Fintech companies continue to innovate, creating new solutions that improve user experiences, enhancing payment systems and streamlining financial processes. In this dynamic environment, patent protection plays a crucial role in safeguarding these innovative technologies. The number of fintech patents and applications continues to grow annually. As does patent litigation.
One way of mitigating patent risk is through something called a patent pool. It is a collaborative model where multiple companies voluntarily aggregate their patents related to a specific technology or industry. The goal in doing so is to create a shared pool of patents that participants can license from with the aim to reduce the risk of patent infringement litigation.
In the fintech sector, patent pools bring together innovators who hold patents in areas such as mobile payments, digital identity verification and blockchain technology, among others. One of the most significant benefits of fintech patent pools is their potential to reduce the costs and uncertainties associated with patent litigation. Patent infringement lawsuits can be time-consuming and financially burdensome to potential infringers.
Open Invention Network is different kind of patent pool. It was formed to safeguard open source and is the largest patent non-aggression community in history. Funded by Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Sony, SUSE and Toyota, OIN has more than 3,800 community members.
NatWest Group, a leader in delivering digital-based banking services to people and businesses in the U.K. and Ireland is joining the Open Invention Network community. In doing so, NatWest is reinforcing its commitment to open source software as an enabler of advanced financial services and mobile banking platforms.
“Demonstrating its commitment to open innovation, NatWest is a Gold member in FINOS, the main global organization aiming to move the entire financial services industry toward collaboration through open source and FDC3 standards. NatWest is also building on its foundations of open banking by creating the ‘Bank of APIs’ – an API ecosystem that brings an increasingly wide variety of our services to customers and partners in new and innovative ways. Open is important to us,” said Declan O’Gorman, Head of Enterprise Engineering at NatWest Group. “As such we are proud to join the Open Invention Network and support its role in protecting open source software from patent aggression.”
For fintech companies, Open Invention Network is unique from other patent pools. Almost all fintech platforms reside on, and are largely comprised of, open source code. Participation in OIN lowers patent litigation risk by gaining access to millions of patents that address a significant amount of building block open source that are used by Fintech software platforms.
Joining is free. Unlike other patent pools, OIN offers a royalty-free cross license, even if community members don’t have patents addressed by its Linux System Definition. This strategy can be a good first step in cost effectively lowering patent litigation risk for fintech companies.
“The financial services and fintech industries rely on open source technologies to deliver their services, and they are increasingly bringing technology development in-house,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “We are pleased that NatWest, which has demonstrated leadership in open innovation through FINOS and other initiatives, is committed to patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open source technologies.”