PLI “Safe Return” Policy for In-Person Programs

Half Day Program

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Overview

Why You Should Attend

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have made headlines as current events drive huge swings in their value. They have been joined in the news by NFTs, many of which have soared in price even though many aren’t sure what they are in the first place. Beneath these headlines, though, innovators continue to realize the transformative potential of blockchains and distributed ledger technologies. “Blockchain” may for some remain associated mostly with money laundering and darknets. But blockchains are much more than cryptocurrencies: they and related technologies promise new, transformative solutions to problems of trust, control, and distribution of data.

Recognizing the promise of blockchain technology, many continue to invest heavily in blockchain-related technologies and their applications. The investments lead to innovation and, as a corollary, the desire to protect the innovation to get a return on the investments.

Patents are traditionally looked to as a way to protect innovation. But patenting blockchains in the U.S. often raises issues of patent eligibility that have taken on new importance following the Supreme Court’s decisions in Mayo, Alice, and other cases, and their ongoing elaboration by the Federal Circuit. These issues can be particularly acute considering how many applications of blockchains relate to FinTech or improvements to business practices. Moreover, some popular blockchain technologies and applications derive much of their appeal from being nonproprietary, so a patent may not always be the right tool.

What You Will Learn

This program covers issues that come up when considering blockchain patents. It reviews the basics: the core technologies, main applications, and emerging trends. It discusses the law of patent-eligibility and what it means for protecting blockchain-related inventions. The program will explore strategic issues, including considerations that make patents more appropriate for some kinds of blockchain-related inventions than others and approaches to patent drafting and prosecution that maximize the chance of success when applying for patents in this area.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for both patent practitioners and non-practitioners. In addition, law firm attorneys and in-house counsel who are not patent practitioners but need to counsel clients developing blockchain technologies and their applications, patent practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding of the issues these technologies raise, and other allied professionals who need to learn or get up to speed on the latest developments regarding patenting blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, especially in view of the latest technological developments, should attend this program.

 

Program Level: Overview. 

Intended Audience:  This program is designed for both patent practitioners and non-practitioners. In addition, law firm attorneys and in-house counsel who are not patent practitioners but need to counsel clients developing blockchain technologies and their applications, patent practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding of the issues these technologies raise, and other allied professionals who need to learn or get up to speed on the latest developments regarding patenting blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, especially in view of the latest technological developments, should attend this program.

Prerequisites:  Some familiarity with the basics of U.S. patent law will be assumed. It will be also helpful to be acquainted with some applications of blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

Advanced Preparation: None. 

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