Tech giants Alibaba and IBM top the leader board for global blockchain patent rankings, according to a new report by iPR Daily, a global technology media outlet that specialises in intellectual property (IP) ecosystems.
The research, published on Friday by iPR Daily, ranks entities by patents filed. It stated that it consolidated data as of August 10 from across China, the EU, America, Japan and South Korea, consulting the International Patent System from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
The report shows that the Chinese internet giant Alibaba managed to seal the top position with its 90 patent applications focused on blockchain-related technologies, beating U.S.’ tech giant IBM by just one patent filing.
Although in second place with 89 patents filed, IBM has made massive inroads for blockchain with a diverse portfolio of projects across the world, partnering with Maersk for a blockchain shipping solution and CLS for a major financial services app store, alongside winning major contracts with Saudi Arabia, U.S. incorporation capital Delaware and most notably sealing a AU $1 billion deal to develop blockchain for the government of Australia.
Indeed, according to a recent report by Juniper Research, based on the quantitative and qualitative assessment of product offerings, R&D activities, and future potential, IBM stood out as a market leader in blockchain innovation, topping all 3 Innovation Indices for Digital Identity, Provenance, and Financial Services.
However, with a U.S. China trade war on the horizon, it should be stated that WIPO data revealed back in March, that China had filed the most blockchain patent applications in 2017, filing 225 of the 406 total blockchain patents in that year, compared with just 59 in 2016.
China’s President Xi Jinping himself gave a speech in May of this year, endorsing blockchain as a critical part of a technology revolution in China, and one they must seize to thrive in the global economy. Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma has also been vocal on his endorsement of the nascent technology, stating that:
“the impact of blockchain on the future of humans may be far beyond our imagination”.
Earlier this year, Ma was appointed co-chair of the United Nations ‘High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation’ together with U.S. philanthropist Melinda Gates.
The iPR Daily global blockchain patent rankings report goes on to list Mastercard in third place with 80 patent applications, Bank of America in fourth with 53 blockchain filings and China’s central bank, People’s Bank of China (PBoC), with a total of 44 patent filings.