Meta is the latest and largest crypto tech patent holder to join the Crypto Open Patent Alliance, expanding the pool of intellectual property that could be used to defend the industry from litigation.
By joining COPA, Meta has agreed not to enforce its core cryptocurrency patents, except for defensive reasons. According to Max Sills, general manager of COPA, this includes any “technology that enables the creation, mining, storage, transmission, settlement, integrity, or security of cryptocurrencies.” This also means that Meta’s patents would be freely available for anyone to use.
COPA was first established in September 2020 by Jack Dorsey’s Block, as an organization that “encourages innovation by lowering the chance of patent litigation”. In 2021, not long after its establishment, COPA sued Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claimed to be the inventor of bitcoin, whose lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to COPA in an attempt to copyright the bitcoin white paper. The organization now has over 30 members, including major tech and crypto firms Coinbase, MicroStrategy and Kraken.
This comes on the heels of the winding down of a crypto project Meta had backed, the Diem Association, just last week, after the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported that Diem was selling its technology to Silvergate Capital for $200 million.
With the tech giant joining COPA, the organization says it is closer to achieving its goal of advancing cryptocurrency innovation through partnerships among big tech companies, financial organizations, and crypto companies.
“This is one step further to advancing COPA’s mission, which is to remove legal obstacles so cryptocurrency can become the backbone for transferring value anywhere in the world,” Sills said in a statement.