Diamond company De Beers and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) were recently sued over a blockchain patent.
The case was filed in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York by Max Rady, an individual who claimed that both De Beers and BCG committed patent infringement, breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, and more.
Was this patent infringement?
Rady claims that BCG used an invention that came from a patent he filed regarding a blockchain tracking solution. In August 2010, Rady started a joint Masters/Ph.D. research degree at Kings College London. As part of his studies, he was to research optical properties for assets that could create an identification signature that could be recorded on a blockchain, and provide evidence that the real world item matched the item signed to the blockchain.
Rady began working at BCG in 2016 while he was completing his doctorate degree. In 2017, BCG began creating a blockchain tracking solution, Tracr for De Beer’s diamonds; Rady claims that BCG was aware of his research that related to this topic and that the Tracr team consulted with him on the subject.
Around the same time, Rady was preparing to file a patent for his invention related to his optical properties research. Rady claims he shared information and his unpublished patent with the Tracr team with the belief that they would not use the information he gave them without his consent.
Rady filed the patent for his blockchain invention in December 2017, but claimed that the Tracr project used his patented invention without licensing or asking him for permission. In May 2018, news broke that De Beers had successfully used Tracr to track diamonds.
Pumped and dumped… from his job
When Rady learned that the Tracr team had used his invention, he filed claims against BCG while still working there. In September 2018, Rady said that he was pressured to drop all of his claims against BCG. A month later, Rady had a job evaluation and received positive reviews, but regardless of the good review, he was fired at the end of the month.
At the moment, that is all that is known about the Rady vs. Boston Consulting Group, LLC and De Beers UK Limited case. But we will be watching this case to see how it unfolds.
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