There are many organizations right now racing to acquire as many blockchain patents as they can. To list some organizations that have applied for blockchain related patents, Mastercard, American Express, Sony, the South-Korean government, Alibaba, Volkswagen and probably many others. It is only the beginning of the patent race, but it is not how many patents you have, but rather how important they are.
Alibaba, China’s largest online commerce website has patents of their own. In fact they filed for an estimated 406 patent applications during 2017, clear evidence they are making moves. Jack Ma, the Alibaba CEO said: “We are the most patented company in the world of blockchain technology.” Jack Ma is a valued player in the blockchain industry, not only trying to acquire patents but also creating partnerships with blockchain-related companies, and even teaming with corporations like IBM and Microsoft to help create transparent supply chains for commerce around the world. That being said Alibaba is staying away from cryptocurrency and only focusing on blockchain technology.
Microsoft is taking a different turn with blockchain technology, more for development of blockchain apps. Microsoft created the Azure Blockchain Workbench that allows you to work on blockchain apps on the cloud. The workbench supports different ledgers like Ethereum, so you have control over how you want to build your blockchain apps. This really is only the beginning of the blockchain revolution, as more players in the tech industry jump on for the ride and contribute to the community.
More on the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Workbench here.
It is interesting to see companies in the automotive industry start getting into blockchain application. People are beginning to realize that blockchain has a use case almost anywhere, and now we have Volkswagen seeking a patent for a vehicular blockchain communications system, something more along the lines we should have seen Tesla do, but nope! We also have large corporations like Walmart applying for patents, in particular for smart appliance management. This does not end here!