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Coinbase files nine patent applications
Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet and exchange company, has filed nine patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reported CoinDesk.
The USPTO is the agency responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks. It received the submissions on 17th March this year.
According to the filings, Coinbase submitted patent applications for various products, that include a hot bitcoin wallet, an instant exchange, personal vault, bitcoin exchange, a bitcoin tipping button, two off- and on-blockchain transaction systems, user private key control, bitcoin private key splitting for cold storage and sending bitcoin to email address.
Although the office published the filings this month, their approval is still awaited, a process which Eitan Jankelewitz, a solicitor at London-based law firm Sheridans, said can take years.
"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”, he told CoinDesk.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong told CoinDesk that the intent is not for the patents to be used to drive smaller competitors out of business.
"While it would be irresponsible for Coinbase not to apply for patents (we need to protect ourselves from larger companies engaging in patent warfare), we can certainly commit to not using patents offensively against smaller companies," he said.