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IBM Triples Number of Blockchain Patents in US Since Last Year

IBM has tripled the number of blockchain-related patents it holds in the U.S. this year, dwarfing other US blockchain bulls.

Tech giant IBM has tripled the number of blockchain patents secured in the United States since last year, currently boasting over 100 active patent families. That makes IBM’s growth in US patents the largest of last, according to a report by BeinCrypto on July 16.

According to data gathered by Yuval Halevi, co-founder of crypto and blockchain PR company GuerillaBuzz, IBM’s number of active patent families dwarfs other notable corporations. This includes some primary tech companies, such as Intel, Microsoft, and Dell Technologies:

“In just 1 year the number of IBM blockchain patents has grown by 300%. When one of the largest companies in the world (366,000 employees) spends so much of their resources on developing a blockchain department, this tells a lot about the market potential.”

However, IBM reportedly does have international competition. As noted in the report, China is currently outpacing the U.S. and world at large in terms of blockchain patents. Alibaba, in particular, is reportedly the leading Chinese company in blockchain patents, despite having only 25 patents filed in the U.S. as per Halevi’s Twitter post.

As of May, Alibaba had applied for a whopping 262 patents, according to figures from Securities Daily. According to this report, China was also the global leader in blockchain-related patent applications, with organizations in the country apparently filing for 4,435 patents between 2013 to 2018. During the same period, the U.S. reportedly filed for 1,833 patents. 

However, another study presented by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and Withers & Rogers LLP previously reported by Cointelegraph suggested that more blockchain patent applications were filed in the U.S. than China between 2012 and 2018, according to data. According to this report, the U.S. had filed 1,680 patents at this time while China had filed 1,590. Additionally, IBM reportedly filed 143 patents during this period, still clocking in at the number one application spot. The origin of the disparate findings this report versus that of Securities Daily is unknown.

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Chinese City Offers Rent Subsidies, Cash Rewards to Blockchain Businesses

Blockchain businesses will be able to receive up to $86,800 in relief on rent bills under new measures brought in by Fuzhou, China.

Fuzhou, China is offering rent subsidies to blockchain businesses in a bid to accelerate the industry’s growth, the state-run People’s Daily reported on June 11.

The incentive is part of three measures designed to help the sector, and will enable companies to receive up to 600,000 yuan ($86,800) in relief on rent bills per year for three years.

Traditional companies will also be encouraged to build blockchain applications, and will be eligible to receive a 20% subsidy on the cost of their development. Projects that win awards for scientific and technological progress, or deliver transformation in Fuzhou, could be rewarded with a payment of up to 600,000 yuan.

Firms that deliver industrial blockchain platforms such as technology labs or research centers could land a windfall of two million yuan ($289,000) if they are recognized by Chinese authorities — and as much as one million yuan ($144,500) if they contribute to high-level meetings at “international, national and provincial levels.”

Some of China’s biggest companies have started to embrace blockchain. On May 21, it was reported that e-commerce giant JD.com has applied for more than 200 blockchain patents.

Two days later, it emerged that rival retail behemoth Alibaba was planning to integrate blockchain technology into its intellectual property system.

Last month saw China release its latest government-sponsored cryptocurrency rankings, with EOS retaining the top spot and bitcoin moving up three positions to 12th place.

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E-Commerce Giant Alibaba to Integrate Blockchain Into Intellectual Property System

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will integrate blockchain technology into its intellectual property system of global enterprises and brands.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will integrate blockchain technology into its intellectual property system of global enterprises and brands, local news outlet Sohu reported on May 23.

Ali Xizhi, the company’s director of intellectual property protection, reportedly said that Alibaba is in the process of upgrading the filing of intellectual property rights by utilizing blockchain. Alibaba is planning to fully implement the technology in September, after which it will be expanded to digital copyright protection, including visual content.

The system will purportedly allow electronic deposits from international brands to directly link to the Internet Court through the blockchain-based Ali Intellectual Property Protection Platform (“IPP Platform”), providing a basis for litigation rights protection. China has reportedly set up three Internet courts in Hangzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou to manage internet-related cases and allow plaintiffs to file their complaints online.

