- The patent will create a unique digital asset for shoes
- A digital representation will be created every time a customer buys a pair
- Manufacturing companies beginning to use blockchain for brand development
Giant shoe manufacturer Nike has received a patent for tokenizing its shoes on the Ethereum blockchain. Nike will use the Ethereum blockchain to create a unique digital asset for its limited-edition of its footwear.
The patent, dated December 10, 2019, was posted on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states that the company proposes to create unique IDs besides creating ERC 721 tokens for some of their shoes.
Token Represents Digital Shoe
As per the document, people will be able to unlock those tokens by buying physical shoes, which tokens can be linked via unique owner IDs as proof of ownership. The token will represent a digital shoe in addition to recording genotype information of the digital shoe plus their attributes, colors, styles, backgrounds. The patent explains:
“Prospective and current owners […] may buy and sell digital assets through one or more blockchain ledgers operating on the decentralized computing system. […] after receiving the shoebox containing the purchased sneakers, the user scans the box UPC with a barcode scan feature in a sneakers app operating on the user’s smartphone.”
According to the patent, an avatar or digital representation of the limited-edition footwear will be created every time a customer buys a pair. The buyers will use the digital asset to trade or sell the digital shoe or store the digital shoe to generate a “shoe offspring so the newly bred shoe offspring can be used to make a new, tangible pair of shoes. Should a user sell the footwear, they pass ownership of the digital to the new owner alongside the physical shoe. Users will be able to manage the tokens via a dedicated App.
The patent adds:
“When a consumer buys a genuine pair of shoes a digital representation of a show may be generated, linked with the consumer, and assigned a cryptographic token, where the digital shoe and cryptographic token collectively represent a ‘CryptoKick.’”
Accelerated Blockchain Development
The new Ethereum patent, coming only two days following the Ethereum Istanbul hard fork, borrows significantly from another popular blockchain collectible cat game dubbed CryptoKitties. As the blockchain continues to mature, more manufacturing companies continue to discover newer use-cases.
As more companies engage with the technology, we are likely to experience accelerated development of blockchain since more companies are expected to use it for brand promotion and development. The number of blockchain-related patent applications is on the rise, especially from China, while other countries like the United States are trying to catch up.