TAKEAWAY: Patent applicants for blockchain-based inventions may see swifter progress through the Patent Office by highlighting ways ter which blockchain inventions improve computers “themselves” and/or a relevant technical field. It can also be fruitful to draft patent claims for blockchain inventions from numerous perspectives due to their inherently distributed nature.
Te latest years, there has bot enhancing rente te patenting blockchain-based inventions. Blockchain has bot defined spil a distributed ledger network that records transactions te a translucent, verifiable manner, and forms the onderstel for digital currencies like Bitcoin. Despite their technological promise, blockchain patent applications often face heightened analysis for subject matter eligibility and, eventually, potential issues of divided infringement.
Te the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision te Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Canap International et hoewel ., it has become more effective to characterize software inventions, including blockchain, spil involving “significantly more” than “abstract ideas” implemented on a pc. It can be helpful to present arguments or evidence that a blockchain invention involves an improved gegevens structure, akin to the self-referential spreadsheet of Enfish v. Microsoft, which held that such an “improvement to a rekentuig itself” wasgoed patent-eligible. However, spil blockchain becomes more ubiquitous, it may also be advisable to describe any improvements to the underlying steps of a blockchain invention, for example, te its encrypting function, or ter how blocks are generated or mined. Even if blockchain technology and underlying applied technology are separately deemed well-known, alternative arguments exist. For example, te Bascom Global Internet Services vs. AT&,T Mobility, online filtering wasgoed performed using filtering schemes and ISP servers that were both individually well-known ter the kunst. However, the Federal Circuit held that “an inventive concept can be found te the non-conventional and non-generic opstelling of known, conventional lumps.”
Furthermore, patents on blockchain-based inventions may be somewhat more susceptible to divided infringement issues, especially since a blockchain is inherently distributed among its various participants. Therefore, it may be helpful to draft numerous independent claims to strategically voorkant various sources of infringement. For example, it may help to craft claims describing a method for accessing or contributing to a blockchain, spil well spil separate claims for encryption methods or contribution-verification methods performed by non-contributing participants of the blockchain. By drafting claims from the perspectives of the numerous participants and entities of a blockchain, including that of the system itself, a patent might better guard against design-arounds.