Blockchain patent race continues with Alibaba in the lead

Blockchain patent race continues with Alibaba in the lead
Written by:
Ali Raza
2nd July, 12:04
  • China's Alibaba is the world's leading company per the number of awarded blockchain patents.
  • On a national level, the US took the lead, but when it comes to individual firms, Alibaba is unmatched.
  • A new report also shows that the number of patents per year is on the sharp rise.

According to recent data published by China’s Patent Protection Association. it would seem that the country’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba, leads the blockchain patent race. In fact, Alibaba is not only leading in China — but on a global scale.

The Patent Protection Association’s report, called the 2020 Blockchain Global Patent Authorisation Report, claims that there is a total of 3924 blockchain-related patents in the world. Around 39% of them belong to companies based in the US, which is quite a major chunk.

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In comparison, China itself only holds 19% of the total amount. Korea itself is only slightly better, with 21% of all the patents. However, while China does have a small amount on a global stage, its eCommerce giant, Alibaba, definitely took the lead when it comes to the number of patents per company.

Alibaba holds as many as 212 blockchain patents. In comparison, even IBM itself only has 136. Meanwhile, China’s other massive web giant, Tencent, has even fewer than that — only 42.

Another large patent holder is Korean Coinplug, which has 107 patents related to blockchain technology. While this is quite a lot, it is still only half of what Alibaba holds.

Blockchain patents per year are on the rise also

While this is impressive on its own, it is also worth noting that the number of blockchain patents per year is skyrocketing, itself.

For example, last year, there were 1799 blockchain patents awarded around the world, in total. In 2020, however, there were 1257 of them before May 14th.

There were also many patents that large companies obtained in other jurisdictions, and not only in the ones they are based in. For example, while Alibaba does have 212 patents awarded in China, around 126 of them were also confirmed in the US.

It is clear that the blockchain patent arms race is continuing around the world, and that China and the US are the leading nations.

Of course, this doesn’t serve as a guarantee that these will be the countries that will lead the blockchain tech sector. After all, plenty of blockchain patent filings have failed, historically speaking.

It is also worth noting that the huge number of patents from China also likely comes from the fact that the government subsidizes the application process. As a result, companies after specific patents do not have to pay for the process, which is especially helpful to startups.

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