BBVA creates patent office

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by Antony Peyton

With its increase in innovation BBVA has created a Global Patent Office (GPO) to protect its intellectual property (IP) – particularly in biometrics and artificial intelligence (AI).

The GPO will put the bank’s IP work in a single office and offer collaboration between departments, agents and training.

Don Relyea, director of the BBVA global patent office, says it is “principally interested in utility patents like negotiating processes using biometrics; or how to interact with AI”.

The office will interact with the engineering, design, data and product teams in two of the phases of the bank’s work model. Namely, in the process of creating the first prototype (six weeks) and during the development process, to guide the teams toward patentable solutions. In the final phase of the process (nine months up until the delivery of the minimum viable product, or MVP) the GPO will carry out an intensive consultation with the teams and begin the protection process.

The GPO will create a network of intellectual property agents that will be able to identify those ideas or inventions that could be patented or protected. BBVA will launch a training plan so that the teams know what could be patentable, what the bank is looking for and when agents should contact BBVA.

Its initial objective is to be able to register about ten patents this year and build on that number.

Relyea adds: “The process of obtaining a patent is quite long; between two and five years can pass before a state recognises a patent.”

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