Barclays takes action against attacks from patent trolls
Barclays is the first major European headquartered bank to join LOT Network and Open Invention Network Community to oppose the abuse of intellectual property rights by patent assertion entities (PAE), more commonly known as “patent trolls”.
Patent trolls are organisations that derive revenue primarily by threatening to litigate unless companies pay to license their patents. The time, resource and expense to litigate against these claims often results in companies agreeing to settle, regardless of the merits of the claims or the value of the underlying intellectual property. In an increasingly technology-driven world, organisations in all sectors using technology, including open source software, are potentially open to attack by patent trolls.
The financial services industry increasingly relies on new technology, which is why Barclays is joining thousands of organisations who are members of these community-based, non-profit organisations, signaling renewed attention to the patent troll threat within an industry that has traditionally taken a conservative approach to engagement on intellectual property-focused initiatives.
Lee Braine, Managing Director, Chief Technology Office at Barclays, said: “Spurious claims from Patent Assertion Entities divert resources and investment away from true innovation and collaboration. We also recognise that a modern approach to technology development and innovation requires a level playing field around use of open source software. With membership of LOT and OIN, we are pleased to contribute to and extend the growing global community working together to reduce the PAE threat and lower barriers to use of open source technologies.”
The number of patent infringement suits filed by patent trolls—one of the measures of the trolls’ activity—has continued to grow over the past several years. Changes in legal precedent and the economic effects of the global pandemic appear to have further fanned the flames of the patent troll threat. Left unaddressed, the practice of asserting patents of questionable validity and scope in the way calculated to achieve settlement under the threat of greater expense on litigation will continue to divert organisations’ resources away from productive innovation, and the development and licensing of valid intellectual property rights. By joining LOT Network and OIN Community, Barclays is adding its portfolio of patents to the millions of patents that are already part of these organisations’ non-aggression commitments.
LOT and OIN hope that Barclays’ membership will inspire other financial institutions and service providers to join the efforts to protect against patent trolls.
Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network, said: “We are pleased that Barclays, a global leader in finance and banking, has joined our community and committed to patent non-aggression in open source software. Risk is evolving as Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) are becoming increasingly aggressive, and target financial services and cloud computing platforms. We will continue to grow our patent non-aggression community with innovators like Barclays and are also committed to balancing our efforts by investing in other means to mitigate PAE risk to open source software.”
Ken Seddon, CEO of LOT Network, said: “We’re pleased to welcome one of the world’s major financial services providers, and a leader in investment banking, into LOT Network. In an industry where risk mitigation is paramount, Barclays’ membership in LOT Network is yet another proof point that membership not only preserves the traditional uses of patents, but is the industry solution of choice for reducing risks and costs associated with PAEs.”
Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group.
About LOT Network
LOT Network is an international community of the world’s leading high-tech companies committed to protecting its members from costly patent troll litigation. LOT Network currently protects more than 1,100 members in 36 countries from litigation from over 2.8 million worldwide patents and counting. Members include market leaders such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Alibaba, Citi, Vanguard, Visa, American Express, Wells Fargo, Union Pay, Fidelity, as well as innovative companies across industries.
About Open Invention Network
Open Invention Network (OIN) is the largest patent non-aggression community in history and supports freedom of action in Linux as a key element of open source software (OSS). Patent non-aggression in core technologies is a cultural norm within OSS, so that the litmus test for authentic behavior in the OSS community includes OIN membership. Funded by Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Sony, SUSE and Toyota, OIN has more than 3,300 community members. The OIN patent license and member cross-licenses are available royalty-free to any party that joins its community.