It may not like cryptocurrencies but China sure seems serious about blockchain.
China was the most active filer of blockchain patent applications last year as the country’s technology and financial services groups rushed to claim exclusivity on the “mutual distributed ledger” that could revolutionise finance and other supply chains.
Data collated by Thomson Reuters from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) database showed that in 2017, more than half of the 406 blockchain related patent applications were from China.
Chinese companies apparently filed 225 blockchain patent applications last year. That’s more than double America’s 91 and over 17 times Australia’s 13.
They were also among the most active filers the past five years. Between 2012 to 2017, six Chinese firms where in the top nine, led by Beijing Technology Development. U.S.-based Mastercard however was the absolute busiest, having filed 25 applications.
Speaking of U.S.-based firms, they – together with their European counterparts – dominated cryptocurrency applications since 2012. IBM was the most active, filing over 50 applications, while Amsterdam-headquartered Gemalto was second-most, filing 35. Intel, Thomson Licensing, and Amazon Technologies filed 34, 31, and 27 applications, respectively.
Photo: Max Braun