A new study by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network, shows that twenty nine percent of all global patents for blockchain technology were filed by US businesses last year. This would rank them second in the world, with 92 patents from a total of 314 filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2017.
The largest filer of global blockchain patents in the US was credit card provider Mastercard, which filed patents for developments including a system for offline blockchain exchanges.
In comparison, Chinese businesses filed 32 percent of all global patents for blockchain technology in 2017. Chinese businesses have invested heavily in blockchain technology in recent years. The Chinese central bank is supporting the development of a blockchain-based trade finance platform to help SMEs access finance.
The study also shows that Australian businesses were third, filing 40 patents (13 percent), with UK businesses in fourth, filing 34 patents related to blockchain (11 percent) with WIPO in 2017 (see table below).
UHY adds that last years biggest filer of all blockchain patents world wide was nChain, a blockchain-focused research firm based in London and Vancouver, which filed 48 patents for blockchain technology at WIPO in 2017.
To help increase blockchain innovation even further in the US, UHY says the Emerging Technology Office of the General Services Administration launched the US Federal Blockchain program. This is designed to help US businesses that are interested in exploring blockchain technology and its implementation within Government. And while European businesses have only filed a limited number of patents at the global level through WIPO, many have been more active at a local level.