Bank of America announced that it secured a record 444 patents from the US Patent Office, beating the 418 it earned in 2019 and lagging only Capital One among financial institutions, for the second year in a row, according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association. BofA’s patent portfolio now consists of over 4,400 patents and applications.
The bank has focused its patent efforts on AI as well as security and privacy initiatives over the past year, representing the top two patent categories. Insider Intelligence listed a few examples of how the bank is implementing these technologies:
BofA’s new patent applications suggest it’s making data a top priority in 2021 and beyond—a strategy that further empowers clients, but also leaves them open to new risks. Almost 40% of the patents the bank applied for in 2020 were centered around technologies grounded in data analysis and protection.
Features like Erica or biometric ID solutions create a better and more insightful user experience, but their effectiveness hinges upon compiling increasing amounts of information. High-profile data breaches, such as Capital One’s 2019 incident, show just how fragile customer data can be.
That means banks need to focus just as many—if not more—resources on protecting that data, which BofA appears to have recognized: Its total patent portfolio includes 724 issued and pending applications for information security.