Businesses in Malta will soon be able to register a trademark, design or patent on a protected digital network, after the Government launched three new projects related to digital ledger technology (DLT).

DLT is a decentralized database managed by multiple participants, across multiple nodes. Blockchain is a type of DLT where transactions are recorded with an immutable cryptographic signature called a hash.

The three projects were announced by Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri during a press conference organised by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA).

The first project, spearheaded by the ministry’s Department for Commerce, will ensure that the digitisation of official documents related to industrial property rights is registered on the blockchain, giving businesses peace of mind that proof of the ownership, title and business value of their ideas can never be lost or tampered with.

The second project relates specifically to artisanal products made in Gozo. These products will be digitally labelled during the manufacturing cycle and the process will be documented using DLT. Consumers will be able to scan QR codes on the products that prove they were indeed made in Gozo, minimising the risk of falsification.

The third project concerns the strengthening of the Planning Authority (PA) using DLT. Mr Schembri explained that the level of security on sensitive documents will be bolstered, improving the transparency of the planning process. If a change is made in the PA’s data system, this change will be flagged due to a mismatch with what has been registered in the public blockchain system.

“Through this public call for the implementation of the proposals announced today, we are seeing a growing awareness of the benefits of these innovative and emerging technologies,” said MDIA Chief Executive Kenneth Brincat.

Minister Schembri mentioned how an international private sector fair will be held in Malta next week. Around 600 companies will be participating, including start-ups and companies in the fields of gaming, blockchain, artificial intelligence and others.

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