IBM, IPwe Planning To Turn Patents Into NFTs

IBM and IPwe plan to turn patents into non-fungible tokens
Editorial credit: Nikolay Antonov /

Long Beach (CoinChapter): Tech giant IBM and global patent marketplace IPwe plan to turn patents into non-fungible tokens. The two companies spoke on their intentions in a joint announcement.

“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,” the companies said.

IPwe CEO Erich Spangenberg also spoke with The Block. “Think of an NFT as a certificate of title,” Spangenberg said. “The people that interact with the NFT for a particular patent will be comfortable that it exists and who owns it.”

The NFTs will be stored on IPwe’s platform, which is powered by the IBM blockchain. Trials for IPwe’s patent NFTs will begin in Q2 of 2021. Spangenberg additionally noted that tests will focus on small, medium, and large enterprises.

IPwe’s CEO further spoke to the missed opportunity within the patent market. Spangenberg cites the fact that just 2-5% of intellectual property in the patent market is valued. He believes there is a $1 trillion opportunity if the patent market can better identify, authenticate, and trade on the IP.

“The lack of transparency is a huge problem,” Spangenberg said. “Whether it is who owns or what is patent about, it is so complicated to transact in”.

IBM developed IPwe’s Global Patent Marketplace

IPwe currently offers the Global Patent Marketplace, an ecosystem to engage and transact, buy, license, finance, sell, research and commercialize patents. This was also developed with IBM. IPwe is now banking on enterprises, governments, and other institutions will use and exchange tokenized patents.

General manager of global strategic partnerships at IBM Services, Jason Kelley also spoke on the digitization of everything in today’s society. “If you can provide a platform that allows that to happen in an exchange of value it’s exciting,” Kelly said. “The tokenization of patent opens up markets. You can value different patents and trade with greater capability, validity and trust.”

Company officials declined to say whether IBM patents would be made into non-fungible tokens specifically.

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