Mark Iandolo Dec. 18, 2015, 1:13pm


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – Josh Lerner, head of the entrepreneurial management unit at Harvard Business School, led a study that found that low-quality financial services patents are subject to more litigation.

The study is titled "Financial Patent Quality: Finance Patents After State Street." The findings show that financial services patents lag behind their peers when it comes to quality. Mainly, the patents are questionable in their references to academic prior art, which patent examiners uses to determine if a patent covers a new or useful idea. This leads to them being more open to litigation.

“Our sample comes from the period after the US PTO implemented additional protocols for improving prior art citations,” Lerner said. “Although we found that examiners do add more non-patent prior art to finance patents than to the patents in our two comparison groups, finance patents still lagged in non-patent prior art citations and particularly in academic citations. The differences grew as we moved into more prestigious journals and for individual/NPE-assigned patents.”

In the last few years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued more patents than in the past. At the same time, the number of patent lawsuits has risen. The study seeks to gain understanding on this issue. The goal is to improve the understanding, reliability and innovation of patents in financial services.

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