Patenting the Blockchain with PLI

PLI is set to host its highly anticipated Patenting Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies 2023 conference on Monday, December 4 from 9am-1230pm. This marks the fifth year of this popular and successful program. The event will take place both virtually and in-person, and you can register at this link.

Partner Jon Gordon is serving again as this year’s Chairperson, and the program will consist of three highly relevant industry topics. We hope that you are able to join us for what are sure to be informational and interesting discussions.

1. Technical Introduction to Blockchains for Patent Lawyers, Law Firm Attorneys and In-House Counsel

This panel will help attendees understand the technical context of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), including blockchains, with an eye to improved patent drafting and distinguishing patentable inventions from the prior art. After completing this session, participants will be able to:

  • Analyze innovation in DLT in terms of enabling technologies (hashing, Merkle trees, and public-key cryptography), to recognize likely patent-eligible subject matter
  • Interpret and analyze technical disclosures related to DLT as a basis for claim drafting
  • Distinguish likely-patentable improvements to DLT from mere application of existing technology in new environments
  • Understand approaches to ensuring integrity, including permissioned blockchains, proof-of-work (mining), proof-of-stake, and others, and drivers of innovation in these techniques
  • Identify and assess technical, business, and legal advantages and risks associated with DLT and related innovations

2. Applications – Including Cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): In-House Perspectives

This session will review common applications of DLT to provide a background for understanding and identifying innovations, relating them to existing businesses and ecosystems, and relating them to legal strategies for protecting IP. After completing this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand cryptocurrencies, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and other important applications of DLT, including smart contracts and supply chain management
  • Assess cryptocurrencies and security tokens for IP, regulatory, and other issues
  • Compare innovations in DLT to the most relevant prior art
  • Evaluate privacy & security advantages and risks associated with various applications of DLT

3. Blockchain Patenting Strategy in Relation to Business Strategy

This presentation will illustrate the role of DLT and its IP protection in business strategy, drafting and prosecuting patent applications for DLT to maximize the chance of securing valid, enforceable, and valuable patents. After completing this session, participants will be able to:

  • Evaluate IP strategies for DLT in relation to varied blockchain business models
  • Understand how DLT applications may rely on network effects and craft IP strategy that accounts for that reliance
  • Understand patent-eligibility in the era of Alice, in view of its ongoing application by the Federal Circuit
  • Review what’s being filed in the USPTO, who’s applying, and what’s being allowed
  • Determine effective drafting and prosecution strategies