Virtual Currency Intellectual Property Index 2014
The Virtual Currency Intellectual Property Index increased 64% in 2014. Granted patents increased 30%, published patent applications increased 50%, registered trademarks increased 41% and trademark applications increased 82%.
As you can see from the chart above, the Index has increased tremendously in the last five years. The Index increased 266% since 2010 and every category of intellectual property has increased every year.
Companies, investors and other players in the virtual currency industry continue to increase their intellectual property holdings in this space. This trend is likely to continue in 2015.
As we use it here, “virtual currencies” include digital currencies, cryptocurrencies and other innovative electronic currencies. Virtual currencies may include Bitcoin, Darkcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Mastercoin, Namecoin, NXT, Peercoin, Ripple, etc.
The Virtual Currency Intellectual Property Index tracks patent applications and patents that have been published or granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Although most applications are published, a small percentage (about 7% nation wide) are not published for various reasons. Patent applications are generally published 18 months after the first priority date of the application. Published applications have not necessarily been examined and some applications will be abandoned after publication. Once an application is examined and approved and all fees and formalities have been satisfied, the Patent Office grants a patent. We attempt to limit the Virtual Currency Intellectual Property Index to patents and patent applications that are substantially related to virtual currencies. Patent records that make only a passing reference to a virtual currency are generally not included.
The Virtual Currency Intellectual Property Index also tracks trademarks applications that have been filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Once a trademark application has been examined and approved by the Trademark Office and all requirements have been satisfied, it becomes a registered trademark.
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