Alibaba, IBM and MasterCard Top the List of 2018 Global Blockchain Patent Rankings

Leading global intellectual property media firm IPR Daily has released its “2018 Top 100 Global Blockchain Patent Enterprise Ranking“. The company collected data from China, the EU, the US, Japan and South Korea, in addition to consulting the International Patent System from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). IPR has ranked the top 100 companies by total blockchain-related patents filed as of August 10th.

Companies with the Most Blockchain Patents

China’s Alibaba took first place in the rankings with 90 patents filed, immediately followed by IBM with 89. Mastercard took third place with 80 patents, followed by Bank of America with 53. Fifth place went to the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), China’s central bank, with 44 patents filed.

Other notable entries include Intel in 23rd with 25 patents, Visa in 24th with 24, Google in 30th with 22 patents and Walmart in 34th with 21 patents.

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Last week, Walmart filed for a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office detailing plans for a system of “in-field authenticating autonomous delivery robots” under the control of a blockchain network. It may sound like science fiction, but Walmart is aiming to create—for lack of a better word—an ‘army’ of autonomous robots fully capable of handling deliveries from start to finish without the need for human intervention, all while communicating with one another through a blockchain network.

It’s an effort that likely comes in direct response to Walmart’s rival Amazon, the global retail leader which has already filed several patents for various incarnations of delivery robots. Interestingly, Amazon is not listed in the IPR Blockchain Patent Rankings. In fact, Amazon has been very late into getting into the blockchain. A recent article by Investopedia suspects Amazon’s belated entrance into the blockchain field might potentially lead to the company losing considerable ground in the fast changing world of online retail.

Not surprisingly, many of the top 20 companies listed on the IPR rankings are based in China. A report from the World Intellectual Property Organization revealed that China led the world in blockchain-related patent filings in 2017. Out of the 406  blockchain patents filed in 2017, 225 belonged to China. The US and Australia took second and third place with 91 and 13 respectively.

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