Comments on: Can you patent financial innovations? A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Gena777 Tue, 30 Nov 2010 01:32:43 +0000 Certainly sounds like a business method patent that is uncomfortably close to an “abstract idea,” and attempts at patent enforcement would eventually fail. Then again, clever claim drafting in a patent application can sometimes make a sow’s ear into a silk purse. how-to-file-a-patent/

By: Gena777 Tue, 23 Nov 2010 14:57:55 +0000 I was hoping that the Bilski patent litigation meant that we would never have to see another so-called “invention” like this. how-to-file-a-patent/

By: DanHess Mon, 22 Nov 2010 02:54:32 +0000 Felix, you said
“it’s generally accepted that financial innovations can’t be patented”

As a patent examiner who has been with the USPTO for nine years, I can say that this is not true. There is a whole category of applications known as business methods in which many financial innovations can be found. The merits of these kinds of cases have been and are still pondered throughout the land but at present, they are permitted. thod_patent

I can make no comment on the merits of this application or any before the Office. It was astute of you to notice and clarify that this is an application and not an issued patent. There is no guarantee that this will application will ever issue, and even if it does, the claims may end up being different (often narrower) than what they are now.

As for Mallaby’s statement, it was true in the past that business methods were not widely permitted by the Office but it is not true presently. I suspect the real reasons that hedge funds don’t seem to use patents much and rely on secrecy are that (1) if someone is using your financial innovations to trade, it would be almost impossible to find out or prove, (2) there is much more money to be made by trading than by licensing and (3) once a trading strategy becomes widely known, that strategy is unlikely to work any longer.

By: Christofurio Sun, 21 Nov 2010 14:16:08 +0000 An abstract idea is not a process, a machine, a manufacture, or acomposition of matter. That’s why one can’t patent, say, the ythagorean theorem.

That was also the cause of the dispute in BILSKI, as Anon Chef observers. A pdf of the decision is here.

SCOTUS rather kicked the issue downfield. Its one of those ad hoc this-case-only decisions, except that it does indicate that efforts to patent financial innovations are suspect.

By: krose Fri, 19 Nov 2010 18:56:11 +0000 I’m not sure if you count this as a “financial innovation”.

Danish specialized mortgage-credit bank Realkredit Danmark succeeded with getting a patent approved that’s a “method and data system for determination of financial instruments for the use of funding of a loan which is at least partially refinanced during its term to maturity”.

Search for “EP 0 838 063 B1″ at pdf-document?PN=EP0838063%20EP%200838063 &iDocId=4818418&iepatch=.pdf

I don’t know much about patenting financial innovations but my professor said that it was a very controversial patent. The Danish Patent Office (Patentdirektoratet) was very surprised that EPO approved the patent because they rejected similar patents from other mortgage banks. The other mortgage banks in Denmark wasn’t very happy either so they decided to complain but (unfortunately) there wasn’t an official ruling because Realkredit Danmark was bought by another bank who had an interest in not patenting the method.

The danish covered bonds market is the second largest in Europe with an outstanding amount of about EURbn 326 and the bonds which are issued on basis of the method in the patent have a share of about 40%.

By: AnonymousChef Fri, 19 Nov 2010 17:24:57 +0000 appos

By: FrankLG Fri, 19 Nov 2010 17:12:08 +0000 In the United States, eligibility for a patent isn’t restricted to any particular subject matter. The law is that “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter” may be patentable if it meets the other legal requirements.