China leads the race for blockchain patents

Katie McDonaldKatie McDonaldDecember 13, 2018
Blockchain Patent Race Led by China

China has emerged as the front runner for blockchain patents globally, with e-commerce giant Alibaba the country’s largest applicant.

ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, published its Blockchain Innovation: A Patent Analytics Report today, providing industry insight to assist both businesses and governments in understanding the technology and the degree to which it is a critical enabler for continued economic growth.

The report found that blockchain patent filings have grown 140 per cent or more each year since 2013, with 92 per cent of these blockchain-related patents in an active state.

China lead the pack, with a total 1,518 patent families relating to blockchain technology in 2018, and e-commerce business Alibaba the country’s largest applicant. China made up half of the total patent families captured within the report.

The United States was the second largest global patent destination for blockchain technology, followed by South Korea, Japan and Europe.

Australia ranked sixth globally, ahead of Canada and India.

ACS president Yohan Ramasundara said blockchain had been hyped as one of the most transformative and disruptive technologies on the immediate horizon.

“With the global market forecast to grow to US$60 billion by 2024, Australian businesses and governments alike have ample opportunity to leverage the technology as it matures,” said Ramasundara.Click To Tweet

“It’s pleasing to see that despite strong competition in this space, Australia is punching above its weight when it comes to blockchain innovation. We’ve already seen Australia’s financial services sector investing heavily in proofs of concept, along with the Australian Stock Exchange and government departments including the Digital Transformation Agency.

“Moneycatcha is a great example of a recent Australian success story. It has filed a standard patent application through the international patent cooperation treaty (PCT) in the last two years. This filing strategy means that it is in a position to seek protection overseas.”

The report revealed digital currency service Coinplug, based in South Korea, as top global innovator in the blockchain space, with 75 active patent families – and 92 per cent of these granted.

More than 3,000 patent families have been filed in blockchain technology, with document management the major problem being addressed by blockchain innovators.

Popular patents included blockchain applications for payment and transaction systems, financial services, business administration, shopping and e-commerce.

“Blockchain patenting is more than doubling every year, and we can see real opportunities for Australia in blockchain technologies,” said IP Australia chief economist Benjamin Mitra-Kahn.


Read the full Blockchain Innovation: A Patent Analytics Report here:

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