Technology giants such as Alibaba and IBM are eating startup innovators’ lunch. These behemoths are seeking to devour even more market share by publishing patents at unprecedented speed in emerging technologies such as blockchain.
As some of the richest companies on the planet, the corporations have the resources to manage the laborious search of existing patents and to overcome the outdated administrative hurdles so that they can file for intellectual property rights.
Patents are definitely old school. Patent laws started with the rise of the nation-state, so they began in the 18th century and were then fully developed in the 19th century. Some changes may have been made to reflect new technologies, but the basic patent laws haven’t evolved to meet the needs of the 21st century.
We’re patenting ideas based on today’s high-tech of artificial intelligence and blockchain with laws that were established centuries ago.
All this puts early-growth companies with game-changing inventions at a huge disadvantage.
Getting a patent is one of the most important strategic decisions a business can take. A patent not only protects a business idea from copycats, but it can also increase the value of the young company.
One of the reasons value increases is because a patent can block others from a market. Once a startup has it, they can make sure nobody else will enter that particular segment.
In a recent study, conducted by KISSPatent on patents in the specific field of blockchain, results showed an arms race between Alibaba and IBM. The Chinese e-commerce giant has published 10 times more blockchain-related patents than IBM in 2020, a year when blockchain patent numbers are generally skyrocketing. More blockchain-related patents were published in the first half of 2020 than in all of 2019, a year that had already seen three times more blockchain