The United States kept its first ranking with the most blockchain patents, according to a report from intellectual property consultancy KISSPatent.
KISSPatent clarified that the US ranking came despite the fact that Chinese company Alibaba filed the most patents so far this year.
IBM and Alibaba hold the most blockchain patents. Alibaba has filed more than 200, while IBM filed a little over 100.
“But other US-based companies like Bank of America and Mastercard have also filed several patent applications, bumping up the total for the US,” KISSPatent noted.
It further added that the first half of 2020 witnessed the filing of more blockchain patents than all of 2019.
The US has 2,112 patents, followed by the Cayman Islands with 350 filings and Canada with 118. The rest of the top six are Japan with 108, South Korea with 87, and China with 77. The Cayman Islands is second, as Alibaba’s subsidiaries headquartered in the British overseas territory filed these applications.
Chinese companies dominate the top ten blockchain patent lists. However, not all of them are specialised in blockchain only.
The report said that these companies have blockchain applications as part of their technology portfolio. The reason China filed so many patents, the report said, was to avoid some trading sanctions overseas.
“They’ve learned from the example of Xiaomi, the ‘Chinese Apple’, which was blocked from selling its smartphones in its foray out of China – because the Swedish Ericsson held so many patents,” it clarified.
The most popular category of patent filing is fintech applications. These include applications using cryptocurrencies and those supporting the storage or the exchange of cryptocurrencies.
Other popular categories included patents for decentralised business platforms, solutions deployed over blockchain, business services with a financial component, and healthcare and traditional banking services on a blockchain.
Many industry players have expressed concern over patent trolling, so Square helped launch the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance. The group wants to democratise access to innovative technologies.