The DAO is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization” (DAO); it can be defined as:-

a fully automated business entity (FAB), or distributed autonomous corporation/company (DAC) is a decentralized network of narrow-AI autonomous agents.. Source

Vitalik Buterin coined the term DAOism, these may comprise;-

  • Autonomous Agents
  • Decentralized Applications
  • Decentralized Organizations
  • Decentralized Autonomous Organizations

"a DAO contains some kind of internal property that is valuable in some way, and it has the ability to use that property as a mechanism for rewarding certain activities." Buterin

Scenario A
an inventor develops an opensource project / idea / software / process
many people deploy/ enact / build upon said process / idea
patent trolls jump into patent with said idea
meanwhile the DAO chugs along happily..

Alas this is not a hypothesis ..if one looks at the tip of the iceberg patent applications from legacy financial organisations like;-

Goldman Sachs
Bank of America
Coinplug (select Patents, enter Coinplug, wait 8000/12000 m/sec)

or indeed patent trends within fintech space the idea of patenting Fintech ideas is not simply an opinion it is already a reality.

In the context of the above is it accurate to say that it will be impossible to sue / prevent a DAO from operating simply / primarily because it operates in the ether and does not exist in the physical realm?

  • I disagree with the question being closed as 'opinion based' - patents have been granted - if the holders choose to excise their 'legal' rights then that = legal battles. There is extensive precedent for this so it is fact not opinion.
    – Donnelly
    Feb 22, 2016 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


This is a good question though its difficult to provide an answer which isn't moot. There have been discussion of a foundation or consortium being formed in order to address this however I haven't come across anything formal. I know I would be interested in support such a cause.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.