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Blockchain & The Law: Weekly Roundup 28 July 2017

Every Friday we will provide a quick precis to all the important blockchain & the law stories that we’ve garnered over the past 7 days.

We will cover all aspects of the law and blockchain technology. Including, developments from jurisdictions around the world, law firm press releases and information updates, legislative changes, law firm & attorney profiles as  well as general information pertaining to the issues and development of blockchain technology in the legal sector.




Title: ConsenSys Introduces OpenLaw Ethereum Protocols For Legal Agreements A new tool, OpenLaw, will allow professionals to easily craft a wide range of legal agreements managed by executable distributed code contracts.

Date: 26 July 2017

Author: Eth News / Jeremy Nation


Extract:  On July 25, 2017, ConsenSys introduced the OpenLaw blockchain-based protocol that was developed to help lawyers create and execute legal agreements. The OpenLaw protocol is designed to integrate executable distributed code contracts (EDCCs) with digitally signed legal agreements. According to the announcement, the legal agreement business constitutes a $437 billion market.



Title: The Advent Of ‘Blockchain’ And What It May Mean For Lawyers Blockchain will bring disputes — and good lawyers need to be ready.

Date: 28 July 2017

Author: Above The Law / John G Balestriere


Extract: Blockchain represents a major shift in information management, in a time some have called the Information Age. In the past, to make a database, someone would spend time crunching numbers on Microsoft Excel. Today, there’s an opportunity to collaborate on what essentially is a secure, global spreadsheet shared by multiple parties. One of the most promising examples of blockchain technology is Ethereum, and it contains some exceptional opportunities to disrupt the legal industry.



Title:  Can Blockchain Be Key to Overcoming AML Challenge in Cryptocurrency?

Date : 27 July 2017

Author:  Special Counsel Roy Keidar of law firm Yigal Arnon & Co (Israel)


Extract: In what some are coining a landmark case, an Israeli District Court recently ruled that Israeli banks are not obligated to provide financial services to companies whose primary business is trading in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.



Title: Blockchain Energizer Vol.9: Illinois Moving Forward with Blockchain Pilots; Singapore: Latest Country to Develop a Regulatory Sandbox to Promote Energy Innovation; LO3 Energy Developing Blockchain-Powered Microgrid Technology to Australia

Date: 27 July 2017

Author: US National Law Review  – Molly Suda K&L Gates


Extract: There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and healthcare to real estate and supply chain management. Reports estimate that over $1.4 billion was invested in blockchain startups in 2016 alone, and many institutions and companies are forming partnerships to explore how blockchain ledgers and smart contracts can be deployed to manage and share data, create transactional efficiencies, and reduce costs.



Title: Government must leave encryption alone, or it will endanger blockchain

Extract: At the moment it’s unclear what exactly this means. Attorney-General George Brandis and Malcolm Turnbull have repeatedly denied they want a legislated “backdoor” into encrypted devices, but the loose way they’ve used that language suggests some sort of backdoor requirement is still a real possibility.
Title: The Rate of Blockchain Patent Applications Has Nearly Doubled in 2017
Date: 28 July 2017

Extract:  The number of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related patent applications being submitted and published in the US has nearly doubled in 2017.Data from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database, analyzed by CoinDesk, indicates that there were 390 patent applications related broadly to blockchain technology published between January and July of this year.

Overall, this represents a 90% increase compared to the same period in 2016, when 204 applications were sent to the USPTO.

Title: Delaware Passes Law Permitting Companies to Use Blockchain Technology to Issue and Track Shares
Date: 26 July 2017
Author: JD Supra /Allen & Overy
Extract: On Friday July 21, 2017, Delaware’s Governor John Carney signed into law amendments to Delaware’s General Corporation Law to account for the use of blockchain technology in corporate record-keeping.1 The legislation will be implemented beginning August 1, 2017 and represents the culmination of an on going industry consultation and is part of a broader blockchain initiative.
Title: Accord Project’s Consortium Launching First Legal ‘Smart Contracts’ With Hyperledger
Date: 26 July 2017
Author: Forbes / Roger Aitken

Extract: A project to develop open source technology and standards for “computational contracting” for the legal world that deploys blockchain technology and distributed ledgers is set for an imminent launch. Representing the first legal smart contracts consortium, the initiative is supported by leading law firms as well as organizations including Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger and the International Association for Commercial and Contract Management (IACCM).

Title:  Patent attorney launches intellectual law practice
Date: 28 July 2017
Extract:  Patent attorney A.J. Bahou has opened Bahou Law, PLLC. Bahou is experienced in trials and mediations, and is a registered patent attorney who practices in the area of electrical and computer engineering technologies, Blockchain, data privacy, cyber security, health care and intellectual property law, including litigation management of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.
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