FAQ on Blockchain Technology
Why do you need blockchain and not just any other traditional, good old security/cryptographic approach?
The reason we use the blockchain is simple: trust. Public blockchains are the first and only way to create a consensus over specific data existing at a precise time and controlled by a defined entity - without relying on any central authority. This means you can prove the existence, integrity, and ownership of data/IP/ideas completely independently, and no-one can argue the validity of the claim. This is particularly valuable in an economy that is increasingly global i.e. you need to be able to prove your rights globally - and potentially for a long time. That's why we use the most decentralized and robust blockchain, most suited as a public registry - the Bitcoin blockchain. That being said, we don't reject more traditional means entirely: Silverline also creates official EU and Chinese timestamps along with the Blockchain certificates. Their validity is constricted to their respective geopolitical context, of course.
How is this proven in court and how do we know if the court will accept it?
From a technological perspective, anyone can independently double-check the strength of the app by inspecting what goes on in the browser, and follow the public and independent step-by-step validation process (found here). Consequently, it can be proved to everyone, including judges and courts, that the evidence you created with Silverline is sound and trustworthy.
Legally, we're relying both on pre-existing cases (such as the Chinese court case in June 2018) and explicit regulations and directives across the globe. You can find an overview of the legal situation in different countries here.
Finally, to curtail any remaining doubt, Silverline leverages more traditional, official national timestamp services that have long been used & accepted in their respective jurisdiction (EU & China, for the moment).
FAQ on Silverline IP Platform
Who developed this platform?
This platform is powered by a German-based tech company called "Bernstein Technologies" and you can check them out on this link.
Under the item Description - what exactly should be described as text and how much?
The "Description" is actually a description for you as an user in order to describe what the project is about, it's essentially a mnemonic support. Here you can describe with as many characters as you want the topic of the project, for example: "Designs and protocols about the innovative electric pump", or "contracts and annexes for the provision of materials between the company X and the company Y".
Under Attached files - should I upload pictures there?
This is the crucial, core part of the project. "Attached files" is where you will upload the files to be secured. A few notes about them:
you can upload any file you want: images, documents, music in any format you desire. Nonetheless, it's better if you upload standard formats, such as jpg, png, pdf, mp3, etc. in order to secure a better durability and accessibility of the content if needed.
every project can contain multiple files. For example, you can add new documents as the project moves forward, or you can add new versions of already-uploaded files
for a better management, it is advised to avoid the zip files: you can add the files one by one: in this case, if needed you will disclose only the single file interested; otherwise you will have to disclose the entire zip file and its content
I have now certified a project but it seems to be stuck on ‘Pending’. Have I done something wrong or does this take time?
The 'pending' status you see just means that the bitcoin transaction is waiting to be validated by the miners, it usually takes less than two hours, depending on the network congestion.
I see in your Guide that you have only selected/ticked Bitcoin Blockchain. How do I untick the other options? (or is that unnecessary?)
Silverline offers "point-in-time registrations" always including Bitcoin, EU timestamp and Chinese timestamp to guarantee the strongest proof and simplify the process. It counts for a single credit, too.
Can I search the vault for a specific item?
You can only search for projects title, as the internal encryption of the project content makes the search function a real cryptographic challenge we're still working on solving (all the data on Silverline's side is gibberish, meaning the search queries can only be performed in the browser directly.)
Is there limit to the size of the file that can be uploaded?
No, there's no size limit and you can upload an unlimited number of files per project, too. The only limit might be given by your browser and the data it can handle for uploads!
Is it possible to store different versions of a document and get certificates for these versions without having to manually give the new version of the file a unique filename?
Let's take an example: you're working on the invention X, described in a lab notebook (V1) and a blueprint (V1). You upload those files into a Silverline project "Invention X Project" and certify the version.
This creates a new entry in the timeline: you'll have the certified version of "Invention X Project" with notebook (V1) and blueprint (V1), and a draft of the current version.
3 days of work later, you have progressed and the developments are captured in Notebook (V2) and Blueprint (V2).
The file names haven't changed. You return to the current draft of your project, safely remove the old files with a click (they are kept untouched in the first certified version) and upload your new documents.
Certify. Repeat as needed.
Can I upload more documents to a certified project?
Absolutely! In fact, projects are meant to be continuously updated with the latest progress and developments: every time you certify, the version you certified is "frozen" and stored while you can keep working on a "current version" (it unlocks and becomes editable as soon as the certificate is validated).
How does Silverline "freeze" the content of a project, preventing it from changing, if its actual content is not shared on the ledger?
Two things independently happen when you create a registration with Silverline. While the cryptographic fingerprint (i.e. the hash) of the content gets embedded into a Bitcoin transaction and sent to the timestamping authorities, the actual content (encrypted with your encryption key) gets frozen in time and saved in the Silverline platform together with the certificate, appearing as a certified version in the project timeline.
This will always let you return to the exact state of your content at the time of registration and gives you the option to download the original files - a necessary condition to validate the certificates when you need it.
Can I see somewhere if my idea has already been secured?
Since the files containing your idea are stored in encrypted form, no one - not even Silverline - has access to this information. This means that we don't (and cannot) check for novelty - but that is irrelevant outside the patent space: If you can prove your efforts and authorship, you will be able to defend your usage rights, even if someone else has a similar idea.
Is the hash of files stored on the blockchain or is only the project ID stored there ?
First, it's important to note that the unique "ID" of your Silverline project is actually made up of the hashes of the different files - you can always derive the one from the others. Clicking on the "fingerprint" below the project title gives you a breakdown of the calculation that may be helpful to understand the way we do it.
That being said, you need the original files to validate the certificate (i.e. comparing their hash with the entry on the blockchain). To this end, rest assured that Silverline will never delete your files. Each version will always be kept in your fault untouched, ready for download at any time.
You can, of course, choose to keep a personal copy of the files locally for redundancy.
How do I secure articles prior to publication and notify readers about it?
Securing the articles prior to publication and notifying your readers that you've done so is a great idea.
A very simple way to do so is by adding a disclaimer at the bottom or top of your text, simply announcing "This article and its content is protected by copyright law and has been secured with Silverline certificates". This way, you're signaling you have the evidence necessary to fight infringements.
However, the blockchain is not a DRM and doesn't allow for tracking.
What happens if Silverline shuts down?
Silverline was always designed with decentralization in mind. That means that even if we shut down - or even simpler: if you decide to leave Silverline, you'll always have the option to download all the files you uploaded and certificates you created on your local computer. You'll then be able to prove their validity completely independently of Silverline. You can find the independent verification process here.
Do you have a storage time limit (on your servers) for the files contained in each project? I assume that once a project is created (e.g., for 39 €) Silverline commits to store these files indefinitely.
There are no time limits.
If for whatever reason, we will have to discontinue the service, you will be able to download data from all certified versions of all your projects.
Regarding the digital timestamps that are generated by the Chinese and EU TSAs through your service, is there a time limit that these timestamps are stored by the individual TSAs?
The validity of EU timestamps is 5 years, the validity of Chinese timestamps is 10 years.
However, we are working on a system that could notify of the expiration and optionally request an extension of validity.
All the above FAQ's are the copyrighted property of our partner Bernstein Technologies and sourced from their website click here