As we have previously reported, the number of blockchain patents being filed and granted is continuing to increase. According to a Thomson Reuters report, 225 out of the 406 blockchain patents (55.4%) filed in 2017 came from China, followed by 91 (22.4%) from the U.S. and 13 (3.2%) from Australia. The following is a brief summary of a few such patents that have been recently filed or granted in the U.S.

The fields of technology are across the board. Of course there are many in the financial transactions arena.  For example, the Winklevoss brothers added to their blockchain portfolio by securing U.S. Patents 9,965,804 and 9,965,805, which issued May 8, 2018. These patents relate to a system for managing and settling exchange traded products (“ETPs”) holding crypto and other digital assets. This patent is one of a series of applications dating back to 2013.

In the field of core blockchain technology, Accenture obtained U.S. Patent 9,959,065 relating to a hybrid blockchain that enables tamper-resistance block rewrites by trusted parties.

Dell received U.S. Patents 9,967,333 and 9,967,334, which issued May 8, 2018, for blockchain-based messaging applications.

A growing number of patents are being filed and issued in the digital collectibles and digital items space. For example, U.S. Patent 9,947,015, issued April 17, 2018 relates to a system for authenticating and tracking ownership of memorabilia items including storing a verification certificate to a blockchain. U.S. Patent 9,875,510, issued January 23, 2018, relates to a system and method for creating and tracking digital objects and records in a decentralized manner using a peer-based consensus mechanism. Tap Project filed application SN US62/648408 that aims to provide a marketplace and crypto token that allows gamers to buy, trade and sell in-game virtual items and virtual currency via a blockchain-based decentralized ledger.

The use of blockchain in the fields of interactive entertainment and digital collectibles seems to be increasing. For companies operating in this space, it is also important to understand that there can be a number important legal issues that can arise. For more information on these legal issues see our blog post on Legal Issues With Blockchain-Based Crypto Games and Collectibles.