Blockchains (smart contracts, distributed ledgers) and rights management broadly construed are the themes of today's Spotlight Patents. Assigned to nChain Holdings, the first patent addresses techniques for registry and automated management for blockchain-enforced smart contracts. Assigned to ANT, the second patent addresses techniques for blockchain-based dispute resolution.
11,120,437, "Registry and automated management method for blockchain-enforced smart contracts," assigned to nChain Holdings Limited (AG).
The invention relates to the fields of tokenisation, blockchain and smart contract technologies. It provides a technical arrangement which simplifies the automated management of contracts. The invention comprises a method and system which use a computer-based repository for storage of the contract. The contract is then represented by a transaction on the blockchain. Metadata within the transaction's script includes a hash of the contract and a means of identifying its location within the repository. The transaction also includes an unspent output (UTXO) which indicates its status as an open (ie not terminated) contract. The contract is terminated by spending the output at a later point in time, for example, using n Lock Time+Check Lock Time Verify (CLTV). By combining this concept with other techniques and computing components, the invention can provide a powerful mechanism for implementing various tasks such as renewing or rolling over the contract, or dividing it into sub-contracts or conditions. Furthermore, as the status and existence of the contract is evidence via the blockchain, this provides a permanent, publicly visible and non-alterable record of the contract.
11,120,517, "Blockchain-based dispute resolution," assigned to Advanced New Technologies Co., Ltd. (KY)
Disclosed herein are methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on computer storage media. One method includes: at a blockchain-based application, receiving a request for resolving a dispute between at least a first party and a second party. A time that the request is received on the blockchain is recorded. One or more potential dispute resolutions is received from one or more dispute resolution providers that are registered on the blockchain-based application. A first selection is received from the first party and a second selection from the second party. At least one of (i) at least one common potential dispute resolution between the first set of the one or more potential dispute resolutions and the second set of the one or more potential dispute resolutions, or (ii) that none of the potential dispute resolutions are acceptable to the first and second parties is determined.