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Alibaba filed 10x more blockchain patents than IBM this year: Report

More blockchain patents have been filed in the first half of 2020 than all of 2019, KISSPatent explained

Intellectual property consultancy KISS Patent has released a report stating that the United States continues to lead as the country with the most blockchain patents. However, the most blockchain patents in the last year have been filed by China’s multinational company Alibaba. The report further highlighted its importance by stating that knowing the number of patents and who owns them will significantly impact future strategic decisions.

“Blockchain, like software, is everywhere and crosses into multiple categories. There is no such thing as a ‘blockchain patent’ but there are many different blockchain clusters,” the report explained.

IBM and Alibaba hold the most blockchain patents. Alibaba has filed more than 200 patents while IBM has filed a little over 100. However, this year alone, Alibaba has published 10 times more patents than IBM, the report said. Other US-based companies like Bank of America and Mastercard have also filed blockchain patents, improving America’s total.

More blockchain patents have been filed in the first half of 2020 than all of 2019, the report said highlighting the emerging importance of blockchain across the manufacturing and service-based spectrum.

The United States, with 2112 patents is followed by the Cayman Islands with 350 filings and Canada with 118. Japan, South Korea, and China are the rest of the countries in the top six. Alibaba’s subsidiaries headquartered in the British Overseas Territory have filed these applications through the Cayman Islands leading to its second position.

Most Chinese companies that are represented in various top 10 blockchain patent lists are not solely focused on blockchain, the report stated. KISSPatent further explained that these companies have blockchain applications as part of their technology portfolio and Chinese firms in particular file so many patents to avoid trading sanctions overseas.

“They’ve learned from the example of Xiaomi, the “Chinese Apple,” which was blocked from selling its smartphones in its foray out of China – because the Swedish Ericsson held so many patents,” the report explained.

Fintech dominates blockchain patents with applications that either focus on cryptocurrencies and their exchanges or on supporting financial transactions with blockchain. Decentralized business solutions deployed over the blockchain is the second most popular category. Business services with a financial component including healthcare, traditional banking services, and general business services have also been important, the report explained.

Dr. D’vorah Graeser founder and CEO of KISSPatent said “Blockchain innovators need to reconsider the role of intellectual property within their companies. Blockchain is here to stay and it will very soon be a dominant force in tech disruption. Big companies will use this technology to innovate and they will do everything in their hands to protect and monetize their innovations”.

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