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Blockchain patent filings sees explosive growth – doubling in one year

Blockchain patent filings sees explosive growth – 3426 patents were published in 2018; more than double the 1588 patents published in 2017

Blockchain patent filings accelerate growing over 100% in one year:

Since 2008 there have been more than 5,760 patents filed and granted by 1,477 assignees. Currently, 41% of the patents are filed in China, and 32% in the United States, Korea and the UK account for 8% and 6% respectively. About 10% of these patents are granted, with Korea and the United States holding 71% of these granted patents, the remaining patents are in China, Taiwan, Japan and Europe.

Patent inventions surge beyond 2000 filings in 2018

While the number of published patents has shown strong growth over the past two years. These published patents represents three groups 1) new inventions, 2) patents filed in other countries and 3) patents granted. As can be seen the number of new inventions being published has grown above 2000, and account for the bulk of published patents.

The patents were originally filed between 2015 – 2017. The additional published patents beyond these represent either being granted or filed in additional countries.

Given the early stages blockchain technologies it is predicted the growth in published patents will continue over the next few years as assignees develop more inventions and seek IP protection worldwide.

Blockchain technology growing number of applications:

Since the publication of Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto the world has witnessed an extraordinary explosion of interest for this novel form of digital currency – or cryptocurrency.

Initially, bitcoin followed a smooth and gentle rate of adoption, then in the past five years it experienced a near exponential rate of growth, and spurred the launch of a range of competing cryptocurrencies – bitcoin cash, ethereum, ripple, litecoin and many others.

While interest in the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies itself has without question been huge there has been a growing parallel interest developing in there use of the underlying bitcoin technologies themselves – namely the blockchain – essentially peer-to-peer distributed ledger, cryptography, hashes, merkle trees, data structures and related technologies – which we simply refer to as blockchain technologies.

Growing number of patents for core technology and applications:

Analysing the patents highlights four patent groups; core technologies, applications, core/applications, and generic blockchain inventions.

Over the past few years there has been a huge growth in the number of application patents and general blockchain patents, with core technology patents growing fast but at a slower rate in comparison.

Examining the patent dataset reveals many core technologies and applications being patented:

core technologiesapplications


  • blockchain management
  • blockchain mining
  • blockchain optimisation
  • blockchain variants
  • blockchain browser interface
  • blockchain consortium
  • blockchain security
  • hybrid blockchains
  • mining hardware accelerators
  • permissioned blockchains
  • proof-of-work
  • proof-of-stake



  • access control
  • asset tracking
  • consensus verification systems
  • credit scoring
  • certificate issuance systems
  • certificate validation
  • cryptocurrencies
  • transaction payment system
  • data validation
  • digital certificate management
  • digital identities
  • document verification
  • electronic voting
  • electronic settlement platform



  • gift cards and electronic vouchers
  • identity and credential protection
  • malware detection
  • management of digital assets
  • medical fraud detection
  • medical record management systems
  • network access sharing
  • on-grid demand management
  • payment systems
  • person-to-person payment systems
  • smart contracts
  • tracking blockchain transactions
  • vehicle record management
  • vendor payment sharing systems


More core technology patents and core/application patents are filed in the US whereas more application and generic blockchain patents are filed in China

please note: this is a sample from the report and dataset


Growing industrial interest:

Blockchain technologies has spurred interest from many industry sectors, most noteably:

  • finance
  • manufacturing
  • healthcare
  • energy markets
  • retail
  • internet of things
  • pharmaceutical
  • food
  • silicon vendors
  • telecoms

please note: this is a sample from the report and dataset

Growing number of assignees:

There are 1477 assignees in the dataset holding 5767 patents. The top sixteen commercial assignees have 27 or more patents, the nChain Holdings has more than 250 patents – an incredible number of filings, in fact the top five assignees hold more than 100 patents each. It is worth noting the remaining 71% of the patents are held by 1461 assignees.

