Update on the Digital Asset Industry
Despite reduced enthusiasm in the trading markets over the past couple of years, technological innovation and advancement from all corners of the crypto space has continued to thrive—including layer 2 scaling solutions for the Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains, improvements to crypto mining equipment, novel applications for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), just to name a few.
As we discussed previously, while open source innovation is a tenet of the crypto industry and the underlying blockchain technology that empowers it, companies involved in this technology should consider securing intellectual property rights for their innovations. This could include obtaining patents for inventions that complement or are adjacent to open decentralized public ledgers such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Patenting Activity for Cryptoassets and Other Blockchain Technology
As the graphs below indicate, patenting activity for cryptoassets and other blockchain-related innovations experienced a year-over-year increase for several years, though activity has tapered more recently.
The diagram below indicates that major payment processors (including Mastercard, VISA, and Alipay), banks (Bank of American and Capital One), and various retailers and technology conglomerates are among the top applicants for patent filings in this space.