Intellectual Property Revolution: NFTs and patent tokenization to empower SMEs

It is no news at this point that blockchain technology has sparked a revolution in plenty of sectors in our economy. From finance to fashion, innovation has reshaped old practices, allowed for more efficient processes, and even helped with sustainability.

Similarly, in the world of law and intellectual property, blockchain has unleashed a revolution to empower small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). SMEs are a vital engine in the world of innovation: what starts as a simple idea may flourish one day into a monumental change.

The European Commission states that intellectual property (IP) can improve the competitiveness of SMEs and provide a potential source of revenue. While the process of registering patents has long been regarded as inefficient, bureaucratic and lacking transparency, the advent of blockchain technology is set to change this.

Market research by Technavio estimates that intellectual property is set to grow by USD 2.28 billion during 2021–2025, with annual growth of almost 14%.

Patent transaction platform IPwe is building upon the potential of blockchain and AI to improve the intellectual property system, having seen the inefficiencies and the dire need for transparency that plagued the global patent market. IPwe estimates that $1 trillion in intellectual property is never transacted upon because of the difficulties surrounding managing and evaluating assets.

Leveraging the benefits of promising technologies by promoting innovation, increasing transparency, and lowering transaction costs, IPwe’s newest product, Digital Link (DL), is designed to empower small and medium entrepreneurship.

In April, IPwe announced a brand-new partnership with industry giant IBM, to build the infrastructure that will turn patents into Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and store the records on a blockchain network.

Through this ground-breaking approach to patent management, patents will be sold, traded, and commercialised more easily by investors and innovators, thereby creating the new patent asset class.

“This is expected to benefit not only large enterprises with significant patent portfolios, but it will also bring new opportunities to small and medium enterprises, as well as individual owners,” says Lavinia Meliti, Global Head of Business & Legal Affairs at IPwe.

IPwe gives us a clothing example: “Imagine you are purchasing a pair of jeans. The journey of jeans starts on a cotton plantation. You can use GS1 Digital Link for this to provide insight into that process via the unique number from the barcode of the jeans. You can even give information about each individual pair of jeans if you add a serial number to the barcode number. Each pair of jeans has now been given its own identity by the ‘serialised’ barcode”.

In the latest episode of #FinancialFox, we brief you about the impact of blockchain technology on the world of intellectual property. Our host Steffy speaks with Lavinia Meliti, Global Head of Business & Legal Affairs at IPwe.

IPwe, in partnership with IBM, wants to bring innovation and transparency to the patent and licensing market, helping businesses — particularly SMEs — to protect and monetise intellectual properties. Thanks to IPwe, patents can now turn into valuable NFTs. If you want to learn more, you can reach them at

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REMEMBER: All content in the video is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice.

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