[Hybrid Event] Patenting Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies 2023

December 4th
San Francisco, CA
Practising Law Institute (PLI)

Practising Law Institute (PLI)

December 4th, 2023
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM PST
PLI California Conference Center
455 Market Street, Suite 2300
San Francisco, CA 94105
$ 940.00

Free with PLI Privileged Membership

Half-Day Program – In-Person or via Live Webcast

Up to 3.5 Credit Hours

Cryptocurrencies continue to make headlines, most recently for their dramatic changes in price. But these headlines obscure the continued progress in using blockchains for technologies such as payments, information security, and collaborative databases. In these areas and others, innovators continue to realize the transformative potential of blockchains and distributed ledger technologies. “Blockchain” may for some remain associated mostly with money laundering and darknets. But blockchains are much more than cryptocurrencies: they and related technologies promise new, transformative solutions to problems of trust, control, and distribution of data.

Recognizing the promise of blockchain technology, many continue to invest heavily in blockchain-related technologies and their applications. The investments have lead to innovation and, as a corollary, the desire to protect the innovation to get a return on the investments.

Patents are traditionally looked to as a way to protect innovation. But patenting blockchains in the U.S. often raises issues of patent eligibility that have taken on new importance following the Supreme Court’s decisions in Mayo, Alice, and other cases, and their ongoing elaboration by the Federal Circuit. These issues can be particularly acute considering how many applications of blockchains relate to FinTech or improvements to business practices. Moreover, some popular blockchain technologies and applications derive much of their appeal from being nonproprietary, so a patent may not always be the right tool.

Program Chair:

Jon E. Gordon – Haug Partners LLP

What You Will Learn:

After completing this program, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the basics: the core technologies, main applications, and emerging trends around blockchain technology
  • Understand the law of patent-eligibility and what it means for protecting blockchain-related inventions
  • Explore strategic issues, including considerations that make patents more appropriate for some kinds of blockchain-related inventions than others
  • Learn approaches to patent drafting and prosecution that maximize the chance of success when applying for patents in this area

Who Should Attend:

This program is designed for both patent practitioners and non-practitioners. In addition, law firm attorneys and in-house counsel who are not patent practitioners but need to counsel clients developing blockchain technologies and their applications, patent practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding of the issues these technologies raise, and other allied professionals who need to learn or get up to speed on the latest developments regarding patenting blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, especially in view of the latest technological developments, should attend this program.

Program Level: Overview

Prerequisites: Some familiarity with the basics of U.S. patent law will be assumed. It will be also helpful to be acquainted with some applications of blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

Advanced Prep: None

Up to 3.5 Credit Hours


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