Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fun with Patents in Financial Services

It's great fun to browse the United States Patent Office to see what your colleagues have come up with in the financial industry. It's even more fun to see who has patented what. In the search page, type your favorite company into the "Assignee" field. Even though you and I can create a great technology, and we *may* be able to be listed as the Inventor, we usually have to Assign the work to the company we work for.

Just take a look at one of the patents. It's from Goldman Sachs. Andy Smith is the creator of Goldman's .NET client framework, OCEAN. In that respect, we are counterparts.

It's also fun to se who was credited as the Inventors of a technology. For example, some Merrill Lynch patents list (the late) Don Trojan and Ed Keenan as the Inventors. I know for a fact that Don and Ed were managers at Merrill, and in my opinion, probably never got anywhere near the technology. (Ed was my wife's first boss at ML, and was a pure manager. Don was my wife's boss at Drexel Burnham Lambert.)

If you want to see the diagrams that are associated with the patent, then click on the Images link. However, you need to download a TIF viewer for your web browser before you can view the images.

As I write this, let's see if some of our favorite characters have patented anything....

John Powers of Digipede : Nothing.... But don't look at this and this.

Geva Perry of GigaSpaces : Nada .... (Maybe they have patents in Israel?) But let's try one of GigaSpaces' competitors, Gemstone. Well, lookee here and here. And here.

You guys should learn the lessons of old Xerox, and make a beeline to your favorite patent attorney! Patents are some of your greatest assets.

©2007 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

2 comments: said...

Is the "late" Dan Trojan the one who lived in New Canaan, CT and loved running and exercising? I knew he was sick but did not know he had died....

marc said...

I was talking about DON (not DAN) Trojan. I re-confirmed wth my wife (who used to work for him both at Drexel Burnham, as well as at Merrill), and yep, he died several years ago.