In our previous article, we discussed how trademark and copyright protection can benefit FinTech companies. Read here to find out more.
Industrial designs can protect the design of your innovation, such as its shape, pattern and colour in two-dimensional of three-dimensional form. For FinTech companies, this can mean computer interface, computer icons, electronic cards and transaction machines. Design protection can work to protect the integrity of your brand by preventing copycats from profiting off your name and loyal customer base.
Protecting Innovation with Patents
If your FinTech company has developed a product based on new technology or processes, a patent will provide the best protection for your innovation. Legal patent protection will provide long term safeguarding for your innovation once registered. You will own the rights to your innovation which will prevent others from creating, utilising or profiting from your new technology or process. For FinTech companies, patent protection can mean competitive advantage in a hypercompetitive industry. Patent protection also provides adequate security should FinTech companies desire to collaborate and innovate with third parties, or if cross-licensing should occur.
Conversely, competitors in the industry may also use their patents as an advantageous tool to protect or profit from their technological innovation. Therefore, it is equally as crucial to be aware of the patented technologies that are currently available on the market, or are in the process of being patented, as it is to gain patent protection for your innovation. Knowledge of existing patented technologies is important to avoid potential litigation should you infringe upon someone else’s technological development, even under the circumstances whereby your technology was developed independently.
Given that FinTech is a fast-paced industry, it would be beneficial to FinTech companies to file a patent for their innovation as soon as possible as the first-to-file system proritises the earliest date of filing.
It is also crucial for FinTech companies to find out their innovation is eligible for patent protection. Not all FinTech innovations are patentable. Although software inventions are patentable, there are requirements to be met depending on each country’s intellectual property governing body. There is no universal legal definition of a software patent. Generally, it will be important for FinTech companies to show that their innovation can be considered as a ‘real’ invention and not ‘computer programs as such’. FinTech companies will need to highlight the technical aspects and processes of their innovation for a better chance of an approval.
For some countries, such as Indonesia, software protection by patents have only been recently approved and implemented, therefore it is important to keep in mind that software patenting is still in its early days and therefore, constantly evolving. For that reason filing for a patent can be a difficult, expensive and lengthy process should you take rejection and reapplication into account.
It is useful to file for a patent despite being unsure as the only way to find out if your innovation qualifies for one is via an initial patent application. Furthermore, your pending application may serve as a competitive presence to third parties as they may not want to infringe upon your innovation while your patent is in the process of being green lighted.
Quality Oracle are proud of 28 years of professional experience in patent registration and protection. Get in touch today to discover more for your business.