- Companies that aren’t in the technology business are making and patenting tech inventions to fit their needs, perhaps creating future revenue streams and taking business away from generic tech companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Businesses in niche markets like banking and retail are producing tech products to fit their needs that could also potentially be marketed to other companies.
- Bank of America received 232 patents in 2014.
Such work also shows investors that the companies take innovation seriously. Several companies have opened innovation labs as well.
“The best way for a business to protect their investment in R&D is to patent their ideas,” said Dave Ballai, chief information officer and vice president of operations at Reed Technology. “As part of the senior leadership, CIOs have to have a willingness to protect the company’s intellectual property.”
Equifax has patented a system for monitoring child identity theft and Walgreens won a patent for integrating pharmacy and health data. Meanwhile, Bank of America has increased its efforts to win patents in the last five years. In 2014, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company received 232 patents.
Some companies are even generating technology products for others for free. Last week, Walmart announced that it will open-source cloud technology it built following its acquisition of startup OneOps, making it freely available to anyone. Walmart said open sourcing the technology will help other companies avoid “vendor lock-in.”