Intellectual property is a component of our ability to be a leading payment services provider. We rely on a combination of intellectual
property laws, confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our proprietary technology and our brand. We have registered, or applied for the registration of, U.S., U.K. and other international trademarks, service marks, and
domain names and will continue to seek such protection. Additionally, we own issued patents in the U.S., and have filed patent applications in several countries, including the U.S. and U.K., that cover certain of our proprietary technologies related
to payment solutions, transaction processing and other products and services. Over time, we have assembled and continue to assemble a portfolio of patents, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, domain names and trade secrets covering our products
and services. We do not believe our technology position is dependent on any single patent. We also believe that the life of our patent portfolio is adequate to cover the expected lives of our products and services. Successful third-party claims of
intellectual property infringement, including patent infringement, may limit or disrupt our ability to sell our products and services. As such, we defend third party claims of infringement as necessary.
As of December 31, 2018,
we had 8,186 employees globally, of whom 4,331 were located in the U.S. As of December 31, 2018, total employees included 754 in Technology Solutions employees 1,057 Merchant Solutions employees, 85 Issuer Solutions employees, 4,953 IT and
Operations employees, and 1,337 general and administrative employees.
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