The Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance, or COPA, headed up by finance firm Sq., lately picked up Coinbase as a cornerstone participant. Sq. unveiled the group in September as a way of avoiding patent overreach — a difficulty that has been recognized to restrict technological development.
Coinbase senior counsel and COPA board member Brittany Cuthbert mentioned in a public assertion from the alliance on Friday:
“Because the crypto economic system continues to develop, we consider you will need to assist empower all initiatives constructing in direction of an open monetary system. […] We stay up for working alongside the members of COPA to create a foundational patent protect for our business.”
Lasting 20 years, patents primarily lay declare to improvements which are deemed proprietary, barring rivals from producing comparable services or products, or utilizing sure know-how. Though open-source know-how is a typical theme within the crypto and blockchain business, varied entities have claimed patents for sure developments within the area, together with Block.one and Samsung.
The assertion additional defined:
“COPA believes that cryptocurrency’s success will depend on the group coming collectively to construct and develop upon current applied sciences to innovate, which isn’t potential when events tie up foundational know-how in patents and litigation.”
Patents do have use on the planet, COPA believes, though boundaries might be overstepped, resulting in points. “Whereas patents could at instances be helpful for defensive functions, offensive and misguided use of patents threatens the expansion and adoption of rising applied sciences resembling cryptocurrencies,” the assertion reads. “There’s concern that ‘patent lockup’ of foundational cryptocurrency applied sciences by a choose few will stifle innovation and deter mass-adoption.”
Roughly 12 years in the past, pseudonymous Bitcoin (BTC) creator Satoshi Nakamoto printed their now notorious white paper. The revolution that has adopted was seemingly made potential partly by the open-source underpinnings of the outlined know-how.
“COPA seeks to make foundational know-how on cryptocurrency accessible for everybody to freely use and tackles the patent lockup concern utilizing a twin method,” the assertion mentioned.
COPA at the moment boasts 18 members: Sq., Coinbase, Blockstream, Kraken and 14 others. Members abide by a code, which incorporates refraining from utilizing “their crypto patents in opposition to anybody, aside from defensive causes.”