InvArch and the IP Revolution

I. Introduction

II. What is InvArch, and how does it function?

Infographic: InvArch Terminology

III. What is IP, in general?

IV. Practical Examples for IP

Infographic: Types of IP

V. Main Differences between Copyright and Industrial Property Rights

VI. What is “copyright” all about?

VII. “Classical” Copyright Exploitation (Off-Chain)

Infographic Creation of Copyrighted IP
Infographic: Capitalizing on IP
Infographic: Hardships of IP Administration

VIII. Copyright Management “by InvArch”

  1. Introductory Remarks
Infographic: Minting of IP
Infographic: IPF Functionalities

IX. Other uses of InvArch regarding Intellectual Property

X. Closing Remarks

  1. For example, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, adopted in 1883, was one of the first major steps taken to help creators ensure that their intellectual works were protected in other countries. After a series of revisions, it is still in force today. One of the latest additions to these treaties is the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which was adopted on June 24, 2012, and entered into force on April 28, 2020.
  2. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an agency of the United Nations, established in 1967. It serves a number of functions. Among those, it administers the aforementioned international IP treaties, provides a forum for IP policies and laws, IP filing, dispute resolution etc.
  3. WIPO, Understanding Industrial Property²,, retrieved on 12.12.2021.
  4. Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (Signed at Stockholm on July 14, 1967 and as amended on September 28, 1979).
  5. Cf. e.g. Fact Sheets on the European Union:, retrieved on 12.12.2021.
  6. E.g. Utility Models, Designations of Origin, Trade Secrets, Plant Varieties, Trade Dresses, Integrated Circuits, etc.
  7. Depending on your local jurisdiction, other criteria need to be fulfilled, e.g. your work needs to reach a minimum level of originality, and — naturally — cannot be just a copy of an actual original and thus copyright protected work.
  8. WIPO, Understanding Copyright and Related Rights,, retrieved on 12.12.2021.
  9. A notable exception in an important jurisdiction: while signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the United States of America still requires the registration of a copyright in domestic cases in order to file an infringement suit (also, a registration grants advantages when claiming statutory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs).
  10. Note that the mere idea in the mind is not sufficient, this will be important later on.
  11. Again, the authorities need to be presented with a representation or description of the IP, e.g. a drawing of a logo that one seeks trademark protection for, either as a hardcopy on paper, or, more likely these days, as a digital file via e-filing.
  12. E.g. filing a patent in several countries in the procedure of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, or seeking trademark protection as a European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) that grants protection in all EU member states.
  13. Cf., retrieved on 12.12.2021.
  14. The British Copyright Act of 1710 is considered to be the decisive law that laid the foundations for copyright as a publicly granted right in common law.
  15. Among others, for example many Slavic languages like Russian, and Romance languages like French or Portuguese.
  16. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 9. September 1886.
  17. A famous example, though “in reverse”, is Pablo Picasso’s “Le Taureau”, a series of eleven lithographs, where the artist deconstructs a bull, from a more realistic to an increasingly abstract form, whereby the creative process is made visible. The art itself can be seen here:, retrieved on 12.12.2021.
  18. The issues in connection with the enforcement of rights in a globalized world with vastly differing legal standards are legion and are not the focus of this article. Problems range from calamities such as uncertainties as to the appropriate legal venue and applicable law, infringers operating out of countries with defunct or at least severely inefficient judicial systems, to the simple fact that cross border legal action can be so complicated and cost intensive as to be simply not an option for small individual creators. However, we will touch upon how — with the usage of so called “smart contracts” — some rights and duties can be automatized, thus eliminating the need for “classical” court systems partially.
  19. Basic economic considerations demand either to produce / sell frequently, or, alternatively, for a greater price.
  20. For a little dive into the world of collection collective, check out CISAC — the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers’ Global Collections Report (2021) here, retrieved 12.12.2021.
  21. Smart Contracts, Nick Szabo (1994),, retrieved on 12.12.2021
  22. A line of thought made popular by Lawrence Lessing in his book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace dating from 1999. If one reads the original text though where the phrase is coined, it is clear that the main argument is that code shapes the very reality of cyberspace and it is thus of high importance what choices are made as to how this reality is programmed. It does not stipulate the supremacy of code over “conventional” law. An updated version of Lessing’s book is online for free here: retrieved on 12.12.2021.
  23. An easily understandable analogy for this theory can be a vending machine. Just like with a smart contract on a blockchain, you may not know who put it up, just as the person who put it up might not know who will stop to buy a snack. There is merely a slot for your coins and some candy bars on display through the looking glass. No written contract is drawn up, just this: coin goes in, snack comes out, transaction concluded. Now, the vending machine is not the contract itself, but it is the executing means by which it is concluded and carried out.
  24. This article focuses on copyright, but of course, InvArch is just as useful when it comes to documenting technical data, e.g. blueprints or other material needed for the construction of machinery.
  25. The exact nature of DAOs remains highly debated, although as per July 2021, the US State of Wyoming recognized DAOs as legal entities in the classical sense — if they abide by certain rules (which some criticized as taking away the truly decentralized character of a DAO). Cf. e.g. retrieved on 12.12.2021.
  26. NB: Details how jurisdictions view tokenization and transferral of rights and obligations via tokens / smart contracts cannot be answered in a generalizing way but will depend on the individual country.
  27. E.g., for the European Union, the European Court of Justice ruled in 2012 (C-128/11) that in the field of software licenses, the granting of a perpetual license for a one time fee is de facto equal to a sale and therefore the software developer cannot hinder the licensee to pass on the software to a third party. Prerequisite however, is that the licensee can demonstrate that their original copy has been made unusable. Blockchain technology can make sure that only one licensee at a time has access to the licensed IP.
  28. For the difference between copyright and industrial property rights see above.



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The cross-chain IP composability, funding, & authentication hub of Polkadot