Unfolding the Hand-in-Hand Relationship between Blockchain and IP

The to-the-point definition of the term blockchain defines it as an anonymous online ledger that efficiently keeps a growing list of records, known as blocks, which are, in turn, linked using cryptography, where every single block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, transaction data, and a timestamp. As a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, blockchain was invented by an inventor with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008. The blockchain technology is a concept that is too simple on the one hand and much complex on the other. It is exceedingly diverse in all of its uses. Many experts across the globe believe that the blockchain phenomenon is quite similar to the revolution brought by the Internet and the online world. When it comes to the industrial application of blockchain technology – Finance is undoubtedly one of the leading areas where it is traversing its roots.

The early birds that filed a patent on the blockchain include some of the widely known financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Mastercard International, and Bank of America. In India as well, people have filed a few Patent Applications on the blockchain technology. Other than blockchain, shared economy, smart contracts, file storage, governance, identity management, Internet of Things (IoT), stock trading, data management, e-commerce, healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, luxury and consumer goods, and automotive, are some of the fields in which technology is gaining immense pace and momentum.

It is a matter of fact that yes – Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and the blockchain technology go hand-in-hand. On one side, IPRs protect blockchain, and blockchain, on the other side, can efficiently serve to strengthen the already existing Intellectual Property (IP) regime. Without any doubt, the world, at present, is realizing the enormous potential that blockchain holds, and IPRs are indeed going to play an integral role in coming up with a protected environment for the development of the technology. While taking into account the other side’s aspect, we can observe that the security and reliability offered by blockchain can very well strengthen every phase of the lifecycle of the IPRs including creating licensing agreements, resolving disputes over ownership, identifying counterfeit products, or creating an IP register to keep a record for all forms of IPRs.

Initiatives Taken by the Indian Patent Office

Many nations across the globe have started realizing the true potential of blockchain technology, and India is no exception in this case. The Indian Patent Office (IPO) is doing its best to stay at par with the technological advancements. It expects to be able to predict the timelines for users corresponding to the different actions to be taken by the office.  A scientifically-handled workload-based allocation of patent applications to the examiners shall result in making optimal use of human resources available.  Automated checking against all the formal requirements, including attachments, application formats, amongst many others, can speed up the entire process by reducing the manual intervention required.  With reduced manual intervention, there shall also be an impact on the accountability and transparency procedures in an optimistic way. For achieving all the above measures, the IPO is efficiently establishing a legal framework for a blockchain-based IP registry to commercialize ideas and further protect them.

Final Thoughts

The use of blockchain technology for the benefit of the IP industry is indeed significant. However, like other emerging technologies, blockchain technology has a few setbacks as well. At present, such setbacks include the need for massive processing power and restrictions on the number of transactions per hour. The reality is far away from simple when it comes to the ultimate notion of a method for connecting the IP registries around the world via a single distributed ledger. Remember, successful and proactive management of IPRs using blockchain requires having a standardized platform that is adopted internationally. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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