2003 Financial Markets Conference Announcement: Business Method Patents and Financial Services
Jointly sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Center for Banking and Finance, The University of North Carolina School of Law
April 3–5, 2003
Sea Island, Georgia
Following the State Street case, which provided judicial support for the patentability of business methods, a rapid increase has taken place in the number of patents granted on various algorithms, processes, and procedures in the financial services industry. Such patents include options-pricing formulas, portfolio allocation and balancing procedures, image processing of transactions, and electronic methods of completing transactions in an on-line financial services environment. What are the implications of these developments for the evolution and structure of the financial services industry? How will they affect business strategy? Will the granting of business methods patents stifle product and service innovation or will it promote a vibrant industry? How has the U.S. Patent Office approached the questions of whether certain business methods are or are not eligible for patent protection? And why have Europe and other parts of the world pursued different legal and regulatory approaches to business methods?
This conference will focus on the economic and legal issues surrounding recent patent developments in the financial services industry. Experts from the academic, legal, and business communities will explore the issues from the practical business and public policy perspectives. Academics and business leaders will share their views and will suggest changes in the policy environment to ensure a well-functioning financial system.