Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending January 4, 2019

Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending January 4, 2019

Here’s a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending January 4, 2019.

Mastercard Files Patent for Privacy Coins


A patent filed by credit card company, Mastercard, is aimed at protecting a method for anonymization of electronic transactions via blockchain. This type of patent basically is filed to protect a newer type of cryptocurrency known as a “privacy coin.” Privacy coins are basically another form of cryptocurrency that are designed and intended to make the operation and transaction between and within the blockchains as private as possible.

The basic premise behind the Mastercard patent is that it relies on a new type of request known as an “anonymization request.” Such a request requires the production of a signature to prove that the transaction is legitimate and should be delivered to the destination account. It also ensures privacy and obfuscation of any data, public or private, related to the transaction.

While other privacy coins already exist, this would be the first one patented by a major credit card giant. Previous coins such as Monero, Zcash, and Zcoin, have all preceded Mastercard’s filing, but have had less media focus. And because many users may be uncomfortable with the idea of having so much private data available in electronic form, whether it’s on credit cards, RFID chips, or any newer technology; the aim of privacy coins is to make sure that such sensitive information is protected. It basically promises an anonymization of the wallet and the user’s information as it is related to the blockchain.

Read the full article here.

Patents In Blockchain Based Technology: JPMorgan Chase Files Patent to Cover Payment System


In general, blockchain technology refers to the use of a specialized, digital ledger that is used to record cryptocurrency transactions. These transactions are recorded chronologically and verified by the community that trades and mines that cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency refers to currency that is virtual and digital and relies on encryption techniques to regulate and validate the generation of more units of that particular cryptocurrency. Together, this technology can be used to transfer funds and self-validate and verify that transfer of funds. In essence, cryptocurrency exchanges allow for currency transactions to operate independently and outside of the traditional banking system. Therefore, an owner of patents in blockchain based technology systems and methods would obtain an upper hand in the blockchain market.

While cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has existed for over a decade now, there have been very few attempts to file for patents or similar forms of intellectual property protection to cover the growing technology. In October of 2017, JPMorgan Chase (“Chase”) filed a patent application that seeks to cover a system that would be used to protect distributed ledgers and blockchain-technology based systems that facilitate their virtual financial transactions.

Read more here.

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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and business law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.

Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.

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