Trading Technologies appeals legal decision in patent infringement case against Interactive Brokers, TradeStation

Maria Nikolova

The legal fight is about a patent for a user interface for an electronic trading system that allows a remote trader to view trends for an item, which assists the trader to anticipate demand for this item.

The area of electronic trading is as challenging with regard to patents as any other business area. A piece of proof for this comes from a raft of legal actions surrounding Patent No. 7,533,056 B2, or the so-called ‘056 patent owned by Trading Technologies International, Inc.

Trading Technologies had sued a number of companies, including Interactive Brokers and TradeStation, over an alleged infringement of the patent, which describes “a user interface for an electronic trading system that allows a remote trader to view trends for an item, which assists the trader to anticipate demand for an item”. The patent covers a method of operation used by a computer for displaying transactional information and facilitating trading in a system where orders comprise a bid type or an offer type.

In February this year, following a petition by the brokers sued, the Final Written Decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) said the claims 1–15 of the ‘056 patent are unpatentable. PTAB sided with the petitioners that the claims of the patent are directed to well-understood, routine, and conventional steps of receiving market information and displaying it graphically to a trader, who uses the information to facilitate trading a commodity.

Furthermore, the Board saw no indication in the ‘056 patent that the inventors from Trading Technologies invented gathering market information, displaying it to a trader, and using the information to facilitate trading a commodity. The use of a computer to perform these functions also was known in the art at the time of the invention, PTAB said.

The Final Decision stated that the ‘056 patent claims simply provide a graphical representation on a computer of what traders have done in their minds since trading began.”

In April this year, PTAB denied Trading Technologies’ request for rehearing.

Now, the company disagrees. As per the latest filings with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Trading Technologies appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from the Final Written Decision and from the Decision Denying Patent Owner’s Request for Rehearing, and from all underlying orders, decisions, rulings, institutions, and opinions regarding the ‘056 patent.

The remedy sought on appeal is vacatur of the Final Written Decision and/or, at a minimum, reversal of the Final Written Decision.

The appellees in the case, captioned Trading Technologies Intl. v. IBG LLC (0:17-bcaag-02257) are: IBG LLC; Interactive Brokers, LLC; TradeStation Group, Inc.; TradeStation Securities, Inc.; TradeStation Technologies, Inc, and IBFX, Inc.

The date of the case filing is July 3, 2017.

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