I wanted to share this here in case there are folks in the community who don’t frequent reddit. This seems like an interesting post…
I recently watched the interview that Jonny Stag did with Holo Sail (linked under a different thread on this sub). Several times they brought up their patent and they seemed to imply they had already received their patent. However, upon researching it further, I actually don’t think they’ve been granted a patent but have put in an application for one (see more about this below). There are several important issues I would like to discuss about this patent but I’ll start with whether or not this patent would in any way interfere with another entity using Holochain technology in similar ways. In fact, I question whether or not the intent of the patent is to make it difficult/impossible for potential competitors to do so. Yes, I know Holochain has a patent and I know the Holochain code is open source but please watch the interview and read their patent to understand better why I’m questioning this. I’ll also mention that the patent is not written well in my opinion and this makes it difficult to know for certain what they actually mean in some areas. I’ll link to Holo Sail’s patent at the end.
Related to my first questions, I’d also like to discuss whether or not Holo Sail Technologies should be able to obtain such a patent. Personally, I do not think so. I’m fine with them using Holochain and developing a hApp or hApps to solve the problems/improve the shipping container industry (and other industries) and they could charge for this service of course. However, if the intention and or the result would be to exclude potential competitors from using Holochain because they got there first so to speak and got it patented, I’m not okay with that at all and I am hoping the Holochain patent prevents this. So, I ask, will it? How likely will it be that the USPTO even grants this patent, or any other similar patent, given Holochain’s patent? Do the Holochain/Holo co-founders, Mary Camacho, the Holochain patent lawyers, etc know about this patent application? If not, please make sure they do.
Another issue I’d like to discuss is how potentially broad this patent is. During the interview, they state:
“…I think we… would be missing a big part if we didn’t mention that we have 16 other applications, industry applications on the patent… banking, fintech, law enforcement, emergency response… just to name a few… that are basically the same thing that we’re doing to supply chain…basically plug and play… once we have all the nodes in for supply chain… once the supply chain is out of beta testing, we’ll begin implement all the other 16 verticals that we have lined up.”
In my read of the patent application, it doesn’t specifically mention any of these other industries. However, they may be referring to this wording in their patent:
“While the present invention is described herein with illustrative embodiments for particular applications, it should be understood that the invention is not limited thereto. Those skilled in the art with access to the teachings provided herein will recognize additional modifications, applications, and embodiments within the scope thereof and additional fields in which the invention would be of significant utility.”
Even though they seem to imply their patent was already granted, my research indicates it’s still pending. Google patent search gives the status as “Still Pending.” A search for “Holochain” in the full text of all patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office gives 5 hits, including Holochain’s patent and four others that mention Holochain:
A search of all text of patent applications does yield an application by Holo Sail Technologies with at least one of the inventors listed being one of the men interviewed:
The title of this patent (application) is: “Method and system for shipping and receiving process automation.” Here’s the official USPTO version: United States Patent Application: 0210174293
Here it is indexed in Google: US20210174293A1 - Method and system for shipping and receiving process automation - Google Patents