Two associates from Tilleke & Gibbins’ Hanoi office shared their thoughts on the impact of blockchain technology on intellectual property in an in-depth article published by Asia IP magazine.
Attorney Anh Hoai Nguyen explained that blockchain opened up new opportunities for individuals and SMES, encouraging them to “participate in the niche of IP rights protection, which has so far been dominated mostly by industrial giants with sufficient resources to follow the complicated and lengthy procedures of IP registration, management and enforcement. Blockchain technology could greatly simplify such procedures and make them more straightforward, allowing almost anyone on the Internet to claim ownership of their IP rights.”
Consultant Duc Anh Tran added that despite its promise, blockchain also introduces some challenges. “For example, blockchain can only provide proof of existence/creation or first use of a work, without being able to guarantee the trustworthiness of it. The only thing it can guarantee is that such work has not been tampered with. Therefore, blockchain cannot give definitive evidence that the person who registers the work on the chain is in fact the original creator of the work. In fact, nothing can prevent a malicious participant from adding a pirated version of the work to the blockchain, as there is no requirement for such participant to attach any kind of evidence of ownership together with the work.”
Concluding the article, Hoai Anh expressed optimism for the future of blockchain in IP: “Especially in this new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many cases where blockchain could help provide solutions to urgent global needs. For example, in the healthcare sector, blockchain could aid in the improvement of supply chain management, the collection, aggregation and access to research data, or clinical credentialing management. There is no doubt that the practical application and legal implications of blockchain still have to be thoroughly assessed, given the many challenges. However, if states, and especially regulators and legislators, are determined to create an ecosystem conducive to the widespread adoption and development of blockchain, the above-mentioned issues have many chances to be addressed.”
Asia IP, published by the Apex Asia Media Group, is a leading source for analysis of the IP issues facing companies in Asia, and a source of market intelligence for IP owners in the region. The full article can be read at the Asia IP website (free registration required).