Is cryptocurrency patentable? It’s a question that has been popping up more and more lately, particularly with the race to innovate in the cryptocurrency world. Bitcoin continues to be the dominant crypto-currency, but there are now hundreds of other currencies with different purposes or features that have popped up in recent years. The answer to this question is complicated because it depends on a number of factors which we’ll review below. In some cases, patents may be granted for specific types of blockchain technology while others may not be eligible at all. With the rapid growth in the decentralized currency space, many companies are now seeking patents on cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology to secure their place in the market.
As many startups know, the development of intellectual property can often determine their valuation, consumer and investor interest, and ultimate success, and is often the company’s most valuable asset. As a new startup, the challenges you face may seem insurmountable, having to balance product development, marketing, and raising capital while developing a strategic intellectual property portfolio with limited resources.
software which differentiates their product from their competitors or duplicating its critical features in their next software update is not only demoralizing but kills scalability.
The United States first recognized the importance of patents before its founding and authorized the granting of patents in Article One, section 8, clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution. The first patent law was passed several years later, in 1790. As such, U.S. patents have a history of over two hundred and thirty years. The term “software” was first coined in the 1950s and the first modern software programs that were stored in memory were created in the mid-1940s. You may ask yourself, how does a revolutionary technology that was invented relatively recently fit into a framework that was drafted roughly one hundred and fifty years prior? The answer is: it’s complicated. While software patents have been granted that relate to a wide variety of technological fields, recent court decisions led some commentators to question whether software patents are enforceable at all. In prior articles we have discussed how the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) analyzes software related patent applications, so this article will explore whether and how to enforce a patent granted on software.