Barclays signals new anti-patent troll strategy


Rory O'Neill

Barclays signals new anti-patent troll strategy

Electric Egg /

Groups targeting patent assertion entities (PAEs) are aiming to enlist more members from the financial services sector, after recruiting Barclays.

Barclays announced yesterday, February 16, that it had joined the LOT Network and Open Invention Network (OIN) Community—the first major European bank to do so. The news came just a day after Canada-based TD Bank also announced that it had joined the OIN Community.

Both anti-PAE groups said they hoped the news would “inspire other financial institutions and service providers to join the efforts to protect against patent trolls”.

Explaining Barclays’ decision, the managing director at the bank’s chief technology office, Lee Braine, said: “Spurious claims from PAEs 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."

Both LOT and OIN operate non-aggression commitments based on a portfolio of patents contributed by members, aiming to shrink the pool of patents available for PAEs to assert.

Barclays suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic had “further fanned the flames of the patent troll threat”. It accused PAEs, or so-called patent trolls, of asserting “patents of questionable validity” with the aim of achieving a quick settlement.

“We remain focused on leveraging the best technologies for our platforms and are excited to join the OIN, that supports protection from patent infringement claims for the greater good of the wider innovation community,” said Josh Death, IP and patentable innovations lead at TD Bank.

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Barclays, bank, financial services, LOT Network, Open Invention Network, TD Bank, PAEs, patent trolls