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Employing blockchain to protect intellectual property

Over time, Toshev & Boteva Law Firm has continually been trying to communicate the massive variety of potential benefits that blockchain technologies could produce for different industries, including the private, the public, and the business sector.

We've recently mentioned blockchain as a tool for optimizing government administration, empowering scientific progress, improving the eco-friendliness of the business, and even coordinating regulatory processes during a global pandemic. Today we are going to open a brand new page, giving you some facts about the connection between blockchain and intellectual property protection means.

Blockchain-based data administration is virtually impossible to hack or modify, while also remaining highly transparent and easy to audit. It also dramatically reduces the number of intermediaries throughout the process. In the field of intellectual property protection, it can support several vital processes: record and copyright evidence keeping, administrating a clean rights register, controlling the trading and distribution of rights, creating smart contracts for intellectual property, etc. Here is how:

  • Blockchain technology can be adopted for generating a single, global patent register - something which, unfortunately, does not yet exist. To date, patent registers are dispersed all over the globe, and communication between them is often rather slow and complicated.
  • Blockchain-based smart contracts could significantly accelerate and facilitate the patent acquisition process, which is currently extremely complex, bulky, and inefficient. Blockchain automation would eliminate the need for numerous third parties to intervene in an endless chain of interaction. Investigating patent ownership and validity, negotiating the terms of the deal, completing the financial transaction, and finally reporting it are features that smart contracts could easily manage with insignificant human interference.
  • Blockchain can be the foundation for building a reliable “archive” or a record storage system related to trademark use. This would make proving the origin and the legitimacy of various goods easier, faster, and fully automated - factors that play a critical role in the struggle against unregulated reproduction and intellectual property theft.
  • Blockchain-based applications can help intellectual property owners carry out detailed ongoing monitoring of a database showing whether, when, where, and who is using their work. This is an excellent opportunity to track your content and to punctually formulate all claims against the initiators behind its illegal distribution.

All of the above are not hypotheses from the distant future, but a practically applicable reality, that's already establishing several successful practices in the digital realm. Some of the most popular startups offering blockchain solutions to intellectual property problems are, for example, Blinded, Bernstein, and others.

Georgi Toshev is a lawyer and Managing Partner at Toshev & Boteva Law Office, leading a dedicated team of lawyers who invest time, resources, and efforts in exploring blockchain technology and defining its legal status as a key technology of the future. Because the world does not change all by itself. We are the ones changing it.

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Dedicated to success!