Bitcoin services firm Coinbase has filed nine patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The USPTO – the agency responsible for issuing patents to investors and businesses as well as registering product and intellectual property trademarks – received the submissions on 17th March this year.
According to the filings, published this month, Coinbase submitted patent applications for various products including a hot bitcoin wallet, an instant exchange (which the company launched in June), a bitcoin exchange, a bitcoin tipping button alongside two off- and on-blockchain transaction systems.
Although published by the USPTO, Coinbase’s applications are still pending approval, a process which Eitan Jankelewitz, a solicitor at London-based law firm Sheridans, said can take years.
He told CoinDesk:
“The process seeks to establish that the invention is patentable (some things, such as abstract ideas, aren’t patentable). Then the ‘novelty’ of the invention is considered – if the invention was known/or available to the public, it won’t be patentable. It has to be new.”
Jankelewitz continued: “If anyone could have come up with that new development, the development is not inventive enough to justify a patent.”
The USPTO process also allows the public to oppose patents if they believe the application in question is not justified.
Patents in crypto
Coinbase – which has raised $106.7m in venture funding to date – is not the only company applying for crypto-related patents.
Just yesterday, CoinDesk reported that the USPTO had published a patent filed by US financial services giant Bank of America which attempted to protect a cryptocurrency-based wire system.
Additional crypto-related patent applications have been submitted by the likes of Mastercard and IBM, while online shopping giant Amazon was awarded a bitcoin-related cloud computing patent in May last year.