In March, Alibaba and Aerospace Information Co., a major software developer and provider, agreed to take advantage of their respective brand technologies “to actively integrate resources and carry out in-depth cooperation” in the fields of cloud computing services, finance and taxation, government affairs and blockchain technology, among others.

Also in March, vice president of Alibaba Group Liu Song revealed the company’s plans to implement blockchain technology for cross-border supply chains, with the possibility to link with local governments.

Earlier this week, a report by Securities Daily News revealed that Alibaba had applied for 262 blockchain patents.

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Report: Chinese E-Commerce Giant JD.com Has Applied for Over 200 Blockchain Patents

The Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has reportedly applied for over 200 patents.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has applied for over 200 blockchain patents, according to a report by Securities Daily News on May 20.

The report also notes that major e-commerce competitor Alibaba has applied for 262 blockchain patents, and Chinese internet titans Tencent and Baidu have applied for 80 and 50 such patents, respectively, as recorded by the Intellectual Property Center of China Information and Communication.

According to interpretation of the data provided by Intellectual Property Center of China Information and Communication, JD.com was in first place for “global blockchain patent strength,” with Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu coming it at second, seventh, and fifteenth place, respectively.

The report also notes that China is the global forerunner in blockchain applications. From 2013 to 2018, China filed 4,435 blockchain patent applications, which is 48% of global blockchain patent filings, as per the “Blockchain Patent Situation White Paper (Version 1.0)” published by the official website for China Telecom.

The runner-up in patent numbers was the United States, which purportedly filed for 1,833 blockchain patents in total, occupying the global patent space by 21%.

Securities Daily that, with a breakdown of patent filings by industry, companies accounted for 75% of applicants, vastly outnumbering the quantity filed by research institutions, individuals, and government agencies. Out of this 75%, the report noted that the majority of companies that filed were internet-related.

The Intellectual Property Center of China Information and Communication also notes that intellectual property infringements have been an issue in the past for Chinese blockchain patents, and reportedly advises:

“It is recommended that the government do a good job in industry supervision and supervision and patent quality improvement. Enterprises should raise awareness of intellectual property protection and risk prevention, avoid blind investment in the blockchain field, apply for low-value patents, and avoid future blockchains. There have been a large number of infringement lawsuits in the field.”

JD.com released a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform JD Blockchain Open Platform in 2018, which allows organizations to streamline blockchain creation and run smart contracts, as per the Cointelegraph report. JD.com has also helped create institutes for blockchain research, such as the Smart City Research Institute and a blockchain research lab.

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Ant Financial Joins $10 Mln Series A, Partners With ZKP Blockchain Privacy Solutions Firm

Ant Financial has participated in a $10 million Series A round and partnered with QEDIT.

Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has participated in a  $10 million Series A round for QEDIT, an Israeli blockchain privacy solutions firm that develops zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology. The news was reported by Israeli daily business newspaper Calcalist on May 7.

The Series A was reportedly led by MizMaa Ventures, and its closing was announced alongside partnerships with Ant Financial, major software firm VMWare and RGAX, a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America.

Both latter firms also participated in the financing round, alongside Meron Capital, venture capital firm Jovono, Collider Ventures and Target Global.

The partnerships will reportedly see the companies cooperate with QEDIT to review their privacy products and implement ZKP technology at a corporate level.

As Calcalist notes, QEDIT develops privacy solutions for enterprise blockchains that are compatible with data privacy laws, such as the landmark European Union-wide framework General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As well as allowing for blockchain-powered and privacy-preserving data sharing, QEDIT’s ZKP technology has been designed to be used in audit and due diligence services for financial institutions, an earlier report has outlined.

Geoff Jiang — a vice president and general manager of Ant Financial Technology and Business Innovation Group — is cited by Calcalist as saying that:

“Ant Financial shares a common vision with QEDIT to protect data privacy and security. Robust privacy measures are critical to the ongoing development of the wider finance sector. Together with QEDIT, Ant Financial is committed to providing such capabilities as part of our blockchain services.”

QEDIT was reportedly co-founded by CEO Jonathan Rouach in 2016 and Ruben Arnold, both of whom have previously founded crypto firms, including crypto exchange Bits of Gold and LedgerLock — which provided security services for a range of digital assets and was subsequently sold to Digital Assets Holdings.

