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Surge In Fintech Patent Applications

Several business publications have recently reported a dramatic increase in the number of patent applications filed globally for fintech-related inventions. According to one widely-reported analysis, 9,545 applications were filed in 2016 which is 500 more than in 2015 and over 49% more than in 2011. The United States is reportedly leading the charge with 4,523 patent filings in 2016 and China, in a somewhat distant second place, filed about half that number in the same year.

A patent gives an inventor exclusive rights to exploit their invention commercially for a limited term (usually 20 years) in return for public disclosure of the invention. The monopoly conferred serves to incentivize innovation and encourages public disclosure of innovations for the advancement of technology and the common good. The recent surge in patent applications clearly reflects a significant uptick in research and development efforts in fintech and shows that innovators in this space are serious about protecting and commercialising the fruits of their labour.

The types of fintech-related inventions seeking to be patented are diverse and include systems for managing bitcoin and blockchain-based currency reserves. Other examples include credit risk assessment tools and artificial intelligence agents for identifying and analysing fraud and irregular trading activities.

Copyright 2017 K & L Gates


About this Author

Alistair Mann, KL Gates Law Firm, Patent Attorney
Patent Attorney

Mr. Mann is a registered Australian and New Zealand patent and trade marks attorney with a technical background in computer systems and software engineering. He is experienced in preparing and prosecuting patent, trade mark and design applications, including both domestic and international, and for providing infringement, validity and freedom to operate advice. Mr. Mann has a particular focus on ICT and software-related inventions, medical devices, mining engineering and instrumentation, materials science (particularly 3D printing) and safety critical systems.

Steven Wulff, KL Gates Law Firm, Intellectual Property Attorney

Mr. Wulff is a partner in the firm’s Melbourne office. He focuses on preparing and prosecuting domestic and international patent applications spanning a broad array of technologies. Mr. Wulff is experienced in all aspects of services relating to patents, including advising on patentability, validity, infringement, commercialisation, and strategic patent portfolio growth and maintenance. In addition, he has experience in conducting complex multi-jurisdictional patent litigation in the fields of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and biotechnology.

Mr. Wulff brings both technology and business experience to his practice. His legal, technical, and business experience allows him to assist clients at all stages of growth in establishing and protecting patent positions.