent is published it will be held for about 18 months after it has been filed.
For instance, the patent published today, has been filed since 18months ago.
Advantages of Blockchain Patenting
More blockchain startups have been chasing many investments, creating room for a competitive atmosphere.
As blockchain continues to gain prevalence, it will create many opportunities for investors and innovators.
The following are the known advantages of blockchain patenting:
- Exclusive Ownership of idea: Humans can likely think same way and feel same idea about a technology. As such, it is possible for different persons to come up with same idea towards a particular challenge. With blockchain patenting, your idea is owned by you alone, and you have absolute control over it.
- Improves your startups valuation by $1million per patent: In the US, startups who apply for patents will have their valuation increased by $1million. This makes your startup financially active and ready to face competitors.
- Proof your uniqueness: Filing a patent proves that you have great product to offer to the public. It proves that you are unique and different from the rest.
- Prevent Big Companies from stealing your innovation: Companies are financially buoyant to work on any innovation they envision. If you don’t patent your innovation, it can be easily stolen by big firms who are more financially buoyant than you are.
When to file your blockchain Idea?
Filing your idea depends on your location.
In the US, you can publish your idea before filing – on a one year grace period.
This means that, during that one year, no other person can file on that particular idea.
Outside the US, it is a must to file before publishing.
Publishing means bringing your idea or product to the public.
Each countries have their patenting agencies, so you can also file in multiple countries to;
- Easier defend your idea.
- Leaverage partners and connections.
How to get a blockchain patent?
Also read: Blockchain and Real estate.
Patenting of ones’ idea is done based on his/her location.
In the US, there are several patent angencies you could apply to patent your ideas.
However, you have to do one or two things;
- File for patenting: Patent filling enables the patent agency to determine the uniqueness of your idea. Before you file for a patent, you need a design of your idea to be able to explain the uniqueness and usefulness it possesses. Filing should be done really fast to avoid being kicked out by an earlier bird.
- Publish idea: After your idea has been checked and verified as unique and useful, you will be given a patent authorization to publish.
Blockchain technology has gained prevalence in the technological systems of the world.
The technology is still growing and there is a huge need for patenting in the growing industry.