Twitter is currently defending its patents, Square has established a consortium-including Coinbase-to collect cryptographic patents, and Alibaba is moving towards its mission of bypassing IBM in the blockchain patent war.

Few startups take the necessary steps to protect their innovations. This is a big mistake. Especially in the blockchain, the open source philosophy embedded in the space has prompted many entrepreneurs to avoid the competitive regional pattern of patent applications. In fact, many startups believe that patents cannot be imposed on autonomous, decentralized technologies. This is not true. By keeping their distance, they and the community are suffering.

If founders and entrepreneurs are unwilling to use patents, they will lose the benefits of their innovations and inventions to technology giants, and they will not regret being expelled and gaining more markets.

Blockchain companies should also be wary of stealing their ideas. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said:

“It has always been impolite for us to steal good ideas.”
The Wall Street Journal wrote in 2017 that the new slogan of Facebook employees sounds like “Don’t be proud to follow suit.” But so far, there is evidence that few blockchain startups pay enough attention to potential threats.

In our research on the state of patents, we found that blockchain patents are increasing exponentially. Compared with the whole year of 2019, more blockchain-related patents were issued in the first half of 2020, and the number of patents issued in the whole year of 2018 was three times the number of blockchain patents issued in 2018. Alibaba and IBM are the two largest patent publishers, and the Chinese giant is on the right track. Correctly surpass its American competitors. Mastercard stated on a recent earnings conference call that it has pooled blockchain patents for payment, allowing it to take advantage of the central bank’s demand for digital currencies.

When the largest companies seek to enter new markets, only blockchain companies reluctantly file patent applications.

Strategic Decision
One of the most important strategic decisions a company can make is to obtain a patent. Patents affect the value of enterprises. Not only can it protect it from counterfeiters, but it can also prevent others from entering specific markets.

In a space full of enthusiasm for cooperation and decentralization, the issue of patent applications may be controversial. But these positions are not static. In recent years, I have seen more recognition that blockchain companies cannot ignore patent wars.

Of course, there will always be people who oppose anything related to patents, which is worthy of respect. The problem is that this paved the way for multinational companies to control technology.

On the other hand, pragmatic business leaders decided that the field of innovation will always include patents. They may be in the minority right now, but they are firmly committed to applying for patents and protecting their ideas and their potential profits.

Third, there is one thing in common. They support the open source philosophy, but accept the practicality of the real world. Taking into account the balance of industry interests, their interests are the best way to move forward. Blockchain companies must play a defensive role.

The defense model here is embodied by Red Hat, and open source supporters admire it. By protecting Linux innovation from patent attacks, Red Hat has proven its privileged position at the center of invention. Following this model means that companies can first acquire patents and then merge patents, which increases the number of launches of larger companies while still maintaining flexibility in how patents are used.

Twitter is also a pioneer in the field of defensive patents, establishing the inventor’s patent agreement, with the express purpose of “using patents only as protection rather than weapons.” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (Jack Dorsey) is also the head of payment company Square, which has established a group of blockchain companies to pool patents and establish unity as large technology companies seek to promote innovation Defense system. Coinbase is one of the first large-scale blockchain companies to join the cryptocurrency open patent alliance.

Source: CoinTelegraph