My organization has a keen interest in supplying tools to DAOs and DEXes and controlling the IP for DeFi. I have seen this topic/intersection of DAOs and patents pop-up at the same time on a couple of sites.
(For completeness we have outstanding patent applications for defensive and strategic purposes.)
Here’s our take on the DAO-Patent angle:
If you shop around, you can find legal counsel who are both constructive on the fully decentralised nature of DAOs and their stateless nature. Here’s a summary of their guidance.
The best long run approach is not setting up a “corporate” entity at all and to rely on a fully decentralized structure. DAOs without a registered legal entity can theoretically operate outside most regs and sidestep nettlesome litigation. In most jurisdictions, they (DAOs) may be seen as general partnerships, but without any practical corresponding legal consequences.
While there may be risk of the personal liability of every participant, because the DAO has no legal personality, it can actually own assets and also employ people without risk of local law or regulation - consider it a shield.
When participants do not legally register a DAO as an LLC or Company, they constructively avoid creating a fully recognized legal entity in most jurisdictions that can sue and can be sued. This is often misunderstood. Most DAO operators agree with these positions.
Happy to answer any questions.