JPMorgan's "Bitcoin-Alternative" Patent Rejected (175 Times)

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier in the week, we detailed JPMorgan's attempt to create their own "web cash" alternative to Bitcoin (and Sberbank's talk of doing the same). However, as M-Cam details, following the failure of the first 154 'claims', JPMorgan issued a further 20 claims - which were summarily rejected (making JPMorgan 0-175 for approved claims). As they note, The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO)’s handling of applications like JPMorgan’s ‘984 application ("Bitcoin Alternative") highlights the need to fix a broken system - patent applications of existing inventions need to be finally rejected and not be resurrected as zombies (no matter how powerful the claimant).


Via M-Cam,

“BITCOIN is booming.”...?

On August 5, 2013 JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPMorgan) filed an application for an electronic mobile payment system which has eerie similarities to the popular online currency Bitcoin. Unfortunately for JPMorgan, all of the claims, totaling 175 claims, as of October 18, 2013, for published US patent application 20130317984 (the ‘984 application) have been either cancelled or rejected.


Below is a view of JPMorgan’s ‘984 application.

After the initial 154 claims were abruptly cancelled, JPMorgan’s attorney submitted 20 additional claims which the examiner, Jagdish Patel, issued non?final rejections for all 20 of the new claims in October 2013. This makes JPMorgan 0?175 in terms of approved claims. The last 20 claims were rejected for non?patentability and indefiniteness under Title 35 United States Code (U.S.C.) Sections 101 and 112.

However, Mr. Patel might well have rejected the claims because of the ‘On Sale Bar’ rule under 35 U.S.C. Section 102(b), meaning that if the invention has been on sale for over a year then the invention is no longer patentable. Under the ‘On Sale Bar’ rule, the application could be invalid because it closely mirrors Bitcoin with features such as making free and anonymous electronic payments and Bitcoin has been in circulation since 2009.


The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO)’s handling of applications like JPMorgan’s ‘984 application highlights the need to fix a broken system.

Patent applications of existing inventions need to be finally rejected and not be resurrected as zombies.


Part of the problem of a system in which one third of patents are seriously or fatally impaired is that companies are allowed to patent items that their competitors have already invented.

Obviously, large financial institutions want in on the online alternative currency action. But they would be well advised to pursue novel and non?obvious approaches that do not duplicate existing commercial options with respect to a virtual medium of exchange.

Full Patent Glossary here (PDF)

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lolmao500's picture

Anyone or corporation who tries to submit a patent and is REFUSED should be banned from submitting a patent for the next 12 months.

In other news... shit about to hit the fan in a major way in the middle-east.

Ynet: IDF deploying large force on -Lebanon border, where a Lebanese soldier reportedly fired into Israel earlier.

This could set off a chain reaction... Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Russia...

Pladizow's picture

The patent office has clearly not seen Jaime's cuff links!

ZerOhead's picture

Unfortunately for JPMorgan, all of the claims, totaling 175 claims, as of October 18, 2013, for published US patent application 20130317984 (the ‘984 application) have been either cancelled or rejected.


Jamie... listen up Bro...

Someone has clearly been stealing the secret bag full of cash you need to send to the officials in charge of granting patent applications. Probably just another one of your rogue lawyers or bankers. To be safe you should fire them all.

Oh... and don't forget to patent air, water and gold while you're at it you crazy motherfucker!

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

I think JPM just forgot the canvas bag attachment that goes along with the application.

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

Uh oh, here comes a flock of wah wahs...ugh BTC thread.

One World Mafia's picture

Doesn't matter that it was rejected:

First, JPMorgan does NOT have a patent. JPMorgan has a pending patent application with claims that are potentially relevant to Bitcoin.

Second, the patent application of interest is old news. The application dates back over a decade, which precedes the advent of Bitcoin. This strongly undermines the notion that JPMorgan Chase is chasing Bitcoin’s technology.

Nevertheless, the current scenario raises the interesting question as to whether JPMorgan’s application could potentially cover Bitcoin’s technology when that application issues into a patent.




 The application claims priority back to provisional patent applications filed as early as May 3, 1999. Accordingly, it is highly unlikely that JP Morgan filed this application with any sort of motivation to rival then-non-existant Bitcoin. However, this chronology gives rise to some interesting questions:

Could Bitcoin’s technology infringe on JPMorgan’s patent claims (when they issue)?

