Evans presents What Every CIO Should Know about Blockchain at the IBM Cloud Forum

Forward-thinking CIOs attend the IBM Cloud and Innovation Forum to keep their fingers on the pulse of the future. An essential part of a chief information officer’s duties includes researching new technologies, developing strategies about how technology can provide business value and addressing the risks associated with digital information. TechTarget

That is what I will focus on in this presentation, empowering C Suite executives to educate, engage and evolve in order to remain on the leading edge of industry. Today we focus on three areas: smart contracts, the state, federal and global legislative and regulatory landscape, and intellectual property issues in blockchain.

Blockchain education is at the heart of mass adoption and implementation. That is also the focus of the UNH Law Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & Law Online Professional Certificate I developed and lead. We played a snippet of this video during the presentation.

Watch the full video now!

Media Alert: Evans on “After the Blockchain Bubble” Wharton Biz Radio, SiriusXM 132 (12/17 @ Noon-2P)

wharton-biz-radio-blockchain

Today, Monday, December 17, 2018, Professor Tonya M. Evans will join Wharton Business Radio host, professor and author, Kevin Warbach, for the “After the Blockchain Bubble” episode to discuss the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Professor Evans will discuss her quest to educate educators about blockchain and the exciting future of blockchain in education, including her January launch of the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s online certificate program: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & Law.

UNH Law has been a Top-10 ranked intellectual property (IP) program ever since U.S. News & World Report began ranking IP programs 27 years ago. Now, UNH Law is proud to pioneer the study of the next frontier of IP innovation: blockchain.

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The full power-packed slate of guests includes (in order of appearance): Michael Casey, Jalak Jobanputra, Amber Baldet, Tim Swanson, Caitlin Long, and Marco Santori.

SHOW DESCRIPTION: Cryptocurrency prices have crashed and blockchain applications have not gained traction. What comes next? Will we look back on this time as the end of an overhyped fad, or a speed bump in the development of a major technological revolution? Wharton Professor Kevin Werbach talks with seven experts in a variety of fields all relating to different aspects of blockchain. Together we’ll discuss the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Kevin Werbach is the author of “The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust” and a Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School.

Tune in. Call in 844-WHARTON.

Air Date: Monday, December 17, 2018 on SiriusXM 132

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The theme of 2018? On a mission, on a roll, on a plane!

On a mission, on a roll, on a plane!

[Credit: Franklin Pierce IP News, Nov 2018]

I know it’s not over yet, but 2018 has already been one filled with amazing opportunities, experiences and accomplishments for me. I joined the phenomenal faculty at the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center) in the fall of 2017. Since that time it has been planes, trains, and automobiles.

It feels like I created my own “Where in the world is Professor Evans” game as I traveled the world to share my experiences and expertise about the intersections of intellectual property and technology, with a decided focus on blockchain and IP. Reminds me a lot of my life before law school when I traveled the world as a professional tennis player. So I guess all of my experiences have prepared me for this moment in time.

IP Advisory

I was thrilled to be one of the faculty members featured in this month’s Franklin Pierce IP News,  which highlights some of the impressive accomplishments of UNH Law faculty. My highlight focused on a recent nomination by Judge Patricia Elaine Campbell-Smith, and appointment by Chief Judge Margaret M. Sweeney, to the IP Committee of the Advisory Council to the US Court of Federal Claims.

Blockchain Worldwide

Continue reading “The theme of 2018? On a mission, on a roll, on a plane!”

IP + Blockchain = Geneva!

tme-wipo-1
Credit: WIPO

|Learn more about the UNH Law Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & Law Online Certificate|

My trip to Geneva has been marvelous. What a beautiful city with wonderful people here in the epicenter of global initiatives for diplomacy and business. I am fortunate to have visited here during the General Assemblies because there is so much going and so many thought-leaders from around the world in the city currently. Makes for rich opportunities to connect.

Yesterday, I participated in an invitation-only. roundtable discussion, hosted by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), on the issue of disruptive technologies and trade for sustainable development. I shared remarks about the impact of blockchain technology on IP and international trade. This was a wonderful next step after my remarks about international dispute resolution at the Blockchain Central conference held during the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week.

