Bank of America today announced it has recorded the most patents granted in the first half of any year in the company’s history. The U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) granted the bank 227 patents during the first half of 2021, a 23% increase over last year, covering a range of solutions for clients including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), information security, data analytics, mobile banking and payments.
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Examples of Patents Granted in 2021 (Graphic: Business Wire)
The bank also applied for 403 patents, despite 85% of its workforce continuing to work from home during the pandemic. Bank of America ranks 108th on the IPO Top 300 list of U.S. granted patents, its highest ranking ever.
Bank of America employees continue to innovate despite a nationwide downturn in patent applications. The number of patent applications filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 2000 to 2020 only experienced two prominent drops—one in 2009 during a downturn in the U.S. economy and one in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S.1
“We’re in a period of unprecedented change, and as any great company knows, delivering for customers and clients requires a strong focus on innovation,” said Cathy Bessant, Bank of America’s Chief Operations and Technology Officer. “The culture we’ve created at Bank of America is immensely creative and forward looking, driving solutions that make our clients’ financial lives better.”
The bank’s patent portfolio consists of 4,943 patents granted or applied for, resulting from the work of nearly 6,000 inventors based in 42 U.S. states and 13 countries around the world.
One of the company’s inventors is Manu Kurian, a senior vice president within global banking. Manu ranks in the top 300 patent holders in the world, filing more than 360 patents since 2014, with more than 220 of those having been granted. Manu recently filed patent applications for technology to enable authentication and data access capabilities for the bank.
“My primary responsibilities are on mobile data,” Kurian said. “The bank really values the way we handle our data. And so part of that is also being able to move that data efficiently between our different systems so that we have that opportunity to serve our clients.”
Inventors in other companies often cite Bank of America patents as influencing their own inventions. So far in 2021, the bank has been cited by more than 2,800 patents and applications from a variety of industries, including well-known technology companies. Historically, the bank has been cited more than 38,000 times.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,300 retail financial centers, approximately 17,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 41 million active users, including approximately 32 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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