Patent Strategies for Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
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Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are rapidly emerging as disruptive technologies. As has happened with many new technologies, particularly disruptive ones, a patent arms race is occurring. The number of patents being filed for these technologies is rapidly increasing.

Based on a recent search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database, using sample keywords shown below, it is clear that, while relatively few patents have been issued to date, a flurry of activity is occurring. The number of published applications shows roughly a tenfold increase over the number of issued patents. Note that patent applications are published 18 months after they are filed. This means that the number of pending applications is likely much greater than what is shown below.

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