Recently published research from Open Invention Network, along with data from RPX and Unified Patents, indicates an unprecedented wave of patent actions related to the financial technology (FinTech). Open Invention Network the organization formed to safeguard open source software, and now the largest patent non-aggression community in history, has published a small study of Patent Assertion Entities’ (PAE) activities as they relate to open source and the financial services industry.

The financial services and FinTech industries increasingly rely on open source technologies. This shared innovation has led to an explosion of FinTech capabilities and adoption.

Some of the key findings of the OIN’s Study include:

  • Financial Services industry patent litigation by NPEs (from 2020 – 2021) grew more by 100%, almost three times more than the next closest sector
  • As of June 2022, there has been a 200% increase in open source software patent litigation by NPEs
  • Authentication and token authentication was the most active technology area targeted by PAEs
  • The remaining Top-5 areas targeted by PAEs in FinTech were Remote Deposit Capture (RDC), Secure Transactions, Financial Document Access / Storage and Payment Cards / Mobile Transactions
  • Hadoop-related technologies appears to be the number-one target area for PAEs in the financial services sector

“The most sophisticated and compelling global banking and fintech companies have essentially become technology companies that employ open source software to deliver their services at scale,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) appear to be targeting them for this reason, along with the fact that financial services companies have not historically been active patent filers. Open Invention Network has and will continue to invest in programs and activities to hinder PAE actions associated with core open source software that FinTech and banking companies have come to rely upon.”

Also in the news, RBC, Canada’s largest bank joined the Open Invention Network Community. Other financial services companies that have joined the Open Invention Network community include Ally, Barclays, Sumitomo Mitsui, TD Bank and Square.

“The financial services and fintech industries increasingly rely on open source technologies. Global financial services leaders, like RBC, which recognize the benefits of open source technologies are building, buying and integrating feature-rich platforms to make them more effective for their clients,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “We are pleased that RBC has joined our community and committed to patent non-aggression in Linux and adjacent open source technologies.”

“RBC recognizes open source as a significant enabler of innovation and it was important for us to join the Open Invention Network and support its role in protecting Linux system open source software from patent litigation risk,” said Lucille D’Souza, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, RBC Strategy and Operations.

OIN’s community practices patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open source technologies by cross-licensing Linux System patents to one another on a royalty-free basis. Patents owned by Open Invention Network are similarly licensed royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System.



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