Fintech encompasses all manner of developed software and apps used in the finance sector, as well as the infrastructure used to run these programs. This includes banking, insurance, point-of-sale, security and transaction technologies, amongst others. In truth, the boundaries of what may/may not be referred to as Fintech are hard to define and legislation of what is considered patentable is similarly in flux. Thus, Fintech patent applications should be carefully considered and drafted based on a clear understanding of current software patenting law in the jurisdictions of relevance.
Probably the most famous example of a Fintech patent is the 1-Click purchase technology developed by Amazon. Whilst conceptually, the technology is not complex, it bypasses several processes in purchasing items online, making purchasing easier for Amazon’s customers. Another example of a Fintech application is the use of biometrics for mobile payment apps, as in the case of Apple’s Touch ID to make purchases using Apple’s mobile wallet (Apple Wallet), application store (App Store), and multimedia store (Itunes).
Benefits and challenges of patenting financial technology
In the exponentially growing Fintech market, a Fintech patent is important to maximise the commercial value and establish protection for investment in your innovation. In addition, a Fintech patent can enable the patent owner to license the application to other parties. Even banks and traditional financial institutions have become increasingly welcoming of Fintech and are filing patent applications for their own Fintech infrastructure. The main challenge in filing a Fintech patent is in the framing of the invention. Subject matter objections can arise where a patent application fails to show that the innovation is more than an abstract idea.
Another difficulty in filing a Fintech patent is the 18-month shadow, what do we mean? Patent information is only disclosed publicly by the patent office at 18 months after the priority date. Therefore, it is possible and especially in rapidly developing markets like Fintech, that an application with similar or identical concept may have been filed prior and the applicant would not know about it until it is published 18 months after it is filed.
Examples of granted fintech patent applications
|Mobile banking apps||
Euronet Worldwide, Inc
|Online payment portals||
|Security and identity verification||
|Loan management applications||
Advanced Merchant Payments, Ltd
|Block chain and cryptocurrency||
Cherkas, Ruslan MR; Pavlenko, Ivan MR; Sashin, Sergey MR; Tcherkas, Dmitri DR; Vasilenko, Alex MR; Williams, Elise MRS
IUG Asset Management Limited
|Loan calculators, personal financing apps||
Xenara Financial Pty Ltd