Although the Chinese company Alibaba registered the most patents this year, the United States continues to lead the country with the largest number of blockchain patents, according to a September 17 report from the consultancy KISSPatent.
IBM and Alibaba hold most of the blockchain patents. Alibaba has filed over 200 patents and IBM has just over 100 patents. But other US companies such as Bank of America and Mastercard have also filed several patent applications for the US amount. Several blockchain patents have been filed according to KISSPatent. In the first half of 2020 compared to the whole of 2019.
The United States has 2,112 patents, followed by the Cayman Islands with 350 archives, Canada with 118. The remaining six places are Japan with 108, South Korea with 87, and China with 77 patents. The Cayman Islands came second when these applications were submitted by subsidiaries of Alibaba that are headquartered in the British overseas territories.
While Chinese companies often appear on various lists of the top 10 blockchain patents, not all companies work exclusively with blockchain. KISSPatent notes that these companies use blockchain applications as part of their technology portfolio. The report says China has provided a lot of patents to avoid foreign trade sanctions. He explained that:
They learned from Xiaomi, the “Chinese Apple”, which was banned from selling smartphones during the raid from China because Sweden’s Ericsson had a lot of patents.
The most popular category for patent filing, which accounts for half of all patents, is financial technology applications. These include applications that use cryptocurrencies and applications that support storing or exchanging cryptocurrencies. Other popular categories are patents for decentralized business platforms, distributed blockchain solutions, and business services with a financial component, as well as healthcare and traditional banking on the blockchain.
Several players in the industry have raised concerns about patent phishing, which is why Square helped launch the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance. The group wants to democratize access to innovative technologies.