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Australia’s ICT sector publishes Blockchain Innovation: A Patent Analytics Report

ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, today announced the publication of Blockchain Innovation: A Patent Analytics Report at Barangaroo, Sydney. Through providing insight into innovators in blockchain technology – based on patents filed – the report will assist both businesses and governments in understanding the technology and the degree to which it is a critical enabler for continued economic growth.

The report found Australia performs strongly amongst its global counterparts in blockchain technology, with local applicants ranking sixth globally, with 49 patent families registered. There have been 55 different Australian applicants that have contributed to these patent families.

ACS President Yohan Ramasundara said, “Blockchain has been hyped as one of the most transformative and disruptive technologies on the immediate horizon. With the global market forecast to grow to US$60 billion by 2024, Australian businesses and governments alike have ample opportunity to leverage the technology as it matures.”

Over the past five years, the number of patent filings globally has grown by between 140 and 230% each year.

Chinese applicants are the clear leader in blockchain patents, making up 50% of the total families captured within the report.

“It’s pleasing to see that despite strong competition in this space, Australia is punching above its weight when it comes to blockchain innovation. We’ve already seen Australia’s financial services sector investing heavily in proofs of concept, along with the Australian Stock Exchange and government departments including the Digital Transformation Agency,” said Mr. Ramasundara.

“Moneycatcha is a great example of a recent Australian success story. It has filed a standard patent application through the international patent cooperation treaty (PCT) in the last two years. This filing strategy means that it is in a position to seek protection overseas.”

According to the report, applicants are using blockchain technology to solve problems in document handling and management, and predominantly applying the technology into payment and transaction systems.

IP Australia Chief Economist Benjamin Mitra-Kahn said, “Blockchain patenting is more than doubling every year, and we can see real opportunities for Australia in blockchain technologies.”

Further key findings from the report include:
  • Blockchain patent filings have grown 140% or more each year since 2013
  • 92% of blockchain-related patents are in an active state
  • Coinplug (South Korea) is the top global innovator in this area, with 75 active patent families (92% granted)
  • China is the largest filing destination. Alibaba is the largest applicant from China, filing 57 patent families
  • Document management is the major problem being addressed by the top innovators in the field
  • Only 14% of active patent families have at least one granted patent at this point in time
  • 3,021 patent families have been filed in blockchain technology.

“Our report today outlines findings from patent families filed since 1999, analyzing trends, innovators, filing destinations and commercial players in this space. This will assist in increased understanding of how blockchain technology is commercialized,” concluded Mr. Ramasundara.

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