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Bank of America loads up on blockchain patents

29 January 2016  |  15180 views  |  3 Bank of America signage

Bank of America is in the process of filing 20 new blockchain-related patents, adding to the 15 it has already submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

In December, the USPTO published a list of 10 patent applications that were filed by the US bank in June of last year, covering a multitude of distributed ledger use cases - from a cryptocurrency transaction payment system to offline storage risk detection.

In an interview with CNBC, the bank chief operating and technology office Cathy Beasant said Bank of America is stepping up its interest in the technology, with plans to submit a further 20 patents later this month.

Although describing the potential commercial application of its patents as "very unclear", Beasant said: "(It's) very important in the intellectual property world to reserve our spot even before we know what the commercial application might be."

Bank of America is well known in banking circles for its agressive patenting regime. In the last list produced by the Financial Patents Blog in 2013, Bank of America had received 137 patents since the beginning of 2012, streets ahead of the second most prolific patent filer, American Express which had 114 issued patents.

Comments: (3)

Mark Sibthorpe
Mark Sibthorpe - msba - Pointe-Claire | 29 January, 2016, 11:06

Pathetic. 

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 29 January, 2016, 19:30

Just like a bank. In his latest book "Flash Boys", Michael Lewis features a leading investment bank that borrowed a lot of open source code to build its algo trading platform and then claimed proprietary rights to its platform!

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 31 January, 2016, 15:54

This is no different than what Adobe did to launch its core products, e.g. its PDF formatting software Acrobat.  It may be poor economic policy to permit this, but it's well within recent practice.

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