A layout of the customer account information transfer system designed by ten Washington Mutual inventors.

A system developed by Washington Mutual  to automatically transfer customer information from an old account to a new account has finally been recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office  .

Though the Seattle thrift failed three years, last week the government awarded the bankrupt shell company of the closed bank a patent. According to public record, WaMu Inc. filed for the patent on Nov. 29, 2010.

According to the patent application, the system — developed by a group of ten inventors from Washington, Oregon and California — works out the kinks customers encounter when transferring from one bank to another or opening new accounts.

“Transferring bank account information from one or more financial institutions to a new financial institution require customers to manually close their old bank accounts and to manually reestablish previously existing services (such as online bill pay) at their new bank accounts,” said the inventors in their patent application.

“The process of manually reestablishing old bank account services at the new bank account can be inefficient and can waste time, energy, and resources,” patent documents said.

The system the WaMu inventors developed automized the process of switching over to a new institution.

While people are often quick to point out the damage that was done by WaMu’s foray into risky lending, it’s good to remember the Northwest bank for its admirable qualities, too. The recent patent serves as an example of how the closed bank’s employees made a positive lasting impression on the banking industry.

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