Interview With Dominik Thor, Founder Of IPCHAIN Database 20/04/2018 by Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and are not associated with Intellectual Property Watch. IP-Watch expressly disclaims and refuses any responsibility or liability for the content, style or form of any posts made to this forum, which remain solely the responsibility of their authors. Distributed ledger technology, commonly called a Blockchain, has recently become a highly popular term in many different industries for its cost-saving and operational risk reducing potential. In this interview with Intellectual Property Watch, Dominik Thor, the founder of IPCHAIN Database, a startup that focuses on IP protection through the use of Blockchain, explains about the ways this new technology can revolutionise the IP sector. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY WATCH (IPW): Could you explain how Blockchain technology works? DOMINIK THOR (THOR): Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology, which basically is a decentralized, encrypted and immutable database. It works without a central authority by having new information or entries (positioned in a “block”) verified by all participants in the network. Proof of this block is then added to the next which prevents any retroactive tampering. This creates an immutable timestamp. IPW: What made you consider its potential for IP? THOR: Simply out, the basis for acquiring patents rights or defending existing copyrights is the status of having done something prior to anyone else. To prove that in legal proceedings or in dealings with authorities has been difficult in the past, with personal notes, witnesses or webpages often being insufficient forms of evidence. Blockchain technology on the other hand can solve this problem easily, as a Blockchain essentially represent an immutable and very secure type of ledger. By placing IP on such a Blockchain you create an event that comes with a timestamp, which shows exactly that you have been in possession of this IP at a specific date. IPW: In what ways do you think can Blockchain be relevant to innovators and IP professionals? THOR: The foundation for both successfully obtaining and defending intellectual property rights such as patents or copyrights is the ability to prove one’s status of having done (or filed) something before anyone else. The actual means to prove that have been hotly contested in many legal proceedings. Personal notes, witness statements, publication on private webpages etcetera are mostly insufficient forms of evidence. Blockchain technology however offers clear proof thanks to its timestamp. It can show that you have done something at a certain point in time and thus can be the basis for defensive publications, proof of authorship or a means to securely share or trade confidential information. IP experts have also expressed the opinion that Blockchain can be used to build smart IP registries for the patent offices which safely store the whole life of an IP. IPW: What is your impression about the view of authorities on Blockchain? While financial market regulators in many jurisdictions are still having a hard time to catch up on the very innovate Blockchain industry and will need some more time to successfully craft suitable regulations for this market, authorities in the IP field have been very open-minded in regard to the potential of DLT in the context of intellectual property. EUIPO already organizes blockathons, events specifically meant for Blockchain developers, and the EUIPO observatory has a deep understanding of the uses and implication of this new technology. We are happy to be in close contact with them in this regard as well as with WIPO (our company is proud of having established a partnership with WIPO Green) and are having regular talks with major patent offices like EPO or USPTO. IPW: You’ve said IPCHAIN Database as a company is developing a Blockhain based solution. Who is it for and what can it do? THOR: Our software will be a tool that will help innovators overcome existing challenges in the field of IP. We are hoping to contribute to improving an already great system by making defensive publications, the safe storage, sharing, transfer and selling of all forms of IP and confidential information such as trade secrets easier, faster, cheaper and safer thanks to Blockchain technology. IPCHAIN Database will be used by universities, researchers, companies, private innovators and artists. Patent offices will use it as a prior art database for their research. As such it is technologically vastly superior to existing server-based solutions. And faster than traditional ways of publishing information. IPW: Who do you work with? THOR: We try to involve as many stakeholders in IP as possible. Aside from the beforementioned authorities, we therefore established partnerships with leading universities, research associations and companies active in R&D. IP professionals and lawyers are important stakeholders and we are grateful to have the support of our partner Dennemeyer Group, one of the largest IP law firms worldwide, in tailoring our services exactly to the needs of such professional users. IPW: Are there other companies going into the same direction? THOR: The Blockchain industry is changing quickly and we believe there lies huge potential in Blockchain for IP purposes. So while there currently is no project that focuses on holistic IP protection in the way IPCHAIN Database does, there may be others in the future. IPW: How do you see the future of this technology in the context of IP? THOR: Adoption of Blockchain for IP is already happening and will provide important advantages to the status quo for professional users, IP creators and last but not least the IP authorities themselves. IPW: What is the key element of this initiative global policymakers should know, and what could they do to help advance the effort on behalf of their constituents? THOR: A recent article in the WIPO magazine has pointed out a number of potential use cases for the field of IP. IPCHAIN Database as a service provider aimed to implement all of them applicable from a IP creator’s perspective into this new platform to better protect the interests of artists, inventors and researchers. Higher security at lower cost is a good argument in a corporate environment and will thus hopefully help to trigger even more interest in this technology, which can provide definitive proof in all kinds of legal proceedings. In the end, we hope to see it applied by the patent and trademark offices for their own systems as well. IPW: Where is the project based and how does it work across borders and at the international level? THOR: IPCHAIN Database is based in Gibraltar but does not have a focus on individual markets. Our reason for establishing partnerships with international players as well as the software’s use of WIPO standards and international classifications was to ensure that this tool supports the efforts of all innovators, big or small. We continue to establish new partnerships and present IPCHAIN at various international conferences. IPW: Thank you. A passionate entrepreneur, Dominik Thor has conceptualized the Vienna Stock Exchange’s SME segment and has been working in investment banking prior to co-founding a biotech company with a strong R&D focus. Having experienced the many challenges linked to the protection of new findings and ideas, he created the concept of IPCHAIN Database, a startup that uses Blockchain technology to revolutionize the protection of IP. Image Credits: IPCHAIN Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "Interview With Dominik Thor, Founder Of IPCHAIN Database" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.