Alibaba Leading the Race of Blockchain Patents in 2020

According to a KISSPatent report Chinese firm Alibaba is dominating the blockchain patent race in 2020 by surpassing various industry players.

By · Sep 18, 2020 . 6min read

Alibaba Blockchain patents news
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A new report from the intellectual property consultancy KISSPatent shows that Chinese multinational Alibaba leads the world in patents awarded for blockchain-related technology. The report states that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has published ten times more blockchain-related patents than IBM in 2020 when the blockchain patents numbers are generally skyrocketing.

Two companies overshadow the rest in the blockchain patents space, IBM and Alibaba. Alibaba, however, is grabbing the spotlight. It has filed ten times as many patents than IBM this year alone. The report points out that Alibaba has a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, who, according to data from the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office), retains most of Alibaba’s patents.

The report further elucidates that this was a component of a broader surge in blockchain-related patents published. The first half of 2020 had more patents than the whole of 2019. In return, 2019 had threefold the number of blockchain patents compared to 2018. It also points out that the established Fortune 500 companies filed most patents instead of the companies that survive within the blockchain space.

Classifying Blockchain Innovations

The report states that the current patent classification system makes it difficult to distinguish various innovations like blockchain technology. Thus, KISSPatent’s team of experts employed various methods to recognize them successfully. Most of these methods were based on a mixture of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and keyword searches. While NLP-based methods gave lower but more accurate results, keyword-based search provides larger but much broader ones. Although the methods produced different numbers, they showed the same trends.

The report further states that they classified blockchain technology patents into different categories. Approximately half of all blockchain-related patents examined fell into the fintech category. According to the report, Fintech dominates blockchain patents with applications that concentrate on crypto and crypto exchanges or on supporting financial transactions with blockchain. The second most famous category is decentralized business solutions deployed over the blockchain.

Blockchain has been gaining momentum lately. With big players participating in the space, it is evident that motive is mass adoption.

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