Trading Technologies files fourth patent ruling appeal in less than three months

Maria Nikolova

Trading Technologies challenges PTAB’s ruling that claims 1-36 of its Patent ‘374 concerning the “Mercury” display are patent ineligible.

Trading Technologies Inc continues to challenge decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). On September 27, 2017, Trading Technologies filed a notice that it appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from PTAB’s Final Written Decision entered on August 7, 2017, and from all underlying orders, decisions, rulings, institutions, and opinions regarding U.S. Patent No. 7,904,374, aka the ’374 patent.

The remedy sought on appeal is reversal of the issues decided adversely to Patent Owner in the Final Written Decision.

The list of Respondents or Appellees in this action includes Interactive Brokers Group LLC, also known as IBG LLC, Interactive Brokers LLC, Tradestation Group, Inc., and Tradestation Securities, Inc. In preceding legal actions, Trading Technologies has accused the brokers of patent infringement.

The ’374 patent that is at the center of the appeal, filed on September 27, 2017, is titled “Click Based Trading with Intuitive Grid Display of Market Depth.”. The ’374 patent describes a display, named the “Mercury” display, and method of using the display to trade a commodity. The patent explains that the Mercury display is a graphic user interface (GUI) that dynamically displays the market depth of a commodity traded in a market and allows a trader to place an order efficiently.

In August this year, PTAB agreed with the brokers that at least claim 1 of the ’374 patent does not recite a novel and non-obvious technological feature. The specification of the ’374 patent treats as well-known all potentially technological aspects of the claims.

The brokers have argued that “contending with price fluctuations in a market is not a technological problem.” and that “the ’374 patent does not offer a technical solution” because “it does not claim a more accurate mouse or a computer that responds faster.” PTAB found that the ’374 patent does not solve a technical problem with a technical solution.

PTAB also explained back then that to the degree that claim 1 requires a GUI, it does so in the most basic sense, only requiring generic graphical locations that are selectable by a user. Also, the Board found that the claims are not directed to any particular way of programming or designing software, but merely claim the resulting system and not any specific improvement in the way a computer operates.

Concerning claim 1, PTAB found that Trading Technologies failed to identify an inventive concept in the claims.

PTAB has also ruled that claims 2– 35 are patent ineligible. These claims further define: the information mapped to the graphical locations (claims 2–11); the orientation of the graphical locations on the screen (claims 12, 33, and 34); displaying additional information (claims 13–18); and features associated with receiving and executing the user’s command (claims 19, 20, 23–27, and 35). According to PTAB, nothing in those claims removes them from abstraction or provides an inventive concept sufficient to save the claims from ineligibility.

This is the fourth PTAB decision appeal launched by Trading Technologies in less than three months. All of the four cases name IBG LLC, Interactive Brokers LLC, Tradestation Group, Inc., and Tradestation Securities, Inc. as Respondents or Appellees. The other appeals concern the ’996 patent and the ‘056 patent.

The latest case is captioned Trading Technologies Intl. v. IBG LLC (0:17-bcaag-02621).

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