Trade marks , patents etc

( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #1

just out of interest , with Starling now having got its restricted banking licence today but not yet showing what they have designed for their app , does M… have any legal rights to any of its functionality, terms, etc from being copied / used by others - is it possible , or worthwhile to patent any of your USPs - are they unique enough - freeze card - etc I seem to remember Mondo not being able to use “good to spend” or something like that

  • presumably most of your “competitors” have already become your card using customers to see what you are doing and if they can copy it / add to it

(tom) #2

We don’t have any patents over that kind of functionality.

I think our competitive advantage comes from the ability to iterate very quickly rather than from any particular set of features. Other people can try to copy the features we have today, and they might get there in 2-3 years. But by that time, we should be a generation ahead.


Wouldn’t this be a problem when someone else patents your features after you implement them, and decide to file lawsuits against you?


Would that not nullify the claim if you can demonstrate that you were using it before the patent was applied for/granted? Or is the system not that logical?

( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #5

I think maybe I am being a bit too paranoid after the name change enforced upon M… :wink: in this ever more litigious world, where you can throw money at a perceived problem to have rights on how you say “freeze card” being unique to Mondo :wink: which most of the time would not be a problem and wasted expenditure if the problem never arises , I think I raised the issue more of a nudge to M… to be thinking about protecting themselves against future problems - which I am sure they are way ahead of the game on than me …now - having gone through it with M… which I think they have to stop using by Saturday 16th ( ? )

(Dan) #6

Fortunately this scenario is typically defined as Prior Art.

Although, there have been countless patents approved even with enormous amounts of Prior Art; usually using broad/non-specific language.


Ya. I think :mondo: should look at patenting some of the technologies, just to be armed with something if some one decides to sue :mondo:.

(James Billingham) #8

For reference, the term Mondo had to stop using was “Safe to Spend” which is held by Simple -


I can’t believe you can trademark ‘safe to spend’ in a generic context. At best you’re trademarking something very broad, at worst you’re stopping other people saying things that are true just because that particular wording is yours. It’s factually true that it is safe to spend, it’s not some unique slogan.

(Mike) #10

Afaik, you can only patent IP that isn’t public domain already.

If you really want banking to improve in general, don’t encourage/call for anti-competitive behaviour like this.