Announcing the Open Crypto Alliance, which has been formed to fight blockchain and crypto patent trolls and patent abuse that threatens the bitcoin space (as discussed in this Facebook post).
[Update: the Open Crypto Alliance (2020–22) has changed its name to the the Open Crypto Foundation (2022–)]
As we know, one significant threat to bitcoin and cryptocurrency is state regulation and law. Another looming threat to freedom and innovation in crypto also results from state law: the patent system. A group of us—blockchain and crypto advocates, working in technology and patent law for over 30 years—have created this alliance to organize a successful fight to provide freedom to operate in blockchain and crypto technology. The Open Crypto Alliance is dedicated to keeping blockchain and crypto technology free of unwarranted patent assertions. We intend to do this by taking aggressive proactive action to oppose unwarranted patents that are being filed and collected by patent trolls and other bad actors.
As I noted here, previous patents have already needlessly distorted and hindered bitcoin technology. What a waste. What a shame. And the patent threat is growing. See, e.g., this Bloomberg interview with one of our Advisors, patent attorney Marc Kaufman, about Blockchain patent strategies and Blockchain patents: the emerging landscape of risk, and, by our Founder, Jed Grant, What Would A Blockchain Patent War Look Like? For example, the rabidly pro-patent Craig Wright (see his comments here; see also my IP debate with Wright) has a growing arsenal of patents related to blockchain and crypto technology. (For example, see Craig Wright/nChain’s global patent filings or granted US patents and pending US patent applications.
If you are a crypto entrepreneur or company concerned about the patent threat to innovation and freedom to operate in this space, please pass the word along, and join us.
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