Ep 25: It’s Not Easy Being a Blockchain Patent Attorney


Blockchain tech might be poised to revolutionize how companies like Bank of America operate and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin trade. But inventors trying to patent their ideas in the field—and stake their claim on future profits—are facing hurdles at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

“Though there’s been a surge of these patent applications, winning or scoring these patents on these technologies won’t be easy,” Bloomberg Law reporter Malathi Nayak said in a recent podcast episode of Code & Conduit.


Bloomberg Law data shows a wave of new applications have hit the patent office in recent months, but only a fraction have won patents.

The PTO received nearly 700 blockchain-related applications from 2011 to April 30 of this year. But just 70 patents—a tenth of those sought—were granted over that seven-year period, according to Bloomberg Law data. The figures may not include applications that have been granted but not yet published, or those that were denied, abandoned, or filed as confidential.

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