Bernstein, the leading provider of Blockchain based solutions for securing intellectual property and SIPRC (Saudi Intellectual Property Rights Company), Riyadh KSA based Intellectual property and trade Law firm have partnered to provide Blockchain based IP solutions to the GCC region.
SIPRC is a leading Saudi Arabia law firm providing comprehensive services for Intellectual Property and Innovation Management. Based in Riyadh, SIPRC serves clients both in the private and public sector. The legal team at SIPRC will soon start engaging its clients to present Bernstein blockchain certificates as an opportunity to improve operations of IP management processes, from securing trade secrets, to defensive publishing, from generating proof of use for trademarks, to strong copyright claims.
In an interview with UNLOCK, we asked Mr. Mohammed Al Omair, General Manager at SIPRC why did they choose to use Blockchain for Intellectual Property, he replied, “ Today IP is still managed in slow, geographically fragmented and expensive ways. The current IP right system is struggling to keep up with the speed of the digital world and many innovators and innovations find themselves excluded from it. In this scenario, public Blockchains represent a great choice for a new approach to IP management. At their core, public blockchain platforms are a global public registry, independent from any central authority and control. And the success of this technology in the financial sector has encouraged us to take the initiative in adopting blockchain in legal sector to provide the highest levels of protection to our clients with the latest technologies.”
According to Omair while clients are cautious about this new approach they are excited as well. He states, “The bigger more established firms do question the security of such novel tools, so we are spreading awareness to educate them about the benefits of the technology and to build value added services not simply resell blockchain technology.” SIPRC hopes to serve an increasing number of clients across the GCC from low touch self-serving blockchain based IP management to consultations on the effective use of blockchain certificates.
Omair believes the need is there as the demand and need for IP protection will exponentially rise in an increasingly intangible economy, the attention will turn to more flexible and internationally recognized IP strategies, such as trade secrecy and copyright. In this context, the relevance of lawyers, attorneys and courts will be higher than ever – but the opportunity will benefit the ones adapting to the new status quo.
Omair partnered with Bernstein because, “SIPRC being a leading IP firm in the GCC region, we knew that if we were going to move forward in offering cutting-edge blockchain-based services to our clients, it was critical for us to partner with a trustworthy player who had already earned its spurs in the field.”
Marco Barulli, Founder and Managing Director of Bernstein technologies told UNLOCK, “We are pleased to be partnering with SIPRC who have launched their white label instance of Bernstein allowing their clients to notarize IP assets on the blockchain, while we offer them assistance and advisory services on how to use those certificates in the best way. Bernstein is as easy to use as Dropbox. One click and you get a certificate based on the Bitcoin blockchain that proves existence, integrity and ownership of any digital asset. Additionally, you also get an official digital timestamp from the EU and China governments.” He adds, “Bernstein will soon be adding digital timestamps from Switzerland and Japan.”
As for the GCC and MENA region Barulli comments, “We look forward to working with high-tech companies, scientists, designers, architects and research institutions from the Gulf area. The blockchain represents a new way of creating digital trust in the digital age. We believe legal experts like the SIPRC team are in the best position to recognize the potential of blockchain-based certifications for intellectual property assets and leverage this technology to empower innovators everywhere.”
Blockchain implementation in KSA has been increasing as Omair comments, “ We are aware of research centers, universities and incubators that are already deploying blockchain-based solutions in several fields and therefore open to apply this technology to intellectual property management as well. In the IP space, we can already discern apparent and straightforward use cases in the realm of universities and incubators.”
He adds, “One good example is the experiment run by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) of issuing diploma certificates through blockchain technology in order to easily validate their authenticity.”