Microsoft's sensational patent − getting to the bottom of it

While the COVID-19 pandemic is rife in the world, various conspiracy theories that try to explain how the virus arose and who is responsible for it are gaining popularity on the Internet. Thus, of particular interest is the opinion that Bill Gates, the founder and former head of Microsoft Corporation is involved in the present situation worldwide. The pandemic is supposed to be a great reason to start mass implanting of brain chips and get a chance to control behavior of people. The reason for this theory was the news due to an invention for which patent one of the affiliated Microsoft company applied. Below we assume if there are any reasons for concern.

On March 26, 2020 World Intellectual Property Organization published international application PCT/US2019/038084 for the invention "CRYPTOCURRENCY SYSTEM USING BODY ACTIVITY DATA" (publication No. WO/2020/060606). The application was filed by MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC. According to the information the present company owns the majority of the patents previously owned by Microsoft Corporation and is responsible for issuing licenses for use of inventions protected by these patents.

What is the essence of the aforesaid invention?

In the description first of all the concept of cryptocurrency is disclosed and the principle of the blockchain technology used in popular cryptocurrencies (for example, Bitcoin) is briefly explained. A special emphasis is made on the fact that the so-called "mining" - a series of computational operations for solving a mathematical problem, for the successful performance of which a reward is provided - may require significant computational power and the following energy consumption thereof. Further there is mentioned one of the key elements of "mining" - Proof-of-work (PoW) - a type of algorithm of blockchain protection. The essence of this algorithm is that the correctness of the result obtained in the process of energy-consuming computational operations is checked afterwards, but with the use of much lower power. Such check is carried out by computing devices and does not require direct human participation. In the invention under consideration the question is about an alternative to such method of mining and verification.

The applicant states that "human body activity associated with a solution of the task provided can be used for mining of cryptocurrency". Along with this not only physical and motor activity of a person can be controlled. A brain wave, blood flow, heartbeat, body heat and any other emission of the human body that can be currently measured could also be used in the mining process.

The applied system includes 1) sensors collecting abovementioned body activity data of the user, 2) the device of the user and 3) processing servers. Sensors can be communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user. Examples include magnetic resonance tomography sensors, pulsometers, fitness trackers, etc. The present case is not yet coming across the implanting of chips into the human body.

The information collected by the sensors while the task performing received by the user from one of the servers (e.g. viewing ads, video, searching for information on the Internet, etc.) is stored on the user's device (e.g. phone, computer), from where it is transmitted to the server that realizes cryptocurrency mining.

The server evaluates whether the transferred data meets the requirements of the cryptocurrency system and, if the correspondence is confirmed, the system confers the user on the cryptocurrency. Apparently, this means that by setting certain conditions, the cryptocurrency system will materially interest users in specific consumer practices, in performing certain actions or abandoning them.

Time will show how successfully this system will be implemented and what limitations of use of received user data will exist. We will only note that the international application PCT/US2019/038084 was filed with over 150 countries participating in the Patent Cooperation Treaty, including the Republic of Belarus. In each of them, a national patent may be obtained in case the application is transported into the national phase in time and if the invention is considered patentable in accordance with the national law. As of March 26, 2020, the written announcement of the International Searching Authority, in the capacity of the European Patent Office, has been published together with the application, which considers that each of the 15 claims of the applied invention lacks novelty and inventive step.