Lucknow, UP, India, 226028

BLOCKCHAIN AND IP LAW

BLOCK CHAIN

INTRODUCTION 

Internet technology and its constituents, software applications, and programming languages develop today at a frantic pace. While performance, speed, and applications improve dramatically, online mysteries and crime flourish with the same digital weapons. Intellectual property and connected rights may be rather well known in an age of immense creative output. Blockchain continues to be a profound mystery for most. Don’t you think these terms deserve better understanding?

WHAT ARE BLOCKCHAIN AND IP? 

Blockchain

You cannot discuss blockchain without reference to Satoshi Nakamoto, [1] the puzzling creator. Like an interconnected and unbreakable chain, an online blockchain like a ledger records data of any nature. Assets and financial information may be recorded in an encrypted and permanent form. 

The first and most famous application of blockchain technology happened with the virtual currency Bitcoin that was launched in 2009. Hundreds of other virtual currencies have followed since then with similar methods. 

Intellectual Property

The creator of a piece of art like music or sculpture, software, or writing immediately holds the legal rights as the owner of the work known as intellectual property. Though no legal formalities have yet occurred, automatic IP rights ensure to the maker. When it comes to patents, trademarks, and designs, the registration process carries the rights further. Laws differ across countries. Wouldn’t it be simpler to have a single set of rules globally? 

INTERLINKS BETWEEN THE TWO 

The IP rights registration involves complex procedures that could get costly too. Further, IP rights are valid in a particular country only. Now that business has extended its reach across the world. IP rights complications may well be imagined. Block chain offers a smart solution by easing the online registration process. The result would be easy and cheap registration processes online. 

Smart contracts

A bit of code on the block chain is secure and distributed consistently. Instead of availing several different services from offices to obtain a patent or registration, it is automatic in the block chain through smart contracts. Procedures and transactions are transparent, more comfortable, and faster. 

MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BLOCKCHAIN AND IP

Blockchain

Unlike the Internet, there is no single global blockchain. Regarding the Internet, too, some countries like China have built their networks. Blockchains could be public or private and hybrid ones also, configured for a particular purpose, like transactions. 

Blockchain has garnered an evil reputation due to misconceptions. It is not meant for criminal activity and to disrupt banking services, though it deals with a cryptocurrency like ethereum.[2]

Most people think that blockchain and bitcoins are synonyms. The truth is that many kinds of crypto-currency are found on the blockchain, and bitcoin was the first. Though blockchain is associated with currency, it can store data relating to any sector. Healthcare and real estate, environment, and hospitality are some sectors

Intellectual Property

Copyright materials and trade secrets are subject to online scams, and fake websites and frauds bring endless complexities. 

A company does not hold absolute rights to its workers’ creations, unlike what many people think. The creator of the software or the book becomes the owner, and the company does not play any role. The company owner’s permission is not required to enter a business concerning the IP.   

Another prevailing idea is that IP rights extend across the globe that is fallacious thinking. Registration rules differ from country to country. It is intricate that each country requires a new registration. 

Do the IP registrations cover trademarks, slogans, and symbols? A company may have several trademarks, and each of them needs to be registered, while the general perception is that it is automatically registered along with the IPR. Similar trademarks across companies complicate the question further. 

AMALGAMATION TO BLOCKCHAIN AND IP

Combining artificial intelligence and Internet of things with blockchain would open up many new dimensions in the never-ending search for higher power and versatility.  

Every hand holds mobile phones nowadays. Combining AI with blockchain for developing mobile apps opens up exciting new vistas. In 2026, AI will reach 202 billion dollars in value. In mobile apps, computing, and data, consumer details will be assisted by AI technology. Blockchain and AI integration is a boon for business apps like in home appliances. 

AI and blockchain make a perfectly compatible match with their remarkable powers combined. AI is logical and creative and works very well with massive data. Robots prove what theories suggest. You can boost industries and improve daily life.

Internet of Things refers to connections between devices to exchange data with software and sensors. IoT is now expanding rapidly and might hit 30 billion devices that are connected by 2023. Blockchain technology is speeding up the IoT processes. Security benefits significantly from such an amalgamation. 

The financial sector, automobiles, and communication are increasingly using AI, IoT, and blockchain. They work in tandem to work out digital wonders with immense security and perfect performance. 

SUGGESTIONS AND CONCLUSION 

Though not commonly known or understood, blockchain rides on the wave of business technology today. Companies need to undergo training in blockchain platforms to keep up with the pace of change and future challenges. A business traditionally starts with the seed of an idea that needs to be transformed through a blockchain process to yield big bucks. Contact companies with the expertise to be future-ready. 

International payments or medical data sharing, supply chains and logistics, music royalties, and voting records, blockchain has smart answers and represents the ways of the future. A future that has perhaps already arrived! 

The closer connection between Blockchain and IP Law refers to only one of the numerous blockchain applications but a significant area of concern. Excessive piracy in every area like music and movies, books, and artworks reminds of the importance of cracking down upon the wrongdoers. Humans will fail, and the superhuman effort would be possible through blockchain, AI, and IoT. Better security and effectiveness would be gained through IP software rather than institutions in huge buildings, staff, and offices. Blockchain can uphold IP laws in the right hands. The day has come to promote blockchain as a policy rather than fear and misunderstand it. 

Author(s) Name: Shereen Abdin (Faculty of Law, Integral University)

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[1] Nakamoto, Satoshi, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, www.bitcoin.org, 2009, last accessed on May 8, 2018.

[2] Hildenbrandt, Everett, Saxena, Manasvi, Zhu, Xiao-ran, Rodrigues, Nishant, Daian, Philip, Guth, Dwight,and os ̧u, Grigore, KEVM: A Complete Semantics of theEthereum Virtual Machine (August 17, 2017) see https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/97207/