Today, I present at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Lunchtime Learning for over 150 WIPO lawyers and staff. I will give an overview of blockchain’s distributed ledger technology, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. And then take a closer look at some of the copyright, patent and trademark issues and implications of blockchain.

Not many lawyers are actively practicing in this space, although the numbers are growing. It is still very early, even though the Bitcoin blockchain was first released in 2009. But there is a lot of new technology and use cases of interest to clients, organizations and policymakers. So lawyers need to be out ahead of these innovations and in a position to advise clients about how their businesses are going to be impacted. And how their businesses or governments might leverage the technology, if appropriate.

Lawyers do not necessarily need a technological background to have a robust practice in this space or achieve a depth of knowledge. I do not have a technological background, I’m just a (very cool and creative) nerd and life-long learner with a father who’s a doctor and a mother who’s a patent attorney. But for lawyers having some computer science or STEM background, or who commit to unpacking and truly understanding this technology, those lawyers will surely enrich their area of subject matter expertise and increase the value-add to servicing clients and, perhaps, using this technology to solve the world’s biggest problems.

Clients are either in an industry that will be disrupted or want to invest in those technologies or have to deal with their own customers’ questions about Blockchain, cryptocurrency, smart contracts. There is a hunger for information in order to, among other things, honor the 2030 SDG 9 regarding innovation and to figure out what this means for intellectual property now and in the future. And that’s where we as lawyers supply added value. That’s where we problem solve and, if we’re successful, where play a vital role in transforming the world.

 

#CryptoSmartEsq News, carefully curated #blockchainlaw content-Issue 9 (7/31/2018)

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. Affiliate links noted with $.

I took a month-long hiatus from CryptoSmartEsq™ News for personal and professional travel and commitments. And boy has a LOT happened in this time. I am reminded what actual breaking news is … it happens every few minutes or so, it seems, in the blockchain ecosystem.

In fact, I’ve changed my Top Story three times in as many days. I won’t attempt to capture every bit of law-related news that happened since the last issue. But I will hit the high notes so dive in to this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq news.

~ Tonya Evans @IPProfEvans & @CryptoSmartEsq


This week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News includes:

  • SEC’s comments on crypto ETFs
  • MasterCard wins patent
  • Thailand tests digital fiat
  • CFA exam to include cryptocurrency questions
  • Prof. Evans has 8 blockchain events now through the end of October

Leave a comment and tweet me your news items.


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Top Story

SEC Delays Decision on Asset Manager’s Bitcoin ETFs Until September

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed making a decision on whether to approve five bitcoin-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs) until September, public documents reveal on Tuesday.

In the latest edition of the Federal Register, the SEC explains that it is postponing any decision over the possible approval of ETF proposals filed by Direxion Investments in January – one of which will match bitcoin’s price and four of which are based on the cryptocurrency’s price movements.

Intellectual Property

Mastercard won a U.S. patent on Tuesday for a method of speeding up cryptocurrency payments.

The document, published July 17 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), explains that though cryptocurrencies have “seen increased usage over traditional fiat currencies by consumers who value anonymity and security,” the wide disparity in payment processing times between the two classes of assets puts cryptocurrencies at a “disadvantage.” [Read more …]

Law Practice

The cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry is already crowded with firms eager to nab high-tech startups as clients or help legacy clients navigate a brave new world. But some BigLaw firms have gone further. [Read more …]

Law & Government

Crypto entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has argued on Twitter yesterday that the SEC’s second rejection of the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF it is in some sense “old news.” He stated that a pending decision over the Bitcoin ETF that has recently been filed by VanEck & SolidX for trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) will be more pivotal for the industry — and would likely generate more price-impactful “ETF excitement.”

Emerging financial technologies are taking us into a new chapter of economic history,” Giancarlo told the House Agriculture Committee. At the same time, he said investors should beware of cryptocurrency coins or tokens sold with the claim that they can buy goods, services, or platform access in the future. [Read more …]

In a speech made at an event in Singapore on Wednesday, central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob indicated that developing a wholesale central bank digital currency is currently in the pipeline as part of the country’s wider efforts in trialing blockchain technology in various sectors. [Read more …]

Cases and Enforcement Actions

… the rise in class action lawsuits around ICOs coincides with a larger, “historic” incidence of class action securities lawsuits since 2016, with more than 750 federal securities class actions having been filed since halfway through that year. That’s the most prolific 24-month period since the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 was enacted, according the the report. [Read more …]

Education

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are making serious headway in the financial industry, the most recent sign being the decision by the CFA Institute, which offers the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, a three-level program, to include cryptocurrencies and blockchain to its Level I and II curriculums next year, according to Bloomberg. The material for the 2019 exams will be available in August.

