Billionaire Jack Ma Led Ant Group Ranks First Globally In Blockchain Patents

  • Ant Group retains the globe’s largest blockchain patentee, with IBM remaining the most cited patent developer within the blockchain space.

A new report shows that Ant Group, owned by Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma, filed for the highest number of blockchain-based patents last year. According to the research report, Chinese-based firms dominate the list of the number of blockchain patent filings.

The report was published by Intellectual Asset Management, a magazine that focuses on intellectual property. The report sourced its data from the Derwent World Patents Index. According to the publication, Ant Group has filed for 2,298 blockchain patents, with 586 being added last year. However, this was a 33% reduction compared to the 880 patents that were filed in 2019.

However, filing approximately 1,748 blockchain-based patents, Ping An saw its patent applications' volume jump sharply from just 291 in the previous year. The Shenzhen-based firm owns financial and insurance outfits that offer a wide array of services such as asset management, banking, and trusts. The company has been keen to make its presence felt in the blockchain space, with Ping An Bank creating a boutique that focuses on blockchain in 2018.

The high number of blockchain patents by Ping An has seen the firm ranked second above Tencent, which is now ranked third. Tencent filed for 1,666 patent applications last year.

Coming fourth is the global tech conglomerate, IBM, with approximately 647 blockchain patents by 2019. Noteworthy, IBM is the only American-based firm that appears in the report. However, although Chinese firms dominate when it comes to the number of patents, IBM boasts of a high citation rate within the industry. The American company also boasts of owning most of the first blockchain intellectual rights.

The report also indicates that the number of worldwide blockchain patent requests has been on a downward spiral in the last three years. The report says that 12,300 patents were applied in 2018, 11,299 in 2019, while 9,415 were applied in 2020.

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