A US Supreme Court action last week is expected to contribute to an increase in the number of patents financial services firms seek.

The Supreme Court Monday let stand a July, 1998 appeals court decision which permits companies to receive patents for sophisticated data processing systems which rely on proprietary mathematical formulas. In making the decision, the court rejected a request from State Street Bank & Trust Co. to hear its challenge of the right of Signature Financial Group to patent its so-called hub-and-spoke data processing system.

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