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Author
Kristina Mulina

Assistant to Patent Attorney

14 December 2018

New technology and its protection as intellectual property subject matters (IPSM)

In the information and digital age, the technological progress is a driving force for theeconomic growth and development. Moreover, it is indisputable that in the nearest future theimportance of technology will only increase, since the introduction of new technology is fasterevery year, and the innovation cycles become shorter. The expansion of technology allows theuse of new business models, what ultimately contributes to the economic growth.The global technological and cultural development as a whole, the creation, expansionand use of existing and new technology are closely connected with the protection of intellectualrights at international and regional levels.This, in turn, has led to the emergence of new phenomena of the information exchange,and it has set a lot of serious challenges before the professionals in the field of IP, forcing themto develop in this direction and to adapt to new conditions.Today, intellectual property is facing a new challenge: the blockchain is one of the mostactual topics of the recent times. The blockchain technology has become so widely known due tothe fact that such types of cryptocurrency, as Bitcoin and Ethereum, were created on its basis.So, let us explain in detail what the blockchain actually is and the advantages we gain byusing it. The blockchain (derived from the English word “a blockchain” (a block chain), whatliterally means “a chain of blocks”) is a continuous sequential chain of blocks containing theinformation that is built according to the certain rules. Most often, the copies of the block chainsare stored on numerous different computers independently of each other, and as a result, thestorage devices are not connected to a multi-unit server. This database stores a constantlygrowing list of ordered records called the blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link tothe previous block. Thus, the blockchain is an open ledger of the information, which isexchanged and checked by the participants of the peer-to-peer network. It can be used to recordand track transactions. The blockchain and other technology of the distributed ledger createreliable and transparent records, allowing many parties of each transaction to check theinformation entering the ledger in advance, but neither party can make changes to the ledgersubsequently. Each transaction or block is transmitted to all participants in the network and mustbe checked by each participating node through solving a complex mathematical task. Afterchecking the block, it is added to the ledger or chain. To put it simply, the use of the encryptionensures that users can change only those parts of the chain of blocks that they “own” in the sensethat they have private keys, without which recording to the file is impossible. In addition, theencryption ensures the copies synchronization of the distributed chain of blocks among all users.From the point of view of information theory, a truly innovative nature of the technologyof the distributed ledger is related to the fact that it ensures the integrity of the ledger through the

control of all participants in the chain and eliminates the need for a central regulatory authority.In other words, the transactions are checked and confirmed by the numerous computers that storethe blockchain. Therefore, the technology is considered to be “practically unbreakable,” becausein order to change any information in it, a cyber attack must be directed (practically) to all copiesof the ledger simultaneously.The blockchain technology initially incorporates security at the database level. Theconcept of the chains of blocks was offered by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. It was firstimplemented in 2009 as a component of the digital currency – Bitcoin, where the blockchainplayed the role of the main common ledger for all operations.Due to its potential, the blockchain technology is interesting for many differentindustries. The data various types can be added to the chain: from cryptocurrency andtransactions to data files, project documents. Using the blockchain, you can keep records, storethe data, make transactions in any sphere of the life activity: financial transactions, real estatetransactions, logistics, insurance, traffic violations, identity cards and other things.In this regard, the question arises about the possibility of protecting this technology asintellectual property subject matters by obtaining patents for inventions for these technicalsolutions.Having carried out some patent search among the applications filed for the inventions inthis field, I would like to note that the greatest activity of patenting has been traced since mid-2017, and due to its relevance, patenting in this field will, in my opinion, only grow.Here are a few examples of patents, after getting familiar with which, you willimmediately understand that new blockchain technology is mainly patented as inventions of asystem and technology/method, but there are the examples of protection as utility models of aplatform, however, when patenting this option, special difficulties can occur, due to the fact thatonly the devices that are contained in a single housing and consist of the parts interconnected byrigid connections can be protected as utility models:– WO 2017/171733 (published on 05.10.2017) “SYSTEM AND METHOD FORMULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION OF IDENTITY BASED ON THE BLOCKCHAIN”;– RU 2 639 015 C1 (published on 19.12.2017) “METHOD FOR CONTROLAUTHENTICATION AND THE PRODUCT QUALITY IN THE PROCESS OF THEMANUFACTURE AND IMPLEMENTATION”;– EN 181 439 U1 (published on 13.07.2018) “THE DECENTRALIZEDTECHNOLOGY PLATFORM OF STORING AND THE DATA EXCHANGE OFTRANSACTIONS IN A DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING NETWORK”;

– US2018302222 A1 (published on 18.10.2018) “METHOD AND APPARATUS FORACCESS CONTROL IN DISTRIBUTED BLOCKCHAIN-BASED INTERNET OF THINGS(IOT) NETWORK”;– US2018300382 A1 (published on 18.10.2018) “METHOD AND SYSTEM FORTUNING BLOCKCHAIN SCALABILITY FOR FAST AND LOW-COST PAYMENT ANDTRANSACTION PROCESSING”;– WO2018183099 A1 (published on 04.10.2018) “BLOCKCHAIN-BASEDTRANSACTION PROCESSING METHOD AND APPARATUS.”From the presented analysis on the patentable technical solutions in this direction, we canconclude that the protection of intellectual property is an important integral component. After all,the patents are not just an abstract concept; they play an invaluable practical role in our life andstimulate the development of innovations and new technology in various fields.

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