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10Questions: IP Issues In The Financial Services Sector « Back
August 2012
Page 3 of 3
FW: Looking ahead, can we expect the financial services sector to remain a fertile ground for IP disputes? If so, what should companies do to prepare?

Connor: Financial services companies are almost certainly going to see continued litigation of IP issues. I would guess that the frequency and significance of IP disputes will increase. Patent trolls have identified the financial sector as a lucrative target area. They have devoted resources to developing or aggregating patent estates for their assertion and monetisation efforts. In addition to continued troll activity, we also foresee more disputes between established companies in the financial sector, because these companies have begun active programs to identify and protect their intellectual property with patents. Patent applications may require a few years to mature into issued patents, so there is a latency period prior to litigation of patents. Financial sector companies should institute IP committees if they haven’t done so already. They should develop programs for dealing with notice letters of patent trolls or competitors. They should educate employees about appropriate procedures for dealing with IP matters. And they should consider instituting patent watch or mapping programs to keep an eye on their competitors’ activities.


Mike Connor co-chairs Alston & Bird LLP’s overall Intellectual Property Practice Area and is a past chair of the IP Litigation Group. He handles patent infringement and other IP litigation matters. Mr Connor has handled intellectual property disputes in technologies such as cardiovascular implants, mobile telephone networks, debit card processing, financial services, diagnostic imaging, electronic music downloads, robotics, textile machinery, orthopedics, consumer electronics, electric power systems, RFID and semiconductor manufacturing. He has led trial teams in federal courts across the United States and before the United States International Trade Commission, and has argued appeals at the Federal Circuit and regional circuit courts. He can be contacted on +1 (704) 444 1022 or by email: mike.connor@alston.com.
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