With banks ramping up their innovation divisions and technology spend to ensure they stay ahead of each other, and of disruptive new entrants, they are now turning to patents to defend their gains.
Whether its is JPMorgan patenting "cloud wallets" or Bank of America taking the apparent lead in blockchain technology, it is clear the banks feel what they have developed is worth thoroughly protecting
Big banks and credit card companies, looking to protect their investments in innovation, have accelerated efforts to patent methods linked to key technologies. Since 2013 large financial institutions have applied for at least 2,679 patents in hot areas such as blockchain, analytics and cybersecurity, a surge of 83% from the prior three years. The most active areas are mobile systems, Internet of Things and data analytics, according to an analysis by patent researcher Relecura Inc. and The Wall Street Journal, studying patent applications published since 2010 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. These are areas where startup financial technology firms are thriving, funded with $21.6 billion in venture capital last year alone, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. “Fintech companies are threatening” to established financial firms, said George, founder and CEO of Relecura. “They see that there is change coming.”