Payments company Square, led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has formed the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) consortium to combat patent trolling in the cryptocurrency industry.
The consortium members stated that all blockchain-related patents will be stored in the COPA library. The alliance will provide open access to patented blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. In their opinion, this will contribute to the free introduction of innovative technologies, as well as the creation of new and improved products. COPA is created to change the way patent applications are processed and used in the cryptocurrency industry.
The main goal of the alliance is to fight the “trolls” who are engaged in the registration of various patents for developments related to the blockchain, without trying to promote them on the market. If any firm or developer wants to use similar technologies, the “troll” can sue them and get compensation. The organizers of COPA believe that this hinders the development of the cryptocurrency industry and hinders the large-scale promotion of innovations.
For example, the infamous Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has repeatedly tried to patent the Bitcoin blockchain, calling himself its creator. Since August 2017, Wright has filed over 155 patent applications in the blockchain and cryptocurrency fields. In addition, last year, one Wei Liu also tried to copyright the White Paper and the original Bitcoin code.
Note that the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba leads in the number of patents using blockchain. The company has already received 212 patents, while the technology giant IBM has received 136 patents.