As discussed above, JPMorgan’s claims have not issued. (They need to be examined before they issue). However, what if the issued claims cover Bitcoin’s technology? That scenario could be a Bitcoin Killer.


It's actually pretty standard in many instances - i.e. there's nothing amateurish about it. Specifically, if someone comes up with a half dozen related-but-different inventions, it may be more efficient to write one giant application than a half dozen applications that repeat parts of each other. That one giant application may then have [drumroll] 170 claims. And when you file it, you actually file one and cancel claims 21-170 in a preliminary amendment on the filing date, "somehow managing to avoid paying the excess claims fees". And then later (or at the same time), you file a divisional application and cancel claims 1-20 and claims 41-170. And another canceling claims 1-40 and 61-170. Etc.


doomandbloom's picture

If you like your patent, you can keep it!

fonestar's picture

My God! 

fonestar is so relieved!!  If Jamie had his way this would have been the end (for real this time) of Bitcoin!!

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

You're MDB. That is a 100% MDB comment. You're a sick man....

fonestar's picture

I'm definitely not MDB but I have been to his site and see that even Trav777 is an "accredited reporter"?  WTF?

Harlequin001's picture

And yet you still try and argue that it's not.

Nothing but a two bit ramper for your own benefit eh...

So we can agree then, Bitcoin has a lifespan for as long as it takes for the patent to expire and then everyone tries to get out at the same time with no buyers.

Murf_DaSurf's picture

Too bad its DOA thanks to CAFC , see Alice

Clowns on Acid's picture, but he did invent Al Gore.

e-man's picture

+1 for the Joe Walsh reference!

Hal n back's picture

JPM is merely filing too broad a patent claim. Its ok--the parent office is actually a profit center for the USG as filing fees have to be made and coincidently JPM has deep pockets--the Fed and Taxpayer.

Mr Pink's picture

BYE BYE JPMorgue ! You and the rest of banking cartel can buy or mine BTC like everyone else

Freddie's picture

Nah.  Russia already bitch slapped the Saudi-Israel team over Syria.

Rick Blaine's picture

"Anyone or corporation who tries to submit a patent and is REFUSED should be banned from submitting a patent for the next 12 months."


Assuming you are being remotely serious...

For starters, when you file a patent application (non-provisional), you usually don't hear back from the Examiner re substantive examination for at least 12 months...usually more like 18 months...depending on how busy that particular art unit in the UPSTO is...

...and then you may not get a "final" rejection on your claims for another six months or so...

So, you could already easily be two years out from the filing date when you get your first "final" rejection...and "final" rejection doesn't mean the gig is up - you still have options.

For one, if you REALLY think the Examiner is wrong, you can file an appeal - which may add another 12-18 months to the process...if not more.

So, my point there is that it's not like you get a "real" FINAL decision within a week or something...and in the meantime, you may want to file more applications...

Second, just because someone files an application for a claimed invention where the prior art is all over it (i.e., there is clearly nothing patentable), that doesn't at all mean the applicant did something "wrong" - because you never know what's going to turn up in the prior art - it's impossible to know for sure (however, the applicant does have a duty to disclose the "relevant" prior art that they know about).

For example, if you filed an application for a legit, honest-to-god time machine today (that actually worked), for all you know someone filed an application for the exact same thing yesterday - and there would be no way for you to know about it generally takes about 18 months for applicatons to get published for everyone to see.

I'm not saying JP Morgan wasn't "abusing" the system or something here...I don't know...I'd have to look at the file warpper of the application (which anyone can do at the USPTO's website).

If they just kept filing "bullshit" "requests for continued examination" (RCEs) (which is another option after getting a "final" rejection), when they really should've known that there was really nothing patentable here, OK, that's "not cool" (or some people would say so anyway).


TheHound73's picture

I'm sure there are concrete examples of this in other contexts?......   As far as Bitcoin is concerned, we all gonna need a whole shit ton moar nails fo dis here coffin.

USGrant's picture

An examiner gets two "office actions" per patent for credit to his quota which usually leads to an intitial rejection to which the applicant has to respond. Then on the second examination is where the true validity is decided. There have been cases where the first examination leads to a grant but that would be the surprise.

