Quoting a PeerFX 10/9/2007 7:27 PM EDT discussion page comment (emphasis mine),
Intellectual Property: PeerFX has a patent on several peer-to-peer currency services (not mentioned in the show), so there is a barrier to entry for other companies. Additionally, a single bank is not able to perform the same service as PeerFX due to the patent, but also do to the fact that they would be restricted to members of their own bank. This restriction would limit the pool of peers and eliminate the ability to properly match USD-CAD conversions.
I would love to read and look at PeerFX‘s patent, assuming it is an issued patent, to see the claims and what the patent actually covers. But unfortunately/unluckily I was unable to find PeerFX’s patent in the US Patent Database nor the Canadian Patent Database (data current through October 9, 2007) using keywords like peer to peer, currency exchange, etc. I’ve also looked at the US Patent application database which also returns no related patent results.
I wonder will someone from PeerFX shine some light on the patent? For example, is the patent issued or is it in the application stage? If it is not issued, there is still a risk that it may not be granted and as such, probably not a good idea to say “PeerFX has a patent“. Also, patent is not a fool-proof thing as sometimes patents can be invalidated. For example, Google happens to have a patent granted by the USPTO today and from the looks of it, there is a chance that it may be invalidated and I am sure Sun is not going to let Google by easily on this one. Will see.
By the way, the name PeerFX is not trademarked yet. For that, I suppose some legal criteria must be met first.