A blockchain is a list of blocks that are concatenated by cryptographic methods, in particular by means of a hash value. Each block contains transactions and other information. The chain creates a permanent, immutable record of all transactions written to the block chain. Transactions can also contain small programs called smart contracts.
Blockchain-based networks, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, are consensus-based electronic ledgers based on such blocks. In addition to the financial sector (Keyword “Fintec”), blockchain technology offers a variety of other applications, e.g. in the areas of supply chain management, identity management, data management, health care, cybersecurity or Internet of Things, see our posts. For a transaction to be written to the blockchain, it must be “validated” by the network. In other words, the network nodes must obtain approval for blocks to be written to the block chain. This agreement can be achieved through various consensus protocols such as proof-of-work or proof-of-stake.
Protection of blockchain technologies is challenging under patent law. Such inventions are assessed and formulated according to the special standards for computer-implemented inventions. The European Patent Office held a conference on this subject in December 2018, at which the importance of patent protection for blockchain technologies was emphasized. Our patent attorneys having practical experience in this field provide competent advice: