Blockchain and IP: An Excellent Match for Digital World!

Blog    July 19, 2019
Posted On

Intellectual Property

With its comparatively low maintenance cost, lessened administrative burden, and resilience to prevent fraud, blockchain came up as an excellent alternative to different businesses. Considering the potential of blockchain technology to shake up the world of finance, many financial firms are already looking for investing millions in the process. But, could this technology have any application in the context of Intellectual Property (IP)?

What is Blockchain?

People mostly misunderstand blockchain with cryptocurrencies like bitcoins. No doubt, cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology, but the technology itself is much more than that. In its basic form, this advanced technology is a distributed ledger of information used to create a shared database, which can track and record transactions. As these transactions get verified on a peer-to-peer network, blockchain maintains a reliable record by allowing parties to identify the future entries on the ledger in advance. No party can change the entered data later on. Each transaction (also known as a block) will add to the ledger only after getting verified by all the participants (nodes) in the network.

Since multiple participants validate every transaction, the process seems nearly invulnerable to hacks. It is because hackers need to strike each copy of the ledger, to alter any information.

What role does blockchain play in the IP industry?

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) currently are regulated by authenticators, including the governments or other administrative bodies of various countries. Unfortunately, this system possesses physical limitations, and thus, appears incapable to meet the pace of the continuously developing digitized and globalized market. Hence, it is imperative to go for a more reliable and feasible alternative like blockchain, which is a possible successor to this ‘Physical System’ in the current digital space.

Blockchain could provide solutions for the IP industry in the following ways:
Ideas Generation

Whenever companies or individuals create ideas, the foremost question that strikes their mind is how to protect their ideas. In that case, most firms look for a patent to attain the benefit of safety. By allowing the companies and individuals to identify and place their invention on a trusted record, blockchain keeps them away from future issues. The technology can prevent expensive litigation issues by providing information about who was the first creator of an idea.

Ownership and Licensing

Due to the limitations in the physical system, it seems a bit challenging to verify the ownership or license of a patent. Many companies often use and trade IP products without updating the ownership status, making it difficult for others to get their assets legally licensed. These difficulties lead to patent disputes. Blockchain technology can avoid such issues by providing accurate records of ownership and licensing related to IP assets.

Anti-Counterfeiting and Supply Chain Management

Blockchain technology facilitates the participants to track products on the supply chain by showing the license or ownership in the record. With the blockchain-connected imprints, the customers and authorities can easily differentiate between genuine and counterfeit products.


Although the technology is relatively in its early stages, continuous growth and propagation can help the businesses in solving problems that arise in IP-related matters since the advent of the internet. Using blockchain in an industry that already holds many proven approaches appears a little bit more challenging. However, if the IP industry will win the challenge of creating the precise adoption path for this technology, blockchain could be amazingly impactful. For more visit: 

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