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What is blockchain?

Blockchain is the same technology that secures billions of dollars in digital currency around the world. Simply put, it's a chain of secure ledger entries that can be accessed on demand, but nearly impossible to alter. We took that technology and customized it for trademark protection.

Trademark Keeper creates secure, timestamped records of any trademarks that may appear on your website. It takes a digital scan of your homepage and stores proof of the resulting image in GoDaddy's blockchain. The blockchain entries add certainty and integrity to the data captured by Trademark Keeper, creating a highly credible timestamp as to when the entry was created.

These records may help you defend or assert trademark rights you might have if someone else has copied your trademarks, or if others accuse you of the same.

How does it work?

GoDaddy's blockchain is a ledger of information which is stored in a way that creates timestamped and secure records. Each entry in the ledger contains information (in this case, information about any potential trademark use on your homepage) and those entries are securely timestamped to prove the integrity of the information, indicating that the entries haven't been changed after they were entered into GoDaddy's blockchain. Our blockchain is a network of computers that communicate with each other in order to validate these entries. Each computer in the network has their own complete copy of the ledger, and communicates with the other computers to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the ledger.

Our blockchain's security is a result of two main factors:

First, since the data is not centrally located, tampering with the ledger or its data entries is extremely difficult. Changing one computer's ledger of data would cause it to be different from the others. Since the computers communicate with each other to ensure the data is valid, the computer showing different data would become invalid. It would be nearly impossible to gain control of a majority of the computers in order to successfully alter the network's data.

Second, entries in the ledger are linked, or chained together. This means that entries are made dependent on previous entries. Based on the chain of entries created, tampering with the historic data entries would also cause a failure, and the changes wouldn't be allowed. Because of the chained nature of the entries, the current state of any entry is dependent on the entries before it. If a historical entry in the ledger were to change, it would cause a ripple effect of all proceeding entries in the ledger, including the current entry. This would also cause the ledger to have different data from the others in the chain and be considered invalid.

Both of these factors add certainty to the integrity of the ledger, and any underlying trademark claims made within each entry. A malicious user would have an inordinately hard, if not impossible, time trying to manipulate or destroy data. In fact, the same holds true for GoDaddy. All of this helps to give a highly credible timestamp as to when each entry was created.

What data is stored on the blockchain?

Trademark Keeper simply stores the domain name and a “digital signature” of any screen captures taken. A digital signature is a way of representing an image as an alpha-numeric value. This means that no actual image is stored on the blockchain, but the digital signature can prove the existence of the original image at a certain point in time.

An image will generate the same signature every time. If the image is changed or tampered with, the signature will also change and not match the value stored in the blockchain. This means that by creating a match, we can help prove that your image has not been altered since it was originally created.

Recreating an image from a digital signature alone is impossible, so forging an image is also not possible. GoDaddy maintains a copy of the images on your behalf, but we encourage you to keep copies locally as well.

For any trademarks defined by the user in the Trademark Keeper dashboard, we store the mark itself; either text, an image or both. Again, only the digital signature for the design image is stored, not the image itself. This data is also stored in such a way that explicitly defines ownership of the trademark information for the user.

Interested in Trademark Keeper? Opt-in to our beta and start protecting your brand today.

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