Earlier this week, IBM announced it would be working with IPwe to launch a new IP Marketplace powered by IBM’s blockchain technology. Organizations can also more easily view the IP as an asset on their balance sheet.” As related technology has been implemented to represent sports memorabilia and iconic moments, digital art, and even social media posts, IBM and IPwe hope to lead IP Portfolios to a similar platform and token system. IBM hopes that “By representing IP in this way, it can be licensed, sold and commercialized.”
To achieve this, IBM will use blockchain technology to begin representing patents as “non-fungible tokens” (“NFTs”). As IBM explains, “The tokenization of intellectual property (IP) will help position patents to be more easily sold, traded, commercialized or otherwise monetized and bring new liquidity to this asset class for investors and innovators.” Efforts have already begun, and IBM believes it will be commercially available until Q4 of 2021.
This new project builds on previous work the two have done together. IPwe has several related aspects of portfolio management on its site, including its IPwe Registry, The Registry collects records on patent holdings and allows for searchable access to it all. Meanwhile, IBM has already enabled an enhanced search and analytic with certain AI features on the platform.
By tokenizing the patent holdings, IBM and IPwe hope to expand and streamline these efforts for easier transfer and access to analytics like the ones they already provide. Even further, by tokenizing the IP, IBM and IPwe will help the asset be treated as liquid and allow for more readily available management, evaluation, and transacting of the IP holdings.
If you have any questions or concerns about how this new trend might affect your holdings, please reach out to an attorney here.