back to article Dr Craig Wright lodges 51 blockchain patents with Blighty IP office

Wannabe Bitcoin creator Dr Craig yeah Wright has filed more than 50 patent applications relating to the cryptocurrency with the UK Intellectual Property Office. Dr Wright submitted the paperwork in the UK through EITC Holdings registered in Antigua. EITC Holdings filed 25 patents with the Office last week. These bear titles …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I laugh yellowly!

    Kinda a bit late to patent open tech?

    Especially if done by a crazy jerk. It is likely that most or even all patents deflate within minutes and be minor variations of well-known "business methods" (like "see door, open door, go through door, close door") (still will be granted I fear).

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: I laugh yellowly!

      Seconded. Prior art for most of these is already in the public domain.

      1. JimC

        Re:Prior art for most of these is already in the public domain.

        I'm interested...

        Have you read all those patent applications and know exactly what is in them to compare them with what is in the public domain? If so why don't you share the information with the patent office so that they know the prior art exists.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re:Prior art for most of these is already in the public domain.

          "Have you read all those patent applications and know exactly what is in them to compare them with what is in the public domain? If so why don't you share the information with the patent office so that they know the prior art exists."

          Because that is exactly what the Patent Office's exists for. If they can't function without random people from the street pointing out prior art, they shouldn't exist at all.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby

        @Voland ... Re: I laugh yellowly!

        Not exactly.

        If the application cites prior art and then extends it with something that is novel , new and not obvious... it could be patented.

        What sucks is that what you or any IT profession whose expertise may find it obvious, the patent examiner may not.

        So we end up with a lot of patents that should never be granted and it costs $$$$ to invalidate the patent.

    2. Adam 1

      Re: I laugh yellowly!

      Since when does prior art stop anyone getting a patent approved?

      /Mutters to himself as he walks towards his shed, sliding the bolt to unlock the door.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I laugh yellowly!

        Since when does prior art stop anyone getting a patent approved?

        When the examiner can't be bothered to look anything up and that is usually because they don't have any idea exactly what the patent is about.

        1. Fred Goldstein
          FAIL

          Re: I laugh yellowly!

          They only look up other patents. If something was invented and not patented, then it doesn't exist so far as the patent examiner goes, at least in the US. So all sorts of old common crap gets patented. And if the application is sufficiently well obscured, which is fairly normal, then the same thing can be patented over and over. It is a total farce. Math itself is not patentable, and a blockchain is math.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: I laugh yellowly!

            I'm not sure that's the problem. It's more like the examiner isn't a techie and probably has no clue what any given software patent is actually based on. If they had a clue because they were techies, most software patents would end up in the trash.

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Ripping Yarn

    RCJ...

    But if you enjoy a ripping yarn - with some piercing insights into geek culture - then you will find the Satoshi Affair an engrossing way to spend a couple of hours.

    Back to the Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoin affair

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36575524

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    400 patents in 1 day?

    Troll alert?

  4. Steve K Silver badge

    Unmask?

    I thought that Craig Wright had claimed to be Nakamoto already, so surely there is no need to unmask him....?

    If it is not him (as most suspected) then it is an admission that he was making it up previously, which would not help his credibility in his latest venture.

    1. Adam 1

      Re: Unmask?

      But it is him. He just can't bring himself to prove it.

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Unmask?

        Having read the BBC article linked to above, it appears that the "unmask" bit actually refers to the lead-up to the original claims in April/May (apparently part of a business plan/strategy for his backers/associates), rather than any new actions arising since then.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Unmask?

      Unless Craig Wright takes his mask off[1] revealing that, underneath, he is actually Satoshi Nakamoto.

      [1] Mission Impossible style.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Ah the next round

    We changed existing patents to the same patent but with the words "mobile device" added. Now we can look forward to the same patents, but with IoT attached.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Ah the next round

      Then we changed them again and added the the words "wrist wearable device"...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eh? I thought software and mathematical patents were still not allowed in the UK (& EU)? Even t though they are also not allowed in the US there is the transformational argument which opened the door to them, but the UK doesn't have that, does it?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "Eh? I thought software and mathematical patents were still not allowed in the UK (& EU)? Even t though they are also not allowed in the US there is the transformational argument which opened the door to them, but the UK doesn't have that, does it?"

