Bank of America obtained more patents last year than any other year in the history of the company.
In 2019, the company obtained 418 patents, a 31% increase over the prior year. According to the bank, patents protect the bank’s tech investments.
“Patents are not always about excluding others from using [the technology]; oftentimes, patents are a vehicle to help industries coalesce around certain standards,” said Keith Agisim, senior vice president and associate general counsel for global technology and operations and global intellectual property at Bank of America.
Among the patents the bank obtained in 2019, notable areas included: 101 patents dedicated to programming technology, 61 in the information security category, 45 in online/mobile banking, and 40 in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The bank was also granted 15 patents in the realm of blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
“Our patenting in the [blockchain] space is about being prepared,” Agisim said. “By trying to be innovative by patenting in the space now, we hope that will secure an ability to operate, if in the future we find those opportunities.”
Bank of America’s portfolio includes more than 3,900 patents and applications, created by more than 5,000 inventors from 42 states and 12 countries.