The topics are part of a new section called Fintech in Investment Management. The CFA, based in Charlottesville, Va., added these topics in response to rising interest based on focus groups and surveys. [Read more …]

Events

Professor Evans to speak at the following events:

August 9, 2018

August 10, 2018

August 24, 2018

September 21, 2018

  • Panelist, SMU Dedman School of Law Intellectual Property Symposium. The theme of this year’s symposium is Disruptive Ideas and Emerging Technology. Keynote speakers include Karyn Temple, Acting Register of Copyrights, and James Smith, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Ecolab (Dallas, TX)

September 25-26, 2018

October 4, 2018

  • Presenter, World Intellectual Property Organization Lunchtime Learning (Geneva, CH) (internal presentation re: IP & Blockchain)

October 18, 2018

  • Presenter, BYU Copyright and Trademark SymposiumCryptokitties, Cryptography & Copyright (Provo, UT). The paper will be published in the BYU Copyright and Trademark Symposium Issue of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal.

October 26-27, 2018

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[previous issue of CryptoSmartEsq News]

On the road again … next stop, Lutie Lytle Workshop & Writing Retreat @ Dedman SMU Law

I’m honored to return to the annual Lutie Lytle Black Women Faculty Workshop & Writing Retreat, held this year at the SMU Dedman School of Law (Dallas, TX). Lytle was the first African-American female law professor in the U.S.

I am participating in two exciting panels:

  • Developing Your Brand and a “Side Hustle”
  • Blockchain Technology: Smart Contracts, Wallets, Mining and Cryptocurrencies

I will also do an incubator presentation of my latest WIP, Cryptokitties, Cryptography & Copyright. This paper will be published in the BYU Copyright and Trademark Symposium Issue of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal and also presented more formally at:

[Full Presentation Schedule | About Professor Evans]

#CryptoSmartEsq News, carefully curated #blockchainlaw content-Issue 8 (6/12/2018)

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. Affiliate links noted with $.

I took a two-week hiatus for personal and professional travel and commitments. And boy has a LOT happened in this time. I am reminded what actual breaking news is … it happens every few minutes or so, it seems, in the blockchain ecosystem. In fact, I’ve changed my Top Story three times in as many days. I won’t attempt to capture every bit of law-related news that happened since the last issue. But I will hit the high notes so dive in to this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq news.

~ Tonya Evans @IPProfEvans & @CryptoSmartEsq


This week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News includes:

  • Another successful trademark registration in the UK of the term BITCOIN
  • The tension between the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and blockchain’s primary characteristics of transparency and immutability
  • CFTC issues guidance for clearing houses and exchanges planning to list cryptocurrency-related derivatives products
  • CFTC probe into possible price manipulation
  • Numerous blockchain patent filings by legacy companies eagerly (or reluctantly) entering the blockchain space.
  • Korea’s regulation of crypto
  • About blockchain lawyers

Leave a comment and tweet me your news items.

Top Story

A London-Based Company Successfully Trademarks the Name ‘Bitcoin’

A number of crypto news outlets reported that a UK-based company successfully registered the term BITCOIN with the UK’s Trademark Office:

Some of the coverage inaccurately describes what has happened and confuses the different types of intellectual property (trademark, patent, copyright etc.). However, it is true that a company named A.B.C. IPHOLDINGS SOUTH WEST LLC c/o MONOPOLIP LTD (London, SW6 1BE, United Kingdom) filed its application on December 22, 2017. The mark BITCOIN was officially registered (UK00003279106) on April 13, 2018.

This UK trademark registration of the mark BITCOIN covers hundreds of products in classes 25 (clothing), 32 (non-alcoholic drinks) and 33 (alcoholic drinks). Several crypto news outlets (linked above) reported recently that in a letter dated May 25, 2018, A.B.C. Holdings demanded that a UK-based Etsy website”cease & desist” its sales of Bitcoin paraphernalia.

