26 June 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

BBVA launches global patent office

Spanish Bank BBVA has created a global patent office to coordinate its intellectual property protection efforts.

The office will allow BBVA to identify its inventions and protect them through patents and trade secrets.

Don Relyea, director of BBVA’s global patent office, said: “The majority of the banks are fully engaged in digital transformation and that means that we are transforming: changing from old processes to digital processes, based on software and technology.”

“As we advance along the path to digital transformation, we must protect our intellectual property, especially if it affects our principal business.”

Relyea said that the bank plans to register around 10 patents in 2017 and build on that number.

BBVA isn’t just aiming to acquire rights in software, either. Relyea said the bank is looking to protect utilities, such as negotiation processes, and interactions with artificial intelligence.

The global patent office will also oversee an incentive programme for inventions developed by employees within BBVA. They will receive a monetary award for filing and another when the patent is granted.

Relyea added: “The goal is to incentivise inventors and reward them as well as recognise their work.”

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