Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance, or COPA, led by finance firm Square, recently selected Coinbase as its core member. Square unveiled the group in September as a way to prevent patent oversight – a case known to hold back technological progress.
Coinbase Senior Advisor and COPA board member Brittany Cuthbert said in a statement on the alliance on Friday:
As the cryptocurrency economy continues to grow, we believe it is important to help implement all projects built on an open financial system. […] We look forward to working with COPA members to create basic patent protection for our industry. ”
Patents are valid for 20 years for innovations that are proprietary and prevent competitors from producing similar products or services or using a particular technology. While open source technology is a popular topic in the crypto and blockchain industry, several organizations have filed patents for several development features in this area, including Block.one and Samsung.
The statement further explains:
“COPA believes that the success of a cryptocurrency depends on a society that will come together to create and develop modern technologies for innovation, which is not possible when the parties link the underlying technology in patents and lawsuits.”
COPA believes that patents are useful all over the world, although borders can be crossed and create problems. “While patents can sometimes be useful for defensive purposes, the illegal and misleading use of patents threatens the growth and adoption of new technologies such as cryptocurrencies,” the statement said. “There are concerns that the ‘patent blocking’ of underlying cryptocurrency technologies by a select few is holding back innovation and regular adoption.”
Almost 12 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin (BTC) under a pseudonym, published his infamous white paper. It is possible that the revolution that followed was made possible in part by the foundations of this open source technology.
“COPA is committed to making the underlying cryptocurrency technology freely available to all and addressing patent blocking issues using a dual approach,” the statement said.
COPA currently has 18 members: Square, Coinbase, Blockstream, Kraken and 14 others. Members are required to comply with the Code, which includes refraining from using “their cryptographic patents for reasons other than protection.”