Patents on Transactions Using Cryptocurrency: Square versus PayPal

One of the challenges of patenting technology related to blockchain is that the subject matter is likely directed to one of the judicial exceptions (i.e., abstract ideas) that are not patent eligible. Moreover, the subject matter likely falls within one of USPTO’s enumerated groupings of abstract ideas, i.e., “certain methods of organizing human activity” (e.g., commercial interactions). To be patent eligible, the claims would need to include additional limitations that either integrate the abstract idea into a practical application or add significantly more to the judicial exception. This article offers insight on future developments in the fintech industry and on patenting blockchain related technology in the cryptocurrency space.