As reported in April, Dutch global banking and financial services corporation ING has recently introduced a new solution that extends its existing blockchain privacy-focused technologies such as zero-knowledge range proof and zero-knowledge set membership.

In fall 2018, Big Four auditor Ernst and Young launched its own prototype for a system that enables secure and private transactions to take place on the Ethereum (ETH) public network, using ZKP technology.

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Chinese Regulator Approves First 197 Blockchain Firms, Including Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu

China’s cyberspace administration has released its first list of registered blockchain service providers.

China’s cyberspace administration has released the first list — 197 companies long — of registered blockchain service providers, according to their March 30 notice.

Chinese initiatives by internet giants such as Baidu Blockchain Engine, Alibaba Cloud Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), Tencent BaaS (TBaaS) and the BaaS platform owned by e-commerce giant JD.com appear on the list. Financial institutions such as the China Zheshang Bank and Ping An Insurance Company are also included.

Some less-known companies such as blockchain-enabled supply chain management service VeChain and parcel delivery service ParcelX are present on the list as well. The article also notes that no institution or individual is permitted to use blockchain for any commercial purpose.

The Chinese cyberspace administration will reportedly search for other services that should register and “relevant institutions and individuals who have not fulfilled the filing procedures should apply for filing as soon as possible.”

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, China is reportedly leading the world in the number of blockchain projects currently underway in the country.

In October last year, Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of China’s Alibaba Group, announced that it is enhancing its BaaS offering outside China.

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China’s Alibaba Partners With Chinese Software Giant to Promote Blockchain Development

Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba will promote blockchain tech development with Aerospace Information Co.

Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba and Aerospace Information Co., a major software developer and provider, have signed a strategic cooperation agreement for cloud computing, blockchain and other technological services development. Chinese finance publication Securities Daily reported on the deal on March 21.

The two parties have agreed to take advantage of their respective brand technologies “to actively integrate resources and carry out in-depth cooperation” in in the fields of cloud computing services, finance and taxation, government affairs and blockchain technology, among others.

As the publication states, Aerospace Information will collaborate with Alibaba to work together in research and development in order to promote the integration of new technologies. It also adds:

“In the field of blockchain, we will jointly provide cloud solutions to promote the development of the blockchain industry.”

Earlier this month, vice president of Alibaba Group Liu Song revealed in an interview the company’s plans to implement blockchain technology for cross-border supply chains, with the possibility to link the ecosystem with local governments, as Cointelegraph reported on March 7.

Back in October, Alibaba had filed a patent application for a system backed with blockchain allowing for third-party administrative intervenience in a smart contract.

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Crypto Startup Behind Alibabacoin Agrees to Stop Using ‘Alibaba’ Name After Legal Action

Dubai-based crypto firm ABBC Foundation agreed to stop using name “Alibaba” after legal action by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Dubai-based crypto firm ABBC Foundation has agreed to stop using the name “Alibaba” for its cryptocurrency after legal action by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Reuters reported on March 11.

The decision from ABBC Foundation is reportedly part of a settlement of an almost year-long lawsuit brought by Alibaba against the crypto startup.

ABBC Foundation, previously also known as Alibabacoin Foundation, reportedly said that it regretted confusion caused by its former use of the name “Alibabacoin” for its firm and cryptocurrency. Per the report, the company’s coin will now be called ABBC coin.

As Cointelegraph reported in April last year, Alibaba had previously sued the company for copyright infringement after the latter’s initial coin offering (ICO) initially raised $3.5 million.

Later, in May 2018, a United States court ruled against Alibaba’s request for an injunction against the startup. However, despite the setback, in October last year, Alibaba won a preliminary injunction against ABBC Foundation (at the time Alibabacoin Foundation) in a lawsuit over the misleading use of Alibaba in their name in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Recently, Liu Song, Alibaba’s vice president, said in an interview that the company is considering blockchain tech implementation for cross-border supply chains.

In January, news broke that the Pakistan-based subsidiary of global telecommunications giant Telenor had launched a cross-border remittance service powered by the blockchain system of Alibaba’s payment subsidiary, Alipay.