What do you get when you combine an engineer, programmer, coder, and lawyer, formally educated and with degrees from MIT, University of Wisconsin, and University of New Hampshire? Eli Sheets, Founder and CEO of IdeaBlock: the mastermind behind using blockchain to protect intellectual property. 

In our recent virtual Lunch & Learn, Eli talked about the principles behind intellectual property law and the challenges surrounding it. “IP Law didn’t have a reliable way to prove time.” That understanding was what drove Eli to get out of law and get back into what he enjoyed most – programming and coding. At surface level, the concept behind IdeaBlock is very simple to understand. The process starts when an IdeaBlock user sends information to IdeaBlock applications. Then, IdeaBlock receives the user’s uploaded idea and tethers it to multiple public blockchains that are available and verifiable forever. The service provides the user the option to keep the ‘idea’ private, or, if the user chooses, IdeaBlock will publish the idea and verify publication using blockchain, thus creating provable art that is defensible against future legal challenges. 

Simple! But why is it important? In 2012, the United States moved to a ‘First to File’ process. This means that the person who is first to file for a patent, trademark, copyright, or holds a trade secret is by definition of the law, the owner. If someone wanted to challenge it, they would need to have verifiable evidence establishing that a person was the first one to create or publish the idea. That is a challenging thing to do, as ‘verifiable’ is the key word. Let’s talk money for a second: Did you know the average cost for a United States patent is $60,000, and an International patent is $125,000? An even scarier price tag is $4.5 million – the average cost that both sides would pay for litigation surrounding a lawsuit that challenges a patent. 

IdeaBlock tackles all of these problems. With its use of blockchain technology and a complete understanding of the law, Eli Sheets has created something that can protect and save any form of intellectual property idea, or trade secret. IdeaBlock tackles the problems surrounding IP law, proving first with date and time stamps and keeping ideas stored safely for future use, all while keeping costs in check.

You can access Eli’s full Lunch & Learn here.


IdeaBlock Leverages the same decentralized ledgers that power Bitcoin and Litecoin to instantly protect your ideas and works of authorship against future legal challenges.

RIoT is a non-profit economic development organization capturing and creating IoT opportunities locally, regionally, and globally. Follow RIoT at www.riot.org for news and updates about partners like Soto IP and more upcoming Lunch & Learn events.