Square calls for open patent alliance in crypto communities

Square calls for open patent alliance in crypto communities

September 10, 2020

Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, Jack Dorsey today announced in a blog about the launch of a Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a non-profit meant to address the concerns regarding the offensive use of patents in the crypto community and also create a ‘shared patent library’. 

To join COPA, members must pledge to make their patents freely available to all other members using a shared library, which, according to the CEO, would act like a collective shield of patents that would defend members against patent aggressors.  

In addition to this, the CEO said that owning patents was indeed the “best deterrent” to ward off patent aggressors but he believed that this was not the case with smaller companies as they would not have access to patents. 

This could be why Dorsey saw this move as a way to ‘democratize patents’ for the crypto community and especially empower small companies with tools and leverage to defend themselves. Moreover, the firm had already put its own crypto patents into the new shared patent library and further said in a statement: 

Locking up foundational cryptocurrency technologies in patents stifles innovation and adoption; and offensive use of patents by bad actors threatens the growth of cryptocurrency technologies…

…As more companies join and the shared patent library grows, the freer we’ll all be to pursue crypto’s future. As a good faith gesture, we’ll be making the first move and opening all of our crypto patents for future COPA members to use.

As per the release, COPA will be governed by board members from the crypto and open source community, and other members from the founding companies; as well as the memberships.

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