Tracking of Intellectual Property using the Blockchain

The Blockchain Technology (BT) is a promising technology. Due to its integrity and immutability characteristics, BT affects almost all businesses where digital transactions are executed, and a high level of trust is required. In summary, its architecture is predestined for the protection of intellectual property - also in the context of scientific research and knowledge creation. We present an approach that makes it possible to track early concepts even during their development. The outcome is recorded and linked to the originating person. In our prototype recording is done using digital pens with which contributors write down their notes on normal paper. The identified writing is interpreted using optical character recognition and stored in standardized JSON objects. To guarantee both proof-of-existence and proof-of-origin, a unique hash is generated from each digital artifact stored and embedded into the Blockchain by the OriginStamp decentralized trusted timestamping servi ce. Once this unique fingerprint is embedded in a transaction in the underlying Blockchain network, it can be proven where particular contributions originated due to the characteristics of Blockchain architecture. By providing a clear proof-of-origin, all creators (even third parties) could continue to work on an existing project and add their contribution proportionately, depending on the state of progress. This concept enables an Open Science ecosystem.