AUTHOR’S NAME – Tannu, B.A.LLB, Fourth Year.
INSTITUTION NAME – BPSMV, Khanpur kalan, Sonipat.
The main aim of this research paper is to throw light on the new technology currency Cryptocurrency (bitcoin) related to IPR. How Bitcoin comes into existence and who is the owner of this technology? Bitcoin is influenced by blockchain technology (chain of blocks). Blockchain has a very wide scope it covers new technologies and also has the power to cover IP. Every block has a separate code for instance every human has different fingerprints. Today, in the financial, sales, medical and other fields, the blockchain has already played its advantages. In this research paper, we focus on the related research and its application.[i][ii]
Keywords: blockchain, Cryptocurrency, relevant, bitcoin, digital currencies, intellectual property law, Ethereum.
Cryptocurrency (crypto) is a type of digital, virtual (in online form )currency that is unregulated and runs on blockchain technology. Some of the more popular cryptos are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dogecoin, Dash, Ripple, DESO, and SafeMoon. and all these work as a medium of exchange.[iii]
All these are very popular currencies nowadays but an interesting fact is here these digital currencies are not controlled by RBI (central banking authorities).
With the use of cryptography, transactions using crypto are secured and the transfer of assets is verified. Blockchain also helps secure crypto by preventing the emergence of counterfeits.[iv]
First cryptocurrency Bitcoin :
Cryptocurrency inventor Satoshi Nakamoto :
An interesting fact is that no one is sure about Satoshi Nakamoto, whether he is a real person or not. There are some speculations that satoshi nakamoto is a group of companies like Samsung Toshiba Nakamichi and Motorola. when you add the first letters of those brands, you get Satoshi Nakamoto.
Blockchain Technology/Cryptocurrency and Intellectual Property Law :
Blockchain is a data structure or a method to store digital records in a decentralized way implying that no central authority has access to the operations of this system.[v]
Bitcoin: In ancient times barter system was famous. for instance mango for Apple after that coin system (gold silver metal coins ) then paper currency and now the new technology QR code scan system Paytm, phone pay is in trending.
- Digital currency Cryptocurrency is kept in an online wallet and can access from anywhere cryptocurrencies are not controlled by any third party. it is a decentralized way to record data. From 2009 a new digital currency world was started but actually implemented by Satoshi Nakamoto. He made Bitcoin with the help of Blockchain. There are more than 19000 cryptocurrencies In March 2020 India removes the ban on crypto and blockchain technology. Nirmala Sita Raman in the 2022 budget talks about digital currencies.
Blockchain: The record of transactions from Bitcoin is maintained under blocks so blockchain is like a digital register maintaining a record of blocks and every block has a different code. Blockchain comes in the 1990s when the research was started but actually implemented in 2009. Blockchain consists of Data, relevant information, hash, previous block hash, etc. It is used in many domains like Bitcoin and used by doctors in hospitals.
Cryptocurrency and IP Analysis :
It is natural that if founders and owners of crypto and blockchain technology may want legal protection to secure or code their business they can use Copyright Patent Trademark for legal protection in Connection with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
- Many experts related to blockchain are against this protection in Connection with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Many say that Bitcoin is not patented. Or without IP protection coders have been allowed to copy Bitcoin code but many critics argue that blockchain technology and cryptocurrency already have their own self-policing mechanisms. Crypto is a global issue means IP owners have to file multiple applications in different jurisdictions which is very expensive. If a patent applicant seeks protection over an algorithm-based invention then the invention must solve a particular problem.
(Future of cryptocurrency )
Are there Bitcoin and crypto patents? :
In simple words there are different procedures for different countries bitcoin is not patented but the Bitcoin name and logo are trademarked in the UK[vi].
Many companies and individual inventors are applying for patent protection in this space. Applications include those for mining, trading, and financial transactions and networks. Companies like PayPal, IBM, and Microsoft are filing some of them, they show a high level of corporate interest in cryptocurrencies. Many lawmakers have linked crypto patents to software patents to protect cryptography For example Indian lawmakers argue that crypto-related inventions may not be patentable.[vii][viii] Cryptos are based on algorithms that involve computer programs with mathematical theory. As per Section 3(k) of the Indian Patent Act, computer programs along with algorithms are not considered inventions within the meaning of this act. This act lists that computer programs, per se, are not the subject matter of the patent However, recently the Indian Patent Office has granted patents that involved computer-related inventions. It indicates that the computer-related invention is patented if solves a technical problem.
Cryptocurrency patent :
There are some examples of cryptocurrency patent applications:
Case: Mastercard obtained a patent for a method the method cover fiat wealth and cryptocurrency under one account.
Case: Paypal[ix] filed a patent for technology that can speed up cryptocurrency payments the main aim of this is to settle cryptocurrency payments between merchants and buyers.
There are currently thousands of patents filed with the US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE companies that have filed blockchain-related patents including IBM, Toyota, Bank of America, and capital one.[x]
It is concluded that Bitcoin or digital currency has a legal framework in many countries including India. This means Bitcoin is legal now but there should be some legal framework to regulate the digital currency or relate with IP rights like patents but in some conditions, as mentioned in cases.
[i] Sciencedirect.com,https://www.sciencedirect.com, last visited 27 march,2023
[ii] Junyao Wang, Shenling Wang, Junqi Guo, Yanchang Du, Shaochi Cheng, Xiangyang Li, A Summary of Research on Blockchain in the Field of Intellectual Property, Procedia Computer Science, Volume 147, 2019, Pages 191-197, ISSN 1877-0509, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2019.01.220. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S187705091930239X)
[iii] . AsiaIp,https://asiaiplaw.com,last visited 27 march, 2023
[iv] Ib, at 4.
[v] Originstamp,https://originstamp.com,last visited 27 march,2023
[vi] StationIplawfirm,https://stationiplaw.com, last visited 27 march,
[vii] Patentbussinesslawyer.com,https://patentbussinesslawyer.com, last visited 27 march, 2023
[viii] CELES KEENE\ The Intersection of Cryptocurrency and Intellectual Property Law\ klemchuk\ (April 01, 2023, 7:00pm) https://www.klemchuk.com/ideate/cryptocurrency-and-intellectual-property-law
[ix] Patentlawyermagzine .com,https://patentlawyermagzine.com , Last visited 27 march, 2023.
[x] stationIplawfirm,https://stationiplaw.com, last visited 27 march, 2023