Intellectual Property Rights Management with Blockchain

Published : Jul 14, 2021

blockchain for intellectual property rights management

  • You're probably aware of how easy it is for your content to be stolen online if you write, design, or create any media that is protected by Intellectual Property (IP) legislation. As if chasing down criminals wasn't difficult enough, defending your legal rights as the owner of the content requires proving your ownership. While copyright and intellectual property rights management law protects your work, there hasn't been a centralized procedure for proving ownership until now. However, thanks to blockchain solutions development, this is changing.

    The system that allows bitcoins to function is known as the blockchain. But, more crucially, it provides creative people with more effective means to defend their intellectual property rights than ever before.

    Blockchain Applications in intellectual property (IP)

    Blockchain has the potential to make a big impact in the realm of intellectual property due to its accountability, security, transparency, and immutability. However, because Blockchain is still in its early stages of development, we may see many more advanced Blockchain uses for intellectual property shortly.

    In the current condition of the intellectual property sector, there are five potential use-cases for Blockchain-based Intellectual Property Management.

    Also, Read | Blockchain for Smart Intellectual Property Rights Management

    Smart Contracts in IP based on Blockchain

    A smart contract is a Blockchain-based computer program that runs automatically if a predetermined condition in a transaction is met.

    In the field of intellectual property, transactions such as buying a patent entail several stages, including checking the patent's assignment, validity, drafting the sale agreement, executing and paying the transaction, and ultimately notifying the relevant patent offices of the transaction. Smart contracts can make all of these procedures easier.

    Given the requirement for a digitalized and secure transaction system that develops trustworthy connections among persons without compromising security, Smart contracts can be broadly implemented in the IPR domain with the ever-increasing innovation in Blockchain technology. Smart Contract solutions appear to be incredibly useful in terms of automatically initiating legal and enforceable contracts, especially for materials like songs, images, and so on, as the IP world opens up to the benefits of new-age technology.

    Determining creatorship/Proof-of-Ownership on the blockchain

    Blockchain technology can be used to verify the authenticity of IP work ownership on a secure network. A person who wants to receive a patent for an invention can go to the patent office and file a patent application to protect his intellectual property.

    However, in the case of copyright, the creator bears the burden of demonstrating ownership of creative content due to the lack of formal proof. Exercising copyright has become even more difficult in the age of the internet when anybody can freely download and utilize creative content such as recorded music, a photograph, or a painting.

    Fortunately, Blockchain is one such technology that may be able to meet the system's requirements by offering both security and proof of ownership for intellectual property. Many businesses have already begun to offer blockchain-based timestamping and validation systems for securing digital assets.

    Also, Read | Emerging Blockchain Use Cases in Media and Entertainment

    Blockchain for enabling IP marketplaces

    Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is one sort of DLT (DLT). Multiple separate computers (nodes) are used in Distributed Ledger Technology to record, share, and synchronize transactions in their electronic ledgers.

    Blockchain might be utilized as a platform for inventors to list their inventions/digital works in the form of ledgers with brief descriptions, thereby operating as an IP marketplace. In addition, inventors/patent holders who want to locate possible licensees for their ideas' relevant know-how might leverage Blockchain.

    In terms of how information is shared, Blockchain's Ledger technology has revolutionized the industry. This new approach of sharing information, while maintaining transparency, security, and timeliness, will have far-reaching implications across all domains. IPR is one of those domains where information sharing with essential rules must be maintained, and given the blockchain ledger technology, we may see a potential application in IPR related data information sharing.

    Also, Read | Blockchain for Document/Records Management across Industries

    Developing a unified global patent/IP system

    With its decentralized ledger technology, blockchain could also help to harmonize the patent system across countries. This might substantially increase the efficiency of IP management, accelerate the innovation process in businesses, and facilitate information sharing among them via the ledger.

    Many laws and patent offices are gradually coming to terms with blockchain as "admissible evidence." Blockchain technology has the potential to become a global system for securing digital assets due to its immutability, security, and transparency. Legislations and governments globally are identifying the potential of blockchain to incorporating it as a type of proof of evidence. Going forward, most governments may recognize blockchain as an underlying technology, which may potentially unify the entire intellectual property system.

    Keeping track of the versions of digital assets

    With time, IPs like Patents, research and publications, copyrights, and other digital assets require a variety of versions. It warrants the development of technology that enables the unified storage of multiple versions of digital assets across their lifecycle. Blockchain technology can be utilized in systems where users can use its ledger technology to link all versions of their digital assets and potentially use it for asset end-to-end lifecycle management.

    Defensive publications are a means to prevent someone from patenting an invention by publicly disclosing it and therefore producing prior art for the invention. Each file is given a unique fingerprint, duplications are deleted, the platform enables versioning, each network node may choose which content it hosts, and the database is indexed and searchable, Blockchain could serve as a defensive publication platform.

    Also, Read | Smart Contracts on Blockchain | Real Examples and Platforms

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it gives you an idea of how big the platform maybe, given how generic it is.

    As a result, the scope and possibilities of IP rights implementation are vast, and when done on a blockchain ledger, it is referred to as "smart IP rights." Thus, a government entity can continue to operate its virtual IP offices and issue blockchain patents, offering complete traceability of an idea or a brand. As a result, the full lifecycle could be traced and time wasted determining the point of origination might be avoided. 

    Connect with our blockchain development experts to know more about blockchain app development for intellectual property rights management systems.

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