Fintech is reshaping the financial services landscape at a pace that few organizations can truly comprehend. While advancements and innovations in Fintech are valued by the consumer, there are companies and organizations looking to either hinder their competitors, or take a slice of their profits, using patent litigation.
The Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) – cofounded by Square – was created to limit patent risk for its members. By joining they agree not to sue each other using patents based on core cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Having patent peace, and innovation sharing, in the core cryptocurrency technologies means that everyone can invest their time and resources on the more valuable, differentiating technology that goes on top of it.
“As a global leader in the effort to democratize financial services, we are pleased that Square is committed to patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open source technologies.” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN.
Square and COPA believe that enabling businesses to freely innovate at the core technologies levels that power cryptocurrency and blockchain platforms ultimately lowers everyone’s costs. While COPA addresses core blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies that are not purely open source software-based, the Open Invention Network does.
In fact, the most popular and successful cryptocurrency and blockchain platforms run on Linux, the largest open source project. Additionally, key blockchain technologies like Hyperledger are also open source-based, and covered by the Open Invention Network’ Linux System Definition – the list of software components covered by the OIN royalty-free cross license.
“We recognize the value in shared innovation, a fundamental characteristic of open source communities. In addition to joining OIN, Square is one of the founders of the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a collaborative consortium in which members pledge not to use their crypto technology patents, except for defensive purposes,” said Max Sills, Counsel at Square and General Manager of COPA . “Our participation in the OIN community demonstrates our commitment to support collaborative technology development.”
Square and COPA joining the Open Invention Network is a strategic alignment that should enable companies that leverage Fintech, and in particular blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, to feel confident in their technology investments.
OIN’s community practices patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open source technologies by cross-licensing Linux System patents to one another on a royalty-free basis. Patents owned by Open Invention Network are similarly licensed for free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System.