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BofA clinches record number of patents with AI, information security in focus

FILE PHOTO: A Bank of America logo is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City

By Lananh Nguyen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America secured a record 644 U.S. patents in 2023, up 13% from the previous year, as the lender focused on information security, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, it said on Wednesday.

The second-largest U.S. lender now has 6,600 granted patents or pending applications worldwide, including more than 800 related to AI. Its more than 7,300 inventors span 42 U.S. states and 14 countries.

"Innovation is everybody's business - this is not a lab or some small group tucked away," said Aditya Bhasin, BofA's Chief Technology and Information Officer. "We are thinking about how AI can be used to make us able to serve our clients better."

For example, the bank uses some patented technology for its virtual assistant, Erica, to give customers alerts about their spending habits or reminders about recurring transactions.

BofA also clinched patents in programming technology, online or mobile banking and payments last year, it said.

The banking giant spends $12 billion a year on technology. It plans to allocate $3.8 billion to new initiatives this year.

(Reporting by Lananh Nguyen in New York; Editing by Stephen Coates)