Assignees mentioned in this report and patent dataset, include:

accenture global solutions ltd alibaba group holding ltd amazon tech inc aol inc apple inc arm bank of america bank of china co ltd beihang university beijing oracle chain tech co ltd beijing peersafe co ltd beijing ruizhuo xitou technology development co ltd beijing tiande science and tech co ltd beijing yunzhi tech co ltd black gold coin inc british telecomm bubi beijing network tech co ltd bundesdruckerei gmbh cambridge blockchain llc china unicom china unionpay co ltd cisco tech inc civic tech inc cloudminds shenzhen robotics systems co ltd cognitive scale inc coinbase inc coinplug inc dell products lp ebay inc fmr llc fujitsu ltd general electric goldman sachs and co guangdong wangjin holdings co ltd hangzhou fuzamei technology co ltd hangzhou qulian tech ltd hangzhou yunphant network tech co ltd hefei weitian yuntong information tech co ltd huawei tech co ltd hyperchain tech co ltd ibm corp intel corp irdeto access bv jinan inspur hi tech invest & development co ltd jinan university jpmorgan chase bank korea university research and business foundation mastercard international inc mcafee inc microsoft corp nasdaq inc nchain holdings ltd nec nippon telegraph & telephone nokia technologies oy nvidia corp] pricewaterhousecoopers qian dejun qualcomm inc royal bank of canada salesforce com inc samsung electronics co ltd shanghai dianrong information tech co ltd shanghai vechain information tech co ltd shenzhen fanxi eelectronics co ltd shenzhen golo chelian data tech co ltd shenzhen qianhai webank co ltd shenzhen university shocard inc siemens ag sinochain tech co ltd sony corp spondoolies tech ltd square inc [us] tencent tech shenzhen co ltd the toronto dominion bank thomson licensing thomson reuters global resources unlimited company tsinghua university union mobile pay co ltd university of electronic science and technology of china virtual electric inc visa intl wal mart wuhan douyu network tech co ltd xidian university
plus many other assignees

please note: this is a sample from the report and dataset

The patent landscape report covers a broad range of technologies and companies

The scope of the report is broad, it uses a many terms associated with blockchain technologies, its applications – crypto-currencies, distributed ledgers, public ledgers, permissioned ledgers, bitcoin, ethereum, etc, smart contracts, smart identities, verification, security, payment, identification, authentication, consensus and other closely related terms and applications – and the organisations associated with it developments.

With the blockchain patent landscape report you will learn:

  • What inventions are being patented?
  • What companies and research institutions are filing patents?
  • How patent filings are developing over time, regionally and by industry?
  • How is the early industry shaping-up?
  • What are the technology groups being protected?
  • Who has filed early patents?
  • Who are the key assignees?
  • What are the patent portfolio held by key assignees?
  • Who has already received granted patents?
  • What are the technologies covered by these granted patents?
  • What regional differences are emerging and how could this change over time?
  • What patents are already being cited – only blockchain?
  • What patents are already being cited – related technologies or others?
  • What patents are highly cited?
  • What research papers are highly cited?

More information about the report:

The latest cintelliq report – Blockchain Innovations: A review of the patent landscape: 2008-2018 This latest report covers patents up to the end of December 2018, providing a comprehensive review of the technology development and commercialisation of this emerging technologies.

Our approach has been to collect patents that mention blockchain to determine from these what are the core technologies and applications being patented. It makes little assumption.

This report is not a one time piece of analysis – each month we collect new blockchain patent data and update the report throughout the year, purchasers of the report can also subscribe to monthly dataset and quarterly report updates.

The report analysis and assessment is broad and deep, including who is actively filing patents, what they are filing, what technologies are being developed, how this will change over time, what patents are most cited, who is citing which patents, and how the patent landscape will evolve.

To find about more about this report, the different reports options, their price and availability then please visit – www.cintelliq.com

About cintelliq limited

cintelliq is a leading consultancy providing technology and information services on emerging technologies. In business since 2003 cintelliq has a long history of providing insightful and meaningful analysis on a range of technologies, with particular focus on patents.

For more information about company please visit www.cintelliq.com

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