Blockchain advancement is gearing towards at a rapid speed. This could be faster, though. A new community was known as the ‘Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA)’ has been established in order to promote the growing acceptance and growth of blockchain-focused services.
This partnership, championed by Square, effectively represents a community of forward-thinking businesses who have agreed to publicly and freely exchange blockchain-based patents.
Patents have a critical role to play in virtually every sector. To simplify, a patent is a right to exclusivity in relation to a method or intellectual property (IP). Patents are essential, mainly for the purpose of securing us against theft.
If a brilliant inventor had spent years creating a new method or device yet failed to secure the IP with a patent, a manufacturer might appear and utilize the inventor’s IP to replicate the final product. For the investor to gain from his invention, the IP has to be secured.
Sharing the Knowledge
Naturally, not everything is perfect, so here are the downsides to patents.
Richer firms will try to own patents for competing tech. This means the firm is not securing the intellectual property but freezing it and making it impossible for others to utilize it. This happens a lot – corporations hoard patents all the time.
That is why COPA was recently established. They believe sharing IP shows care. Since the blockchain sector is just dawning, one can really slow down progress with the hoarding of patents. So, if the sector, in general, is going to meet the needs of their partners, it would be very useful to share knowledge.
The idea of exchanging patents is not a novel thing. Although most businesses are focusing exclusively on their own performance, there were instances of doing the contrary. What was fueling these decisions? The wish of pushing an industry, doing what’s of public interest, etc. After all, better to be a shark in an aquarium than a fish in the sea.
A good example of patent-sharing happened 57 years ago at Volvo. They made a three-point seatbelt and shared the patent. Today, this patent is utilized in modern cars.
Sure, they could’ve kept this one at Volvo or licensed it out to competitors. Why? This was not just an innovative money-maker. It was more than that – a life-saving invention, so the carmaker saw it as its duty to give everyone the right to use this patent. Millions of lives were saved thanks to Volvo’s move to share this intellectual property.
Speaking of Volvo, they are also adopters of blockchain since the firm stated not long ago their wish to utilize tech as a way of overseeing Cobalt supply chains. This problem is growing since electric cars demand Cobalt. But since this substance is unethically mined lots of times, Volvo is trying to stop this.
In recent times, there were different instances of patent-hoarding happening in distributed leverage. Here are some firms are known to do such a thing:
- Alibaba < 210 patents
- Coinplug < 100 patents
- IBM < 130 patents;
- Bank of America < 80 patents;
This does not inherently mean they are bad companies, just that they are seen as true innovators, always breaking the glass ceiling.
COPA sounds good in theory, but the question is – can it be adopted well? Giving something for no gain needs a forward-thinking attitude. Lots of times, these alliances lean to the snowball effects since people often follow those who take the initial step.
This shouldn’t be COPA’s problem since Square also joined into the fun.
Jack Dorsey is a famed pre-BTC persona. He’s Square’s chief executive officer, lobbying for COPA.
Blockchains and Patent
Since distributed leverage is some of the most sought-after techs around, firms are vying to think of patents that would align with it. But, some, like IPWe, took another approach. They made a blockchain-focused patent aggregation platform with the aim of bringing new efficiency to the patent sector, which is segregated substantially globally.