nChain, the company founded by self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig S. Wright, is looking to hire a patent counsel in London to manage and grow the firm’s portfolio of blockchain-related IP.
The applicant must be a qualified European Patent Attorney, have a keen interest in bitcoin and blockchain and also possess a first degree in computer science, electronics, physics, or mathematics, the job advertisement states.
It goes on to say that the London-based position would conduct “patent drafting” and “global prosecution” for its patents and that the individual would have and “significant responsibility for creating and exploiting commercially valuable IP assets.”
Wright, who is best known for declaring himself (without evidence) to be bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, is also a strenuous collector of patents related to the technology.
A Reuters report two years ago first connected Wright with a company called EITC Holdings Ltd (which later became nChain), and through which he had filed over 50 patent applications in the U.K. related to blockchain technology. Earlier this month Jimmy Nguyen, chairman of nChain’s strategic advisory board, announced that the firm had filed 666 patent applications.
Data provided by the UK Intellectual Property Office shows that EITC has submitted a range of patent applications focused on the technology in recent years, including ones for “implementing logic gate functionality using a blockchain,” an “operating system for blockchain IOT devices” and “methods and systems for the efficient transfer of entities on a peer-to-peer distributed ledger.”
The explosion of R&D related to blockchain potentially creates an environment where “Non-Practising Entities (NPEs),” sometimes referred to as “patent trolls,” can thrive simply by seeking and enforcing patent rights.
Patent disputes have been described as the sport of kings: expensive and to be avoided. A good example of this was last decade’s smartphone patent wars.
To date, there have been no reports of nChain or Craig Wright becoming involved in patent disputes.
Marc Kaufman, a partner at law firm Rimon, told Coindesk: “nChain has made it clear that they are aggressively pursuing patent protection for their developments. They have also made it clear that they intend to leverage their patents to support the Bitcoin Cash blockchain and more recently the Bitcoin SV fork from Bitcoin Cash.”
Kaufman said it was not surprising that nChain is looking to hire an internal patent attorney as, “by their own assertions, patents seem to be the largest part of their revenue model. In fact, the job description states that they want to put [the patent portfolio] to use in support of nChain’s commercial objectives.”
nChain did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Craig Wright image: BBC
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