Electronics giant Samsung filed for a patent in May 2019 titled, “Programmable blockchain solid state drive and switch. Even though few details are known about the newly designed system, a surge in patent applications filed by large corporations on blockchain is clearly visible.
Patent wars i.e., battles between corporations or individuals to secure patents for litigation are certainly not new. They have been widely practiced in the tech ecosystem since the times of Alexander Graham Bell at the turn of the 20th century, who was involved in over 600 lawsuits.
Any great invention from the past century has a history of some kind of patent war, but the digital age has accelerated this phenomenon. From the PC wars between Apple and Microsoft to the smartphone wars of the past decade, patents have been used for both offensive and defensive measures.
It has been clear since the beginning that blockchain would see an increasing interest from corporations, which would turn to securing their patents as soon as possible. In just over a year, IBM has tripled the number of blockchain patents secured in the United States to over 100, while Alibaba leads the way with over 260 patents related to blockchain.
The number of global blockchain patent filings now considerably outpaces the patent filings for other technologies. However, Samsung has stayed relatively restrained with blockchain. That is, until it registered for a programmable blockchain SSD.