On April 11, 2018, the European Patent Office will publish the mention of grant of a European Patent to NChain relating to an Automated Management Method for Blockchain-Enforced Smart Contracts.
The invention relates generally to computer protocols and, more particularly, to the verification, enforcement and/or performance of condition controlled processes such as, for example, those relating to contracts. The invention is particularly suited for use with a blockchain network, and may be used to advantage with a smart contract.
Smart contracts can provide benefits such as enhanced security and reduced transactions costs. As mentioned in the patent, while there are known technical solutions which aim to ensure that these contracts cannot be modified once stored, there is no generally accepted public registry to check the validity of the contract i.e. whether it is still open or has been terminated.