An Analysis: Intellectual Property Rights – Catalyst of Opportunities or Barriers to Progress


World is connecting not only to socialize and network in their leisure time with each other but also to ease their businesses. To this we have startups, businesses and organizations which reminds us of the pressing issues which necessitate the need to solve the conundrum of law and technology, so that they can complement each other without being at cross roads. In a sense where the nascent technology follows the protection of IP laws, an asset in the legal discourse which speaks louder for those who want to leverage their innovation, work, creation, invention for nothing but to keep their originality intact. IPR and its jurisprudence is gaining weight with its increase in awareness, people now are much more aware of the work they produce and in furtherance they wish to secure their rights. With advent of technology post covid, there also comes threat of IP rights and a concern cum dilemma that stops the brainstorming process, demanding an assessment whether IP is an asset to benefit from or a liability that limits the enforcement and benefits that can be so accrued. World is intrigued and fascinated by the potential, popularity and prevalence of Blockchain technology. The Blockchain patent applications have doubled in the recent years, calling for our urgent attention on applicability of laws and protection of rights. IT companies which are also the largest finance companies have been investing through these applications, they are incentivising the investment and the breadth of companies partaking has swelled ever since. Applicants of such blockchains or cryptocurrency suggest their intention to use these patents as a shield against heavy lawsuits. This IP protection can in longer run solidify their handhold in streamlining of commerce in the future times to come. They are betting on the Crypto boom as a think early, act early strategy to delay risks and secure business. As India also is steadily securing its currency digitally, concerns of ownership, legality, protection alongside IP laws has grown to the moon.

Even though it breathes in its initial experimental stages it still has a degree of exclusivity yet inclusivity, discord yet concord all at the same time to some extent. This article will deliberate on the key points of friction and will also analyse how it complements enabling coexistence.


Blockchain technology is a distributed and continuous network of blocks based on public ledger system wherein these blocks contain a cryptographic hash from the previous blocks which in short is the transaction data and in total makes a chain of these blocks of codes. This data is maintained by the participants themselves and is shielded from the third-party intervention.

Intellectual Property

Blockchain offers a multidimensional and multifaceted utility mechanism which stores the transactional information, design data, receivers and sender data, this makes it vulnerable to cyber malware and attacks. This blockchain network is of 2 variants one is a public blockchain and other one is a private blockchain. Public Blockchain essentially is an open network that can be accessed by public at large ensuring accountability due to transparency of transactions, whereas Private Blockchain is regulated by private entities which can control the access of the certain participants. There has been a humungous rise in the usage of digital currency continuing to alter the varied sectors to accrue benefits. The usage is increasing because to shadow to continue transmissions and transactions without leaving any traces. This automatically gives birth to the revolutionary but much debated smart contracts in the market. This expansion of digital currency raises multidimensional concerns about IPR laws, this expansion of internet usage in cyberspace sets new norms which are necessary to be transformed according to the rivalry issues that can prominently arise. With Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing it in her 2022 Budget speech about digital currency and its launch by RBI, the ball starting rolling in favour of digital variant of fiat cash or in other words digital money. This has gained such importance because with its help it is easy to trace and determine the ownership and terms related to ownership that forms the crux of IPR laws, as it can prove the ownership with the help cryptographs. If seen closely IPR and cryptocurrency share a symbiotic relation so intricately that the simulation or restriction is mutually dependent. Herein the blockchain and its technology can be essentially used to strengthen life cycle of IP, it will ease the identification and tallying of the ownership rights. This in turn will lessen the conflicts and disputes as it will take into account all the records required to determine precisely the original owner. The other way round is that some people will trademark their cryptocurrency claiming the ownership rights but there exists ambiguity regarding the acquisition and transfer leading to legal issues.

A. Unveiling Opportunities: Scope that lies ahead

IP rights are mainly administered by the governments or the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks whose ambit comes under the Government of India, which can further delegate the power to registry and IP offices. In times where the technology makes it all the more difficult to weigh who was the prior adopter and user, blockchain technology comes to the rescue offering dynamic possibilities.

1. Registration of IP

IP registration can be done either online or offline, these records work as evidence before the courts but more often than not there exists possibility of these records contradicting each other causing a great difficulty in determining who was the first user of that work. In such a case, Blockchain technology offers the apt answer by making and developing an inclusive database to cross verify and check the start of registration. This benefits the original owner to safeguard his artistic creation. This in long run will minimize the conflicts and litigation.

2. Lesser frauds and easy maintenance

When we are looking to rapidly advance and increase the pace of every transaction, we automatically shift to smart and speedy contracts where the burden subsequently is on the authorities to ensure, establish and effectively take actions by verifying the records and detecting the fallacy if any which will be easier to do with the help of blockchains where every transaction will act as a proof.

3. Trade Secrets

Every business who is in the industry that is absolutely competitive gets concerned about their trade secret which might be in the form of recipe, design or working of a model, herein again it becomes quintessential to establish who made it first, which acts as evidence to stop further misuse and misappropriation. To which, Digital currency and technology answers the hurdles by benefitting users to establish their side of case.

B. Navigating Hurdles: Unravelling the challenges that comes along

Major obstacle in this aspect is the cost it can incur to regulate, manage and use the whole system. To use it on a bigger scale would require a lot of machinery, inventory and high amount of energy which it will consume for efficient and effective usage.

Blockchain technology is a revolutionary step that is evolving every now and then. It is designed in a way where it removes the chances of oblivion, creating no further doubts with respect to the ownership rights. But, as a consequence of it there might arise utmost difficulty when the uncooperative owner of such technology falsifies the evidence or simply refuses to provide the evidence. It comes with a lot of uncertainty, as this interaction of businesses, startups and organizations can restrict and hinder the utility as the NFT (Non Fungible Tokens) work inherently different from that of legal regime that surrounds computer-based networking. There can be well founded concerns related to privacy, picturization, fraud, misappropriation which all calls for a collaborative support from the sought after amendments in consumer protection act that includes after recognizing the need of this framework.

Author : Shloka, in case of any query, contact us at Global Patent Filing or write back us via email at

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