The blockchain technology, with its increasing use and popularity, has become an effective tool in countering IP infringement. Blockchain, the same system that makes Bitcoin and Ethereum work, is now giving creative people effective ways to protect their IP rights.
Blockchain technology is “an open ledger of information that can be used to record and track transactions, and which is exchanged and verified on a peer-to-peer network. Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies create a trustworthy and transparent record by allowing multiple parties to a transaction to verify what will be entered onto a ledger in advance without any single party having the ability to change any ledger entries later on. Each transaction or “block” is transmitted to all the participants in the network and must be verified by each participant “node” solving a complex mathematical puzzle. Once the block is verified, it is added to the ledger or chain.
From the perspective of information, the real innovation of distributed ledger technology is that it ensures the integrity of the ledger by crowdsourcing oversight and removes the need for a central authority. In other words, transactions are verified and validated by the multiple computers that host the blockchain. For this reason it is seen as “near unhackable,” because to change any of the information on it, a cyber-attack would have to strike (nearly) all copies of the ledger simultaneously. While the traditional concept of blockchain is an open and anonymous network, there are also “private” blockchains which pre-screen who is allowed to administer the ledger.” (Clark 2018)
But how might these technologies be used in the context of intellectual property (IP) law and practice?
In the advent of technological advances, the probability of having creations/products be stolen online is very high. Tracing and looking for the culprit is hard, but proving that you are the owner is much more challenging.
There are numerous intellectual property laws that has been implemented to protect IP right owners and their creations/products, until now, however, there has not been a definitive registration system to prove ownership.
That is where the role of blockchain technology matters.
Blockchain makes defending intellectual property right much more streamlined by leaving no question as to the ownership of the creation/product. One of the big advantages that blockchain is the high level of automation it delivers, and the immutability of the ‘blocks’ once they are created. This means low costs, and a high level of reliability as far as proof of ownership goes.
With the said technology, browsing the web for IP that is covered by existing copyright law is made easier. Bots can look for any instances of your IP online, and if they find unauthorized use, the IP right owner can start looking after whoever should be paying for his hard work.
While the arrival of internet made it harder for IP rights to be enforced and protected, we, at IPDEL, had incorporated the blockchain technology in our system making IP rights easier to be enforced and protected both online and offline platform.
Would you consider protecting your intellectual property using blockchain technology? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.