FICO Patents ‘Revenue Assurance Analytics’

Every month sees new battles waged over who owns the intellectual property rights to new technologies. Now it seems like the the battleground might extend to revenue assurance. This April, US vendor FICO (the rebranded name of Fair Isaac Corporation) obtained a US patent for ‘revenue assurance analytics’; see here. The description of the patent is broad enough to raise questions about whether other vendors have established products which may infringe FICO’s patent. The patent covers such general activities as a two-feed reconciliation of data records, profile-driven metrics relating to reconciliation, and scoring the severity of issues found.

FICO’s revenue assurance analytics patent was originally filed in 2007, and the vendor has a track record of securing patent rights. Taking a look at the full list of their 69 patents, a number of them have implications for rivals in the revenue assurance and fraud management sphere. As well as several patents covering methods to detect fraud, I noticed this one regarding a ‘network assurance analytic system’. This patent begins by discussing causes of revenue leakage, and goes on to describe a system “configured to monitor telecommunications networks, detect errors or fraud in those telecommunications networks, and provide solutions to resolve the errors or reduce the fraud”.

It is relatively rare to see announcements from vendors relating to securing intellectual property rights for their products. With FICO establishing a track record in the long process of actively securing IPR, we could be heading for some very interesting and challenging times in the RA and FMS markets. It seems that FICO secured a head start on IPR whilst other firms were still enjoying the relative boom times for RA and FMS. Questions to now ponder include how FICO will exercise and defend their rights, and how other vendors will respond.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others.   Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a founding member of Qatar's National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group, and is an editorial advisor to Black Swan. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.   Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric's history as editor.