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Study finds low quality financial services patents subject to more litigation.

BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-December 14, 2015-Study finds low quality financial services patents subject to more litigation


Harvard Business School said a new study led by Josh Lerner, head of the entrepreneurial management unit and a leading patent expert, has found financial services patents are especially questionable in regard to their references to academic prior art, patents awarded to individuals and associated with non-practicing entities (NPEs) also cite less academic prior art and financial services patents with fewer such citations are more likely to be asserted in litigation.

The study, Financial Patent Quality: Finance Patents After State Street, found financial services patents cite less non-patent prior art, and especially less academic prior art. Because prior art is used by patent examiners to determine whether a patent application covers a new and useful idea, prior art citations are an important indicator of patent quality. With fewer citations, the likelihood rises that uncited prior art exists and could render a patent invalid. Patents assigned to individuals and NPEs were particularly problematic with respect to academic citations. The study also found that having fewer academic prior art citations directly correlates to the likelihood of a financial services patent being the subject of litigation.

The study comes amidst a sharp rise in the number of patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Furthermore, over the past three years, the number of patent lawsuits involving non-practicing entities (NPEs) has increased five-fold.

Askeladden general counsel and head of the patent quality initiative Sean Reilly said, "Askeladden commissioned this research to better understand the patent quality challenges in the financial services industry. This study reinforces the need for patent examiners to have access to the most pertinent prior art."

Askeladden L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Clearing House. Established in 1853, The Clearing House is the oldest banking association and payments company in the United States and is owned by the world's largest commercial banks, which hold half of all USdeposits. Askeladden is an education, information and advocacy organization with the goal of improving the understanding, use and reliability of patents in financial services and other industries.

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Publication:M2 Banking & Credit News (BCN)
Date:Dec 14, 2015
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