The rise of the Internet and e-commerce brought about a profusion of innovative business models, methods, and processes. Particularly in the financial services sector, firms developed unique methods built closely on statistical, actuarial, and other mathematical models or algorithms. These included ways to structure financial products, track portfolio investments, transact business online, and much more.
Following landmark court decisions in the 1990s, for the first time ever, these institutions were able to obtain patent protection for some of those methods. However, business method patents have since been wrought with uncertainty, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and federal courts have wrestled with distinguishing patentable subject matter from mere abstract ideas.
Our Business Methods Expertise
We have secured numerous business method patents for financial services firms, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, e-commerce businesses, and other entities. We help these companies:
- Understand and assess the competitive landscape
- Determine areas of vulnerability, including any competitive patents that could block them from conducting critical business functions
- Evaluate third-party patent infringement assertions
- Identify systems, methods, and machines that are worthy of patent protection
- Build global patent portfolios
New Developments in the Law
We help clients understand the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bilski v. Kappos, which altered the landscape for business method patents. We also advise companies on the new Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents, which allows a company sued for infringing a financial business method patent to use a post-grant-review-like procedure to challenge its validity.