Hot off the presses, this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News (4/15/2018)

By Professor Tonya M. Evans

Welcome to this week’s CryptoSmartEsq News, my carefully curated list of current legal issues and events in blockchain and crypto. 

If you’re new to this exciting, fast-developing space, check out the introductory video in the first CryptoSmartEsq news post. Follow me on Twitter at @CryptoSmartEsq (my blockchain and crypto-focused feed) and @IPProfEvans (my intellectual property-focused feed) and #EvansontheBlock for daily legal bits & bytes.

Tweet me your news items.

Top Story

Copyright Rebooted? Blockchain tech poised to disrupt Copyright law by Tonya M. Evans (

Contrary to the national copyright law regime, public blockchains are borderless and censorship resistant. So, for example, someone in the United States could complete a transaction with someone in Switzerland without any centralized private or public intermediary. Given the ability of creators to deal directly with content consumers and licensees in this way, the power and promise of leveraging copyrighted works via blockchains becomes immediately apparent. More […]

Intellectual Property

Blockchain to Enhance Online Copyright Protection in Iran (Financial Tribune)

Iran is set to transform its online copyright protection system by application of blockchain technology, head of digital media department at the Ministry of Culture announced.

‘China’s Google’ Baidu Launches Blockchain-Based Image Rights Protection Platform (Cointelegraph)

Chinese internet search giant Baidu has launched a digital image property rights management platform based on Blockchain, the company announced Wednesday, April 11. The service, called Totem, timestamps each submitted original image with a real-time identity and other user data, storing it on a traceable and immutable Blockchain. (POE): A Blockchain Project that’s Actually Useful Already ( (POE) is a cryptocurrency that began trading back in August of 2017. This coin is all about creative work, and how publishers and creators online monetize what they craft – so that can reclaim the value of their creations in a transparent way. They do this through blockchain technology. It’s essentially a platform where you can timestamp your creations, then issue content licenses to consumers.

Law & Government

9 Reasons Blockchain Projects Need a General Counsel: Expert Take (Cointelegraph)

Imagine that your ICO raised $50 mln and your cryptocurrency is trading at 100x from where you launched. Everyone loves your project, your friends and family are impressed, and you’re the darling of Blockchain. Congratulations and welcome to the big leagues! You now have a significant enterprise to protect, demanding stakeholders to satisfy, and a challenging product roadmap to deliver on. Besides talented engineers and marketers, you need a in-house lawyer on your team. Here are some reasons why.


Morrison Cohen LLP, a law firm based in New York, has developed a crypto litigation platform called the “Moco Cryptocurrency Litigation Tracker. The firm’s system provides information about pending crypto cases in United States courts.


Blockchain 101: Law Schools Tackle the New Frontier (

New digital academy a first for Hogan Lovells and legal sector (Logan Hovells)

Hogan Lovells pushes into digital training realm for the first time.

20 Real-World Uses for Blockchain Technology (

You’re probably wondering what this potentially game-changing technology can actually do in the real world. Well, wonder no more. Here are 20 potential uses for blockchain technology.


Boston Blockchain Week

Aim Summit (Abu Dhabi May 2-3, 2018 via @CrowdieAdvisors@HustleFundBaby)


[last issue of CryptoSmartEsq News]



Hot off the presses, this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News (4/6/2018)

By Professor Tonya M. Evans

Welcome to this week’s CryptoSmartEsq News, a curated list of current legal issues and events in blockchain and crypto. 

If you’re new to this exciting, fast-developing space, check out the introductory video in the first CryptoSmartEsq news post. Follow me on Twitter at @CryptoSmartEsq (my blockchain and crypto-focused feed) and @IPProfEvans (my intellectual property-focused feed) and #EvansontheBlock for daily legal bits & bytes.

Tweet me your news items.

Top Story

Digital Transformation: Managing IP rights through the blockchain (Lexology)

Intellectual Property

Blockchain Technology—Patent Eligible Subject Matter or Just a Business Model? (Legal Intelligencer)

Government, Legislation & Regulation

AZ Governor Signs Latest Blockchain Bill into Law (

‘Lack of Understanding’ Derails Georgia’s Bitcoin Tax Bill (

UK watchdog says license needed to trade cryptocurrencies (Reuters)

What Does the EU’s GDPR Mean for Blockchain? (NewBTC)

ICOs Are ‘Absolutely Not’ All Fraudulent Says the Chairman of the SEC (Fortune)



Most Cryptos Aren’t Commodities, Defendants Claim in CFTC Case (CoinDesk)

[last issue of CryptoSmartEsq News]



This week’s CryptoSmartEsq News (3/31/18)

Is it just me, or does it feel like news about blockchain  and cryptocurrency seems to travel faster than the speed of light? It is a full-time job keeping up. Literally. So I’ve decided to post a weekly curated list of current legal issues and events in blockchain and crypto.  Continue reading “This week’s CryptoSmartEsq News (3/31/18)”

Operation Disruption: Healthcare & Blockchain

A blockchain technology use case highlight: Healthcare

The blockchain revolution has made its way to the healthcare industry, and it’s only the beginning of what’s possible. Healthcare Rallies for Blockchain, a study from IBM, found that 16% of surveyed healthcare executives had solid plans to implement a commercial blockchain solution this year, while 56% expected to by 2020. Healthcare companies, tech innovators and the rest of the healthcare industry are grappling with what’s possible now and what blockchain could solve in the future.

