His timely example of such a patent application is a company which makes deals with housebuyers to pay a 10% bonus on the value of the loan when it is paid off if the borrower has met all his obligations on time. Time magazine put the model on its list of the 50 Best Inventions of 2010 link here. Salmon thinks this is a neat idea because it would create an additional incentive not to walk away from an underwater mortgage.
But there is that problem of trying to patent a business model. Moreover, it is not clear to me how this model would work. The company making the offer would have to add its margin on to the market interest rate and who would borrow on those terms? In short, this story needs a lot more explanation to be credible. Moreover, the company pushing the idea has invested a lot in promoting it, raising more questions.