Would You Trust Blockchain with Trade Secrets?

British risk-mitigation services provider Aon filed a number of patents in 2019 that were recently published teaching a “trade secret registry” that uses blockchain to allow users to monitor and insure their intellectual property without filing patents. The patents claim a method for generating a “document obfuscation value” that corresponds to an uploaded trade secret document without revealing potentially sensitive information from the document. The obfuscation value is added to the registry along with additional information that allows the registry to valuate the trade secret and offer insurance rates. Each document can also be split into multiple segments that can be compared with other document segments in the registry in order to identify misappropriation without compromising the contents of the trade secrets.

The system described by Aon attempts to mitigate risk while still maintaining the potential benefits of trade secrets; however, it may be difficult to convince companies that the system is actually secure even with a blockchain infrastructure. These are Aon’s first patents involving blockchain, but there are other documents for blockchain-based insurance under the Property subsector of the Cryptocurrency Industrial Applications Patent Radian®.

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