Read the rest of the article “This Is Why Blockchains Will Transform Healthcare”, by Bernard Marr, published at (Nov. 29, 2017).

Other resources for blockchain technology use in healthcare:

Learn from the experts how to #RegisterRight at #SxSW


Today is the day!

Hope you’ll join Professors Shontavia Johnson (Clemson) and Keith Robinson (Dedman Law) and me this morning at the Fairmont Iris Room for our session RegisterRight!: The ABCs of Protecting Your IP. We’ll be live streaming via Twitter @IPProfEvans and posting helpful tips after the session. Check for the live tweet using #RegisterRight


Carpe diem!


Blockchain, Crypto & Smart Contracts: What they are & what they mean for IP

© 2018 Tonya M. Evans


Recently, I delivered two presentations in Bangkok, Thailand about the intellectual property implications of blockchain technology. The first was an internal preso for the prominent Southeast Asian law firm of Tilleke & Gibbins, and the second was for the Licensing Executives Society-Thailand Conference.

In each preso, I engaged attendees (live and via video conference) in a macro-level exploration of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts to clarify what this relatively new disruptive, empowering ecosystem is, what it means for our collective future as attorneys, corporate leaders, startup founders and entrepreneurs, and its implications in intellectual property law.

Recently, published an article I wrote titled IP + Blockchain: A Primer based on some of the information I shared in Bangkok.

I could spend all day every day falling down the proverbial rabbit hole of information about blockchain. There is literally breaking blockchain and cryptocurrency news every minute, if Coindesk’s website and twitter feed are any indication. Each bit and byte of information leads to more information (and misinformation), FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt), FOMO (fear of missing out), and speculation about all of the potential pitfalls and opportunities in this new technology frontier. So it’s difficult for most people to figure out where to begin. If this describes you, you’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place! Read on.

You probably have questions (or you wouldn’t be reading this post). Lots of them. The first may very well be where to begin to get a handle on the power and promise of blockchain. Everyone should have some baseline understanding. But lawyers, in particular, must achieve basic technological competence in this space to be well positioned to help clients solve problems. Given my background and expertise, I am particularly interested in the intellectual property issues triggered by blockchain’s rise in mainstream adoption as research & development use cases transition into full implementation and refinement.

In future posts, I will share trends and current events in the blockchain ecosystem that raise copyright, patent, and trademark issues. Follow me on Twitter @IPProfEvans for breaking IP-related blockchain and crypto news. Below are some blockchain basics that I cover more substantively in IP + Blockchain: A Primer and some additional resources about blockchain, crypto, and smart contracts.

So … what is Blockchain? [Updated excerpt from IP + Blockchain: A Primer Continue reading “Blockchain, Crypto & Smart Contracts: What they are & what they mean for IP”

The countdown is on to RegisterRight!: The ABCs of Protecting Your IP @ #SxSW


Tuesday, March 13, 2018 9:30 AM-11:30 AM (Central)

Fairmont Hotel Iris Room, 101 Red River, Austin TX 78701

RSVP or catch the Twitter Live Stream @ #RegisterRight


Creating a song, script, app, invention or business is just the beginning of any creative’s journey. Too often that can also be the end of the road. Because when creatives focus solely on the creative process without adequately protecting their intellectual property, they leave their copyright, trademark, and patent rights at risk or forever lost altogether. The rules are complex and confusing. This workshop demystifies “the big three” types intellectual property (copyright, trademark, patent) and lays out the specific steps every creative needs to take to protect their IP rights.

Specifically, this workshop:

  • Offers straightforward, clear, and concise definitions and explanations about IP rights
  • Provides a detailed roadmap through the critical first steps of identifying and registering IP rights
  • Details concrete steps creatives and inventors can take to register a copyright, trademark, and patent
  • Explains how startups can avoid intellectual property disputes and the benefits of timely registration
  • Explains how to create a trademark portfolio that doesn’t break the bank
  • Outlines best practices when enforcing copyright, trademark, and patent rights against infringers
  • Covers copyright transfer termination and how to reclaim your copyright after an assignment or license

Join us for the Twitter Live Stream at #RegisterRight & @IPProfEvans

[SxSW-RegisterRight summary deck]

Have a question? Post it in the comments section!