Trading Technologies files another case challenging patent ruling

Maria Nikolova

The company challenges the PTAB decision on its ‘768 patent, titled, “Click Based Trading with Intuitive Grid Display of Market Depth”.

Shortly after the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a motion by Trading Technologies that would have led to an increase in the number of cases it has filed contesting the rulings of the the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the company has launched another action arguing against a PTAB decision.

A case, captioned Trading Technologies Intl. v. IBG LLC (0:18-bcaag-01302), was officially launched by Trading Technologies on December 18, 2017. This is the seventh such case brought by TT since July 2017. All of the actions in question challenge PTAB’s decisions over TT’s patents. In all of the cases, including the latest one, IBG LLC, Interactive Brokers, LLC, TradeStation Group, Inc., and TradeStation Securities, Inc. are named as Appellees.

The case, filed on December 18th at the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, challenges all decisions made by the PTAB on October 17, 2017. These rulings relate to patent U.S. Patent No. 7,693,768 B2 (“the ’768 patent”).

The ’768 patent is titled “Click Based Trading with Intuitive Grid Display of Market Depth” and was issued on April 6, 2010. The invention of the ’768 patent “is directed to the electronic trading of commodities.” Id. at 1:16–17. The ’768 patent discloses a graphical user interface (GUI), named the Mercury display, and a method of using the Mercury display to displaying market information and placing trade orders for a commodity on an electronic exchange.

In its October ruling, the PTAB sided with IBG LLC, Interactive Brokers, LLC, TradeStation Group, Inc., and TradeStation Securities, Inc. in finding that the patent is subject to a covered business method (CBM) patent review and in determining that claims 1–23 of the ’768 patent are unpatentable.

In explaining the reasons for its decision, the PTAB said that rather than reciting a technical feature that is novel or unobvious over the prior art, the claims of the ’768 patent generally recite trading software that is implemented on a conventional computer. That is why, the Board determined that the ’768 patent is not for a technological invention.

Also, the PTAB found that the patent claims are directed to the abstract idea of “placing an order based on observed (plotted) market information, as well as updating market information.” The Board agreed with the brokers that what the technology described by the patent does could be performed in the human mind or with the aid of pen-and-paper with little difficulty because the claim requires plotting only a few data points and that the claims are directed to commodity trading which is a fundamental economic practice long prevalent in the US system of commerce.

The Board said that placing an order based on displayed market information, such as the inside market and few other orders, as well as updating the market information is a fundamental economic and conventional business practice.

Trading Technologies is seeking overruling of PTAB’s decisions.

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