Technology

nChain, the company founded by self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig S. Wright, is looking to hire a patent counsel in London to manage and grow the firm’s portfolio of blockchain-related IP.

The applicant must be a qualified European Patent Attorney, have a keen interest in bitcoin and blockchain and also possess a first degree in computer science, electronics, physics, or mathematics, the job advertisement states.

It goes on to say that the London-based position “would suit a recently qualified patent attorney in private practice who would like to experience working in-house,” conduct “patent drafting” and “global prosecution” and who is looking for “significant responsibility for creating and exploiting commercially valuable IP assets.”

Wright, who is best known for declaring himself to be bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, is also a strenuous collector of patents related to the technology.

A Reuters report two years ago first connected Wright with a company called EITC Holdings Ltd (which later became nChain), and through which he had filed over 50 patent applications in the U.K. related to blockchain technology. Earlier this month Jimmy Nguyen, chairman of nChain’s strategic advisory board, announced that the firm had filed 666 patent applications.

Serial filer

Data provided by the UK Intellectual Property Office shows that EITC has submitted a range of patent applications focused on the technology in recent years, including ones for “implementing logic gate functionality using a blockchain,” an “operating system for blockchain IOT devices” and “methods and systems for the efficient transfer of entities on a peer-to-peer distributed ledger.”

The explosion of R&D related to blockchain potentially creates an environment where “Non-Practising Entities (NPEs),” sometimes referred to as “patent trolls,” can thrive simply by seeking and enforcing patent rights.

Patent disputes have been described as the sport of kings: expensive and to be avoided. A good example of this was last decade’s smartphone patent wars.

There have been no reports of nChain or Craig Wright becoming involved in patent disputes, but it’s clearly part of the job description, which asks for:

“The ability to undertake patent drafting, global prosecution, and European opposition matters.”

nChain did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Craig Wright image: BBC

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