Email: sheerin@siliconvalleyip.com

Bitcoin/Blockchain Patents

There have been several recent cases addressing whether software patents in general are considered patentable subject matter under 35 USC 101. In the Supreme Court case Alice v. CLS Bank Int’l., S. Ct. 2347 (2014), a software patent was invalidated for claiming a non-patentable abstract idea or fundamental concept implemented using a general purpose computer. Alice has resulted in several subsequent Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decisions that have invalidated other software patents as covering ineligible subject matter. However, there are also post Alice CAFC decisions that have upheld software patents (DDR Holdings v. Hotels.Com, L.P.., Fed. Cir.  2014, Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corporation, et al. Fed. Cir. 2016). These cases have held an invention's ability to run on a general purpose computer does not render the claims ineligible; rather, the analysis should typically focus on whether an invention is directed to an improvement in the functioning of a computer.

With Bitcoin patents and Blockchain patents, there will likely be patents attempting to cover ineligible subject matter as well as those that cover eligible subject matter. No matter how much one pores over the case law regarding software patents, in the end what typically matters is whether an invention covers a truly innovative idea, or whether it covers a well known (or obvious) concept that is merely implemented using a computer. I can provide valuable counsel as to whether your Bitcoin/Blockchain invention may be considered eligible subject matter, and more importantly, I can draft the specification and claims in a manner that increases the likelihood of allowance. Further, I've made hundreds of persuasive arguments to the US Patent Office (USPTO) including several reversals on appeal. If your Bitcoin/Blockchain invention does cover patentable subject matter, I will argue vehemently and competently with the USPTO to get your Bitcoin patents and Blockchain patents allowed. 

The following are example pending Bitcoin patents and Blockchain patents filed by Coinbase.