Many people responded in the comments sections of the articles above that registering the term BITCOIN is “illegal” or, at the very least, completely contrary to “Shatoshi Nakimoto’s” vision for Bitcoin. The latter is certainly true (unless A.B.C. Holdings is “Shatoshi” … not likely), however registering the word BITCOIN in connection with the sale of goods and services isn’t, in and of itself, unlawful. In fact, there are 26 registered BITCOIN marks in the UK (as of the date of this posting). There are 23 registered marks that include BITCOIN in the United States. In the US, however, no applicant has successfully registered the word BITCOIN apart from other words and all registered marks have disclaimed the use of BITCOIN separate from the claimed mark as a whole.

Intellectual Property

Called “Method and system for payment card verification via blockchain”, the patent was published on Thursday, June 7. It was filed in December 2016. The patent describes a method for conveying a “first public key” and payment credentials through a third-party data source by completing a number of steps. [read more at WorldIPReview.com …]

Corporations are exploring blockchain technology at a rapidly increasing pace with a steady stream of blockchain-related announcements coming from LG, Walmart, Apple and many other tech titans. The primary focus is on understanding how distributed ledgers can improve their services and their bottom line.

CryptoSmartEsq Note: This post discusses patent filings by ICBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Apple and Bank of China.

Law & Government

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has released new guidance for clearinghouses and exchanges planning to list cryptocurrency-related derivatives products.

CFTC May 21, 2018 Press Release

After years of watching the $346 billion cryptocurrency industry and preparing from the sidelines, the regulators from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) recently released a flurry of guidance statements. [read more at Forbes.com …]

The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU) and other local financial agencies will regulate cryptocurrency exchanges like banks, imposing strict anti-money laundering (AML) policies to ensure criminals do not utilize cryptocurrencies to finance illicit operations.

“With the deadline for those serving EU customers to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) finally here, companies are tightening up information governance structures, sending out new privacy policy updates to consumers, and preparing for the regulation’s mandate that individual consumers be able to request the return and erasure of their personal data from big companies.

Blockchain technology companies, however, are worried they may not be able to do enough to comply with their GDPR obligations. Not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t.” [read more at Law.com …]

Crypto lawyers are experts in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency regulations.  They help break down the technology to court during litigation. They also help break down the laws for cryptocurrency developers, exchanges, and startups. These lawyers are the designated liaison between the crypto world and lawmakers. The two biggest areas where cryptocurrency lawyers are important are ICOs and Exchanges. [read more at CoinCentral.com …]

CryptoSmartEsq Note: Another major area not mentioned in this article, of course, are the copyright, trademark and patent lawyers working in this space as well. Legally trained technologists who enter every sector will have a leg up on the competition. From healthcare to environmental law and everything in between. The financial sector is an obvious focus given that the first use case for blockchain technology was cryptocurrency. But with each new use case across sectors, we will see legally trained technologists making a significant impact in how the law develops and is interpreted.

Cases and Enforcement Actions

The CFTC has said bitcoin is a commodity and believes that designation gives it authority to look for fraudulent trading on exchanges, even if the venues aren’t subject to the panoply of rules that futures markets face.

The CFTC in May issued a warning spelling out expectations for approval of new cryptocurrency derivatives. The CFTC said “a heightened level of monitoring” of the bitcoin market is “warranted” for exchanges that want to launch new futures products. [read more at WSJ.com …]

Education

Next issue

Events

Professor Evans to speak at the following events:

June 14, 2018

July 11-15, 2018

  • Panelist, Lutie Lytle Black Women Faculty Workshop & Writing Retreat (SMU Deadman School of Law, TX)
    • 7/13 Developing Your Brand and a “Side Hustle”
    • 7/14 Blockchain Technology: Smart Contracts, Wallets, Mining and Cryptocurrencies

August 9, 2018

  • Panelist, 2018 SEALS Annual Conference August 5-11: Blockchain and the Law (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

August 10, 2018

September 20, 2018

  • Presenter, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Lunchtime Learning (Geneva, CH) (internal presentation re: IP & Blockchain)

Need a speaker or more information?

[Contact me]


Signup for Coinbase to receive $10 in $BTC after you buy or sell $100 worth of $BTC

[previous issue of CryptoSmartEsq News]