With the large numbers of new Blockchain-focused projects doing Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) it is quite difficult to actually find a new use case for this game changing technology.
The start-up IPCHAIN Database managed to do just that. Originally formed by a number of scientists, who wanted to use Blockchain technology to address known challenges in the context of protecting scientific research, the project has been met with enthusiastic feedback by leading stakeholders in intellectual property (IP) law.
Once released, the platform will offer users a large number of tools to protect, safely share and transfer all kinds of intellectual property, including scientific research, inventions, art and trade-secrets.
To better understand why Blockchain technology holds such a great potential for intellectual property law, one has to understand that the rights to a creation either lie with its the creator automatically or else have to be requested – in the form of patents, for instance. In both cases it is essential that the applicant or author can prove that he or she did that piece of work prior to anyone else.
This simple fact has been difficult to prove in legal proceedings as witnesses, personal notes, webpages or social media seldom suffice as clear proof of first authorship. Blockchain technology has the characteristics of an immutable, incorruptible, decentralized digital ledger and, as such, is ideally suited to provide creators of IP with a time stamped proof when they first uploaded their work.
The possibilities for the better protection of intellectual property are not limited to publishing content on the Blockchain however. IPCHAIN Database therefore has established partnerships with important authorities in the field of IP, for instance Dennemeyer Group, the world’s largest IP law firm, and with the help of these experts developed a number of functionalities that also focus on the safe sharing of confidential information and the sale of such information or rights.
“To easily, quickly and safely share confidential information is essential for scientists but also for companies, who need to protect their many trade-secrets,” – explains Ingrid Kelly Spillmann, who, as Technology Transfer Manager at University of Vienna, is responsible for the management of the University’s patent portfolio, marketing University technologies to industry and licensing University technologies.
Blockchain technology has been identified as a potential game changer for intellectual property by experts in this field and the recent article “Blockchain and IP law: a match made in crypto heaven” in the official World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) magazine demonstrated a number of possible use cases. Due to their partnership with WIPO Green IPCHAIN Database already addressed the majority of these use cases in their already released whitepaper that also focuses on the company’s upcoming token sale.