(BlockBar) Three blockchain technology companies have joined a multi-industry consortium dedicated to protecting members against the threat of patent assertion entities (PAEs) or commonly known as patent trolls.
Peer Mountain, MARKNetwork and IBISA have signed on to LOT Network software maker Red Hat and manufacturer Canon.
To be noted, Craigh Wright has amassed some 500 blockchain and crypto-related patents.
“Craig Wright’s lawyers are filing patents to basically put landmines in the technology roadmap waiting for the industry to come down his street so he can impose a tax,” said LOT CEO Ken Seddon. “It’s a shotgun approach: he is just going to sit there and speculate on all the possible paths and the possible forks the industry might take, sowing his seeds and waiting to collect his royalty checks.”
For LOT and its new members, Wright’s actions can be a wake-up call.
“Philosophically, many project leaders are opposed to the very idea of intellectual property ownership such as patents,” said Jed Grant, CEO of Peer Mountain. “However, it is important to understand that it is not just lawyers who have a stake in the patent troll fight. Developers, inventors and software engineers are already adversely impacted by frivolous litigation.”
LOT’s “immunization” works like a poison pill. When members join they sign a 10-page agreement which tells if their patents have ever fallen into the hands of a patent troll then the rest of the community members get an automatic and free license.
Every member of LOT’s 430-strong community is making this exact same commitment to everybody else, said Seddon.
According to Seddon the root of the problem is that companies at some stage of their lives sell patents in the open market, whether a startup with a handful of patents or Microsoft with 80,000. Patent trolls are also afforded a foothold wherever a new technology is applied to an existing system.
Maria Mateo, project lead at IBISA Said:
“So we rely on other protocols to operate our businesses. The intersection of technologies opens us up to exposure to patent troll litigation, even if blockchain patents themselves are only now starting to grow in number.”