September 3, 2019
As reported by Coin Telegraph, since last year, IBM has successfully tripled the number of blockchain patents it has secured in the U.S. The multinational information technology company, with over 350,000 employees globally, now boasts over 100 active patent families. In light of this, Yuval Halevi, co-founder of blockchain PR company, GuerillaBuzz, noted how IBM’s significant spending on their blockchain department and 300% increase in blockchain patents serve as an indication of market potential.
Notably, IBM does have international competition. According to figures from Securities Daily, as of May 2019, Alibaba - the leading Chinese company in blockchain patents - had applied for 262 patents. Based on the same report, China is also reportedly the global leader in blockchain-related patent applications. Chinese organizations reportedly filed for 4,435 patents between 2013-2018, while American organizations filed for 1,833 patents in the same period.
However, these statistics should be analyzed critically. In contrast to the above reports, a study conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and Withers & Rogers LLP, a European IP law firm, concluded that more blockchain patent applications were, in fact, filed in the U.S. (1,680 applications) than in China (1,590 applications) between 2012-2018. While the reasons for the conflicting data between the two reports are unknown, blockchain-related IP is certainly a high-growth area to monitor.
Authors: Jaclyn Tilak and Andrew Patel