Chart Trading Development challenges PTAB decisions on patents for graphical representation of market

Maria Nikolova

The list of appellees includes Interactive Brokers, CQG, NinjaTrader, and TradeStation.

Patent wars over trading technology continue at US courts, with the latest example involving a couple of patents owned by Chart Trading Development (CTD).

On October 26, 2017, CTD filed two cases at the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) from August 18, 2017 about two of its patents – the ’190 Patent and the ’611 Patent.

In August, PTAB sided with a number of brokers and technology companies, including Interactive Brokers LLC, CQG, NinjaTrader and TradeStation, in that a number of the claims about these patents were actually patent ineligible. CTD is now appealing the decisions.

Let’s summarize what the patents in question cover.

  • 611 Patent

The patent discloses “methods and apparatus for providing an interactive graphical representation of a market.” The ’611 Patent states that financial information used to create a graph may be information typically sorted in a tabular format, such as a spreadsheet. According to the ’611 Patent, graphs are easier to read and understand than tables and interactive graphs facilitate trading. The system in the ’611 Patent can be implemented using a computer network in which a suitable workstation implements a graphical trading interface application and communicates with a server linked to a back office clearing center that causes transactions to be cleared and verified.

In response to user actions, such as moving a cursor over a point, an information overlay may be displayed. The ’611 Patent also discloses displaying a trading dialog box overlay in response to a user’s selection of a portion of the graph to allow the user to place a trade directly from the graphical trading interface. The trading dialog box allows the user to enter parameters, such as a price and transaction size, to complete buy and sell transactions by selecting a button, and to close the dialog box.

  • 190 Patent

The Patent discloses “systems and methods for providing an interactive graphical representation of a market for an electronic trading”. This is a method for providing an interactive graphical representation of a market, the method comprising:

  • displaying a graph having a first axis and a second axis on a display of a workstation, wherein the graph includes a curve corresponding to a range of values of a financial instrument;
  • allowing a user to select a portion of the graph;
  • and in response to the user selection of the portion of the graph, displaying an interactive trading dialog box on the display of the workstation, the interactive trading dialog box being configured to receive an instruction from the user.

Recently, Trading Technologies has also challenged a number of PTAB decisions concerning its patents. The list of appellees in these appeals also includes Interactive Brokers and TradeStation.

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