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China Intellectual Property Laws to Cover Blockchain Patent Applications


The Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) is reportedly set to provide regulatory light to the guidelines for blockchain patent applications that is expected to be in effect February 1. 

With the guidelines, China would continue to mould the blockchain and cryptocurrency spaces to ensure all facets under the umbrellas is legally covered. This will not only help the industry mature in a responsible manner, but will lift businesses and other entities giving them the confidence to introduce greater-level innovation yet unseen.

Towards the end of 2019, the NIPA has introduced the updated guidelines for the patent application process, regarding cutting-edge techs, nominally blockchain, A.I, big data, along with business policies and measures. 

Node-to-Node Communication

One significant amendment in the updated guidelines includes a method and a tool, created to achieve node-to-node communication in blockchain. Specifically, the method and tool aim to handle the privacy data leakage issue, when blockchain firms engage in inter-communication. 

“Before a business node in a blockchain establishes a communication connection, it can determine whether to establish a communication connection according to the CA certificate carried in the communication request and a pre-configured CA trust list. This reduces the possibility of business nodes leaking private data and improves the security of data stored in the blockchain”

Simply put, the IP Office emphasizes that an application for a patent for an invention that includes algorithmic features or business rules and methods may not be subject to patent protection. The key is the inclusion of those features through “technical means” to solve “technical problems.” In this case, patent protection may be warranted.

China continues to embrace blockchain technology and its surrounding components at a hastened pace. The revision of the guidelines responds directly to the development needs of new industries like blockchain. It also represents China’s strategic direction to improve the defence of intellectual property by being more welcoming to patent applicants in these emerging areas.

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