Amazon Wins Blockchain Patent With Supply Chain Applications

Amazon has won a long-awaited patent from the US Trademark and Patent Office for the tech giant’s distributed ledger certification three years after its initial filing.

Amazon’s distributed ledger-based system seeks to address the rapid increase of “systems and databases that can often lack transparency, coherency, referential integrity or security” – factors that can impact the trustworthiness of an item or an entity.

The patent filing, which references the original Bitcoin whitepaper, details how the time-bound and immutable nature of blockchain is conducive to tracking the authenticity of items over time across the supply chain.

To improve trust, the e-commerce titan is introducing an enterprise software platform that enables manufacturers, couriers, distributors, end-users, among others, to gain real-time visibility of the item as it moves through various points in the supply chain.

“When an item is added to a catalog system, the item information may be included in the creation element at the start of the ledger for the item. A certification authority may be included to verify that items received correspond to the item included in the catalog based on one or more certification rules.”

Participants in the supply chain such as manufacturers may provide certification authority to validate events that will be recorded in the digital ledger. 

“If a certification rule is satisfied, a record may be added to indicate the transfer of the item from a provider to the catalog system. The certification information may be dynamically presented with item description information such as in response to searches of the catalog system.”

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