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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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A Patent for an Index Fund Method?

Robert D. Arnott, Chairman of Research Affiliates, wants to patent a method for a stock index fund based on certain fundamental measures such as revenue, etc. Here is the article.

The problem is that fundamentally-weighted index funds (such as Wisdom Tree's) have been around for some time. More importantly, there is tons of prior art that this method is founded on, such as the research of Fama and French.

Question: if he files a patent on this, can anyone file a brief with the USPTO opposing it? Inquiring minds want to know.


Comments

You might want to contact Polly Shouse or Thomas Loeb at Mellon Capital Management. Basically, they are the inventors of the index fund industry. Look at www.mcm.com. We were doing this stuff back in the early '80s - I was a consultant working with Polly at MCM on the development of index fund balancing algorithms then.

Thanks for the update. Did the work by Polly, Thomas and you predate the Vanguard Index Funds? Did Jack Bogle make a contribution? Were there any other forerunners in the development of index funds?
I would use the index fund regardless and should they sue, I would send them prior artwork, if they continue with the suit, I would let the lawyers handle it and ultimately collect on legal fees if possible.

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