Daily IP English 214:
今天的文章摘选自EPO关于区块链的一个会议报告：Talking about a new revolution: blockchain Conference report 4 December 2018 | The Hague （点击文末“阅读原文”获取PDF文档）。
The blockchain market in China is booming. According to Wang Xinyi, expertpatent examiner at the Chinese Patent O?ce (CNIPA), it is estimated that, by 2020,the market size of China’s blockchain industry will be 10 billion yuan (1.3 billioneuros).
Allow or rejectPatentability in China
China has a similarapproach to Europeregarding blockchainpatentability.
When it comes to patentability in China, it is often a case of “same but different”.There are a lot of resemblances between Chinese and European patent lawconcerning blockchain. But there are differences, too, in examination practice, andthese can lead to dramatic differences in the decision reached.
China is almost on the same page as the EPO when it comes to the subject-matterfor which a patent can be granted: it must have a technical solution, have technicalmeans and solve technical problems. One difference, however, is in the area ofexclusions from patentability. Bitcoin, for instance, is not allowed in any financialinstitutions in China as this may lead to instability in the financial markets and istherefore deemed detrimental to the public interest.
“Currently, the only legal currency in China is the bank note and I don’t see thatchanging in the near future,” said Wang.
So what about some concrete examples Wang firstly referred to a patentapplication using blockchain for financial purposes. This featured a multilayerblockchain clearing mETHod where a father chain is connected with a sub-chainfor issuing, transferring and recording virtual money transactions. As it includeda pure algorithm method it could not be patented.
A technical improvement in the blockchain is allowed under the law though.For example, Wang mentioned a method for realising shared retail based onblockchain for establishing and maintaining network nodes and providing anapplication programming interface at a protocol layer. As this clearly involvestechnical solutions and technical means it is allowed.
In future, Wang expects more input from universities and research institutes,working with the government. These have the power to research the underlyingtechnology of blockchain for patent applications. They can also establish auseful standard for regulating development and security levels, as well as otheraspects of blockchain.
In summary, though, Wang sees blockchain patentability in China as “nothingspecial”. After all, it uses the same law and methods as elsewhere, she remarked.