While the FinTech sector is sometimes defined extremely broadly, the label is used most commonly in relation to banking IT infrastructure, with enabling technology areas including data & analytics, Internet-of-Things (IoT), mobile platforms, security, cloud computing and cryptocurrency

According to Gomedici the US was the most active market for FinTech in 2015 – the most recent year for which information is available – with a total of 45,410 patents, followed by Japan with 16,978 and Korea with 9,902.

Meanwhile, in the same year, according to IAM Media, the top patent holders in FinTech were financial services organisations, such as VISA, at the top of the list with 1,342, followed by Bank of America, with 1,052 and Hitachi, with 1,048.

However, a more recent study, carried out in August 2018, suggests that technology companies have now taken the lead, with US-based technology giants such as IBM, Google and Microsoft holding 10 times more FinTech patents than the world’s largest banks put together. IBM, in particular, is leading the way with 23,864 FinTech related patents.

In response to the increase in FinTech innovation, a FinTech Fast Track Initiative was launched in Singapore early last year by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, under which the examination of patent applications relating to FinTech can be accelerated. The program is stipulated to end on 25 April 2020.

Wolters Kluwer, the professional services publisher, says the top technology areas for granted patents in FinTech are:

  • Finance
  • Exchange, e.g. stocks, commodities, derivatives or currency exchange.
  • Special adaptations for electronic funds transfer systems
  • Banking, e.g. interest calculation, credit approval, mortgages etc.
  • Investment, e.g. financial instruments or portfolio and fund management
  • Insurance, e.g. risk analysis or pensions
  • The FinTech landscape is continuing to grow and evolve.

If you would like specialist advice on how to secure effective protection against un-authorised copying for FinTech innovations, please contact our experts today.


Jonathan Midgley

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