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Unlocking the blockchain

Published

2017

Fri

19

May

 
By Norton Rose Fulbright
 
Chapter 3: Using intellectual property rights to protect distributed ledger technology

A significant amount of attention is being paid to the disruptive potential of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and many businesses are making huge investments in DLT-enabled products and/or services.

Whilst a significant amount of time is now being spent by businesses on analyzing the various legal and regulatory issues impacting upon the DLT space, many businesses have not yet considered strategies as to whether to (and how to):

  • Protect their investment in the technology by creating enforceable intellectual property rights in respect of it.
  • Put themselves in the best possible position to defend themselves from infringement claims in relation to the use of DLT technology by competitors and so-called “patent trolls” (known as non-practicing entities).

In this chapter we consider some intellectual property rights-related use cases for DLT, before looking at whether, and to what extent, intellectual property rights can subsist in the technology and can be used to protect and enforce proprietary rights in it. We also explore some of the key issues for businesses looking to implement an intellectual property rights management strategy in relation to the technology.

We hope you find chapter 3 in our Unlocking the blockchain series insightful and please do get in touch if you would like to discuss any aspect of this topic.

Sean Murphy
Global head of blockchain and distributed ledgers
London

Paul Keller
Partner – Intellectual Property
New York

Click here to download Chapter Three.

 
Source: Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc.
 
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