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The latest edition of WIPO’s newsletter looks at the application of blockchain technology to IP rights. Could blockchain be used beyond crypto currencies?

Blockchain runs on distributed ledger technology meaning that any transactions are recorded and tracked. While crypto currencies apply this to financial transactions, the tool could be used for rights management and licensing.

For unregistered IP rights like copyright it can be used to provide evidence of conception and use. Beyond that blockchain could be used as part of enforcing a licence with contract details included in the ledger and even extend to enabling the transmission of royalties in real time to IP owners.

All this is in its infancy and regulators are only starting to consider potential conflicts over jurisdiction or global standards but it seems certain that blockchain will be a source of change in intellectual property law and practice.

You can read the full WIPO article here.

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