The Bank of America seems to have the idea, that they can defend themselves with patents.
I don’t think things like patent will be relevant anymore, especially when you think about smart contracts. For instance their “real-time conversion system”. Who says that I can’t write a smart contract to go from bitcoin to SAFEcoin with the optimal conversion? The funny thing is they wouldn’t even know that I did that. IMHO the more patents they write, the more ideas they give to people to put ino smart contracts and just totally ignore them, which sounds like a lot of fun.