      You're allowed to file for any patent you want.

    2. Alistair Mann

      I had to investigate this a couple years ago. Software patents are allowed in the UK & EU, but the landscape is very hostile. I highly recommend Philip Leith's "Software and patents in Europe" http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/law/intellectual-property/software-and-patents-europe

      Philip Leith spent some considerable time in IT before moving to law; he clearly Get's It

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Investigation Discovery...

    This guy Craig Wright seems as dodgy as f@ck:

    1. Did he kill the real Satoshi Nakamoto?

    2. Or has he robbed their invention or Identity (i.e. classic ID Theft)?

    3. Or Is he acting as a front for the real Nakamoto for some reason?

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Investigation Discovery...

      None of the above, he's just an attention-seeker.

      1. Bill Stewart

        Re: Investigation Discovery...

        He's not just trying to get attention - he's trying to monetize it (and/or stifle further work in the field, which is sort of monetization-equivalent for intelligence agencies.) Choice of UK venue means:

        - First-to-file, not first-to-invent, so he doesn't need as much real documentation to show he was the real inventor

        - Libel laws that make it easy to sue anyone who calls him an impostor - especially since it's really hard for a defendant to prove that Wright's not Satoshi, unless the defendant is the real Satoshi and is willing to come out of hiding, which is unlikely, while it's easy for Wright to prove that calling him an impostor is causing him real monetary damage by blocking "his" patents.

        - It's not the US, so it's harder for someone like Nick Szabo to fight the patent by proving that the claims are equivalent to previously published work, or for a libel defendant to hire Nick, though Adam Back and a few other Bitcoin experts are UK-based.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Software patents

    Ensuring algorithms don't get widely adopted for the next 20 years.

    (See elliptic curve crypto)

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Software patents

      And in the othetr El Reg post today on Fedora, it was explained that the patent on sub-pixel rendering is going to expire in 2018.

      So he gets all the patentos on Blockchains. What then?

      He either getas rich (paid for in Bitcoin) or the rest of the world invents another text that bypasses these patents.

      Also as has been mentioned, a lot of Blockchain is already out in the open so unless his applications represent an improvement on them he won't get them granted.Does he have a big fund for his lawyers?

      There was recent news that IBM and Intel have been working together on this stuff. Does he really want to take on them in a legal case?

      1. Neoc

        Re: Software patents

        @Steve Davies 3

        Read again: his patents do not cover the blockchains themselves but *uses* for the blockchains. <sigh> the patent system needs a good kicking.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        Re: Software patents

        Thank you. I could not figure out why Linux looks so rubbish in comparison to lots of other operating systems... because of patents on "being able to see the screen". Darn you all patent applicators...

  9. Peter Galbavy

    You file patents (that you know will never be granted by any sane reading of the regs) in order to create an atmosphere of risk for other organisations to slow them down because their legal people tell them that one day they might get stung. CYA by proxy.

  10. martinusher Silver badge

    Just words?

    I've been in the trade for years and I still can't figure out what the "IOT" is. Since a lot of my work has been with industrial control systems I could claim passing familiarity with interconnecting things for the purposes of monitoring, coordination and control. I know that its technically possible to wire up all sorts of things, including a lot of home stuff, but if you've ever tried it (it was fashionable 40 years ago) then you'll realize that its mostly a gimmick.

    So I figure a lot of this stuff -- including these patents -- is just what we could call 'circling the fire'. Everyone knows that they should be able to make a fortune off this stuff but nobody's quite sure how -- they're just staking claims on territory in the hope that some miner will come along and strike gold for them.

  11. Neoc
    Facepalm

    If today's patent offices existed pre-1450...

    Hey. Someone invented a way of securing an opening using these things called Lock and Keys. I'd better patent:

    - Securing a dwelling's entrance using a lock and key;

    - Securing a dwelling's view-port or window using a lock and key;

    - Securing your writing desk using a lock and key;

    - ...ad nauseum...

    <sigh>

  12. Sirius Lee

    Irrelevant

    #1 You can't patent software or algorithms in Europe

    #2 The prior art is open source

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021