Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Patent Overview

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Patent Overview from September 2017.

To capture the massive growth of blockchain and DLT patents over the last several years, Let’s Talk Payments has partnered with Carneros Bay to release a complete analysis of the Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies patents market.

Ever since the anonymous drop of Bitcoin’s whitepaper and open source code in 2009, its underlying distributed ledger technology (DLT) has seen significant mainstream interest. Ethereum is notably one of the most popular large-scale implementations of Blockchain which are inspired by the Bitcoin whitepaper. The potential benefits of blockchain and DLT wasn’t lost on global financial services firms. Banks, consulting companies, and other financial institutions quickly revved up their R&D efforts, created consortiums, and continue to invest in DLT and cryptocurrencies. The result? A massive surge in blockchain patents.

The report cites data from the prestigious and well-known Thomson Innovation patent databases recorded from January 1, 2008 to August 28, 2017. A preliminary search resulted in a staggering number of 2633 patents, which reduced to a credible 1633 after human screening for relevancy & categorization.

The report helps identify discernible pattern of patent activity across countries, industries and major technology heavy-weights. The top patent assignees are a mix of technology, finance, communication companies. It highlights the cross-industry reach of cryptocurrency, electronic transactions and blockchain. Filers include the technology companies (Coinbase, Coinplug, IBM), financial institutions (TD Bank, Bank of America, Fidelity), payment providers (Mastercard) and social media sites (Facebook) along with unusual assignees (Arkeytyp IP, Wal-Mart, AT&T). Some of the interesting trends show that filings are shifting away from the US to the rest of the world along with an increased focus on specific use cases and applications as opposed to core technology filings. This type of filing pattern tends to emerge when the core technologies are more mature and defined thus allowing for specific uses cases to be established.

We’re excited to see what other insights you can extract from this report.

Note: Given that filings have an 18-month publication blackout from date of filing the data for 2016 is incomplete and will be until mid-2018.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction & Methodology
  • Patent Terminology
  • Executive Summary
  • Filing Trends
  • Top Assignees
  • Intriguing Filings
  • Summary of Observations and Trends