Harrison's picture

Not only is this article stupid, but so is your comment.

It's sad that you people have so little understanding of how the patent system works, and yet you insist on bloviating about it.


A patent specialist

TheHound73's picture

Thanks for enlightening us, bro, +1 Internets

Dear Infinity's picture

I bet Jaimie just threw a tempertantrum.

The Gooch's picture

Does that 12 acre basement gourmet take the bitcoin reservation yet?

THey grow their own scallops you know.

Mr Pink's picture

I guess Jamie hasn't figured out that Bitcoin is great for bribery payments!

Exponere Mendaces's picture

Even if JPM managed to get the patent, it still would be down to the execution. As noted before, Canada made a big deal out of their "Mint Chip" program, which as far as I can tell, never had any users. It takes a lot more than fanfare and a patent to make a payment system, you also need people willing to use it.

JP Morgan haven't learned anything since their twitter debacle, and it shows.

HedgeAccordingly's picture

Was Greenspan a consultant?

You must say he had good timing with his words.

The Gooch's picture

Whocoodanode Boston Bandar has history!

We should classify those pesky WH visitor logs...

ZerOhead's picture

9/11 & Saudi involvement is never off topic.

It's the turd that will not flush...

Seize Mars's picture

Nice try. We know there were Saudis involved, because their passports flew out of the expoding airplanes and landed on the street below. Are you fucking kidding me? You actually believe that bullshit?

The Saudis are incapable (yes, incapable) of killing anything except a case of scotch and a pocket of Khat.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Nice. Now if they can just figure out where the Saudis got the Directed Energy weapons that brought down the towers (and melted hundreds of automobiles parked near the towers) then we can stamp this thing "case closed"!

LawsofPhysics's picture

Trying to patent something that is open source is akin to patenting freedom.  Useless paper-pushers.

If banks can't become just banks again and insist on being middle-men in theft, they deserve everything that's coming...

Ignatius's picture

"Trying to patent something that is open source..."

Like, say... life?

Monsanto et al come in at the end of millenia of natural selection and 10,000 years of human cultivation, shot gun a new unrelated and foreign gene into a crop and call it ALL their own with a patent... that gets granted!  Yikes.

YHC-FTSE's picture

I was on the verge of another one of my massive rants, but you basically (& succinctly) said it all for me.  

Patents are issued on the basis of protection - to prevent others  from making commercial profit from your invention. It doesn't don't give ownership of an idea, since all ideas are free. I don't know about anyone else but these thieving bastards trying (& succeeding sometimes) to steal and monopolise all ideas makes me seethe. As mentioned,  it has gotten to the ridiculous level of feudal corporcracy where life itself is being patented by fuckers like Monsanto.  What if your child is born with genes that had been patented? Pay a licence to Monsanto?  Shit I'd better stop before I spend another hour ranting. The whole system is insane. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

This kind of shit would almost make a bunch of bankers want to push the idea down our throats that we need a pure free market where they can duplicate someone else's work product and repackage it as their own with their superior capital that enables them to market the idea to the masses and out compete the inventor of the idea, thus relegating the inventor to poverty and (if he's lucky) a footnote in history.   Too bad that pesky .gov patent office fucking things up for JPM's freedom.

hidingfromhelis's picture

patent rehypothecation not so many words...loosely translated

css1971's picture

No they can go right ahead.

They now just can't stop others doing the same.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I have to say you have a point.  I did a little research on this and it looks like one of the rare occasions where Bitcoin itself is not patented, so JPM was simply trying (but failed) to secure a patent on an idea already widely in circulation but that itself is not patented to prevent the competition.   So I stand corrected as far as that goes.  I still think patents are a good idea to protect inventors and prevent outright theft of ideas by gigantic corporations.

BigJim's picture

Then I hate to have to inform you that the vast majority of patents are owned by gigantic corporations, who then use them to stifle innovation.

LetThemEatRand's picture

That's true, but in a lot of cases they buy them from the inventor.  So the guy who developed the better mousetrap gets his just rewards.

dark pools of soros's picture

bitcoin is really fucking your brain isn't it?