Company granted whistleblower patent
Business Controls. has won a business methods patent for its procedure of preserving whistleblowers anonymity.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted it U.S. Patent No. 8,250,025, which covers incident reporting technology that supports compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, and various Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
According to the company, the foundation of the new patent is "a collection of processes and methods which improve the way hotline tips are reported and handled. For providers of anonymous incident reporting services, the challenge has been managing and protecting the reporting party's identity, while providing enough accurate information that the report can be appropriated and legally addressed."
Anytime a company wins a patent, it is cause for congratulations. At the same time, it would be naive not to mention that business method patents have been hugely controversial. And there have been several outbreaks of patent wars just recently. The banking industry in particular, where there's a lot of whistleblower activity these days, has been on the receiving end of suits filed by patent owners such as DataTreasury. It's common for a patent holder to go after a wide range of industry players.
Banks have an additional layer of protection now in the form of the recently passed America Invents Act, which creates a post-patent grant procedure within the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for certain business method patents. This review period will allow banks that have been sued for patent infringement to challenge the patent at issue. It's unclear to what extent this will give would-be litigants pause when targeting banks.
- here's the article
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