BBVA has set up a Global Patent Office to work with inhouse engineering and development teams to protect IP rights in new products as they emerge from the laboratory.
The GPO will be connected with the bank's agile development ‘scrum’ teams to identify patentable solutions that emerge from early prototyping.
BBVA has adopted a 3-6-9 model for development, in which it takes three days to identify a team to work on a project, six weeks to deliver an initial prototype and a maximum of nine months to put a product into full production.
Don Relyea, who has been appointed director of BBVA's Global Patent Office, says: “We are following closely the milestones of the bank that come from the SDA (Single development Agenda) and from the 3-6-9 creation process, so that when a prototype is being created, even before it is launched, we can initiate the process of applying for a patent.” .
He says the GPO will interact with engineering, design, data and product staff during the prototyping and development phase to help guide the teams toward patentable solutions.
The Office will also create a network of Intellectual Property Agents that will be able to identify those ideas or inventions that could be patented or protected, such as software or commercial secrets.
“Our initial objective is to be able to register about 10 patents this year and build on that number from then on,” Relyea says. “More than just rights for software, we are principally interested in utility patents, about how things work. For example, negotiating processes using biometrics; or how to interact with artificial intelligence, these types of customer experiences, are the ones we would like to patent.”
He says the GPO additionally will offer financial incentives to employees working on new inventions at both the point of patent filing and when the patent is granted.