London
20 April 2017
Reporter: Mark Dugdale

Law firm sees rise in fintech patents


The number of financial technology patents filed through the international system administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has increased 49 percent in five years, according to commercial law firm EMW.

The UK firm’s research revealed that the number of fintech patents filed worldwide through WIPO’s international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system, which has more than 150 countries as signatories, is continuing to rise sharply, reaching 9,545 in 2016, up 6 percent from the 9,045 filed the year before.

Fintech patents, covering banking, exchanges, investment, insurance, payment architecture and the calculation of taxation, are up 49 percent from the 6,399 filed in 2011.

Examples of the technology patented include artificial intelligence-enabled methods for highlighting risks in real-time, with suspicious or abnormal activities picked up using predictive models, as well as new tools for providing crypto or other digital currency-related services, including bitcoin trading platforms and bitcoin storage services.

Felix Dodd, solicitor at EMW, commented: “Technology is revolutionising the services that financial services businesses provide to consumers, as well as serving a vital cost-cutting function.”

“The surge in patents reflects both the proliferation of start-ups bringing new technology and products to market over the last few years, as well as investment by more traditional financial services firms in an effort to remain relevant and retain market share.”

Patents generally grant their owners 20 years of exclusivity to an invention, although this can differ across jurisdictions.

The international patent system, under the PCT, allows applicants to simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a large number of countries.

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