The 10 Patent Commandments: When & How to File a Blockchain Patent

1. Keep Meticulous Records about your Invention:

This includes every step of the process, you should describe and diagram every aspect and modification as it comes up. Also include where you came up with the idea. A test/prototype is very helpful. Sign and date every entry in the book, and if you can, have two reliable witnesses sign as well.

2. Check to see if your Invention Qualifies for Patent Protection:

A patent must be Novel, Non-Obvious, and Useful

3. Choose which kind of patent is right for your invention:

There are three different kinds of patents, utility, design, and plants.

4. Make sure your invention is not unpatentable:

Things you can’t patent: math formulas, laws of nature, newly discovered substances that occur naturally, theoretical phenomena (like superconductivity).[7] Also, processes done by human movement, like choreographed dance, or sports moves cannot be patented. Most methods of performing surgery, unsafe new drugs, inventions for illegal activities, and creative content are all unpatentable as well. You can patent computer software because it’s considered different from a math formula since it has a specific application.

5. Assess the Commercial Potential of Your Invention

Getting a patent is not cheap; you often need to hire an attorney and a professional drawer. There are also filing fees of approximately $1,500 to file with the USPTO.

6. Do a Thorough Patent Search

This search involves both the U.S. and foreign patents that have been filed and anything published in journals that are related to your invention. One of the best places to start searching is This search goes includes all patents issued in America since 1976, and all patents applied for since 2001. Another great resource is, which goes back to 1790 for text-searchable patents. Some paid search sites include:

7. Prepare & File your Patent Application with USPTO

There are two types, either a regular patent application (“RPA”), or a provisional patent application (“PPA”). The PPA just allows you to say you’ve got a patent pending, and it is a fraction of the work and cost of a regular patent application.

8. Decide whether you are a micro, small or large company:

The fee to file the PPA ranges from $65 to $260 depending on whether you are a micro, small, or large company.

Micro Entity:

  • Qualify as a USPTO-defined small entity;
  • Not be named on more than four previously filed patent applications;
  • Not have a gross income more than three times the median household income in the previous year from when the fee(s) is paid. (For 2011, the median income was $50,054);
  • Not be under an obligation to assign, grant, or convey a license.[8]

Small Entity:

· An individual

Large Entity:

· Anything that doesn’t qualify as a micro or small entity.

9. Be the first to file:

Within a year of getting the PPA, you have to file for the RPA, or you lose the “patent pending” status. There’s an incentive to file a PPA quickly because under the U.S.’s “first-to-file” system, which came into effect in 2013, if someone else files a PPA before you, even if they haven’t invented the actual product/process, they will be able to block you from applying.

10. Draft the Specifications:

The PPA application requires a 5–10 page document (“specifications”) comprised of text and drawings that describe the invention. Once this is done, you can use the phrase “patent pending” on your invention for the next 12 months.



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Sasha Hodder

Sasha Hodder

Crypto Attorney; Former Trader; Host of the Hodlcast Podcast; Freedom Enthusiast;; @sashahodler