Nine American companies are among the world’s top 10 blockchain patent acquirers, as big businesses and startups from the United States look to make advances in the technology underpinning most cryptocurrencies.
According to a survey of a total of 11,134 blockchain patents from German IP analyst IPlytics, tech giant IBM is the strongest, measured by patent family size. (Family patents are essentially patents that have been filed in more than one country. The more countries in which a patent has been filed, the higher the perceived international market potential for the patented invention.) The company owns a total of 297 patents, 185 of which are family patents.
Meanwhile, Blockchain developer nChain, affiliated with one of the main backers of Bitcoin SV, Craig Wright, often dubbed Faketoshi, led the way in terms of individual patents, having filed 443 of them. As a reminder, in May, Wright made headlines with his attempt to copyright the original Bitcoin white paper and Bitcoin code (version 0.1).
The lone non-American company making the IPlytics top 10 is the UK’s British Telecom (BT) – formerly a state-owned telecoms provider – which placed at number 7 in the rankings.
Other big companies making the top 10 were Intel, placing at number 2, as well as Accenture, Visa, Mastercard, Microsoft and bank MBNA.
The IPlytics figures also reveal that 4,673 blockchain patents were filed in 2018, a figure almost three times as high as 2017’s total. And as of April, 2,354 patent filings have already been filed in 2019.
The by-country analysis also revealed that Americans dominated proceedings – coming top with 4,948 applications, with China a distant second, followed by two European countries (Germany and the UK), and South Korea in fifth.
Meanwhile, in 2017, out of a total of 406 patents filed, 225 were filed by China, followed by the U.S. with 91 filings, according to th