Has the availability of patents for business methods increased the rate of innovation in the U.S. financial sector? The available evidence suggests that there has been no significant change in the aggregate trend of R&D investments made by financial firms. In this article, Bob Hunt discusses how recent court decisions and proposed federal legislation may change how firms enforce their patents. In addition, he outlines some of the remaining challenges that business method patents pose for financial companies.

This article appeared in the Third Quarter 2008 edition of Business Review.

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