11% of all global patents for blockchain technology were filed by UK businesses last year – ranking them fourth in the world – with 34 patents from a total of 314 filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2017, shows a new study by UHY Hacker Young, the national accountancy firm.
No other country in the European Union makes it into the Top 10 countries for number of patents related to blockchain filed with WIPO.
In comparison, Chinese businesses filed 32% of all global patents for blockchain technology in 2017. Chinese businesses have invested heavily in blockchain technology in recent years, with the Chinese central bank supporting the development of a blockchain-based trade finance platform to help SMEs access finance.
The study shows that US businesses are close behind with 92 global patents (29%), followed by Australian businesses with 40 patents (13%), just ahead of the UK.
UHY adds that the biggest filer of global blockchain patents last year was nChain, a blockchain-focused research firm based in London and Vancouver, which filed 48 patents for blockchain technology at WIPO in 2017.
UHY explains that while European businesses have only filed a limited number of patents at the global level through WIPO, many have been more active at a local level.