• Apr 18 2019
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  • Category: CAFC Updates

Trading Technologies (“TT”) owns patents relating to a graphical user interface (“GUI”) for electronic trading. IBG and Interactive Brokers petitioned for review of certain claims of the patents patent pursuant to the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents (“CBM review”). The Patent Trial and Appeal Board instituted CBM review and issued final written decisions holding that the patents meet the criteria to be eligible for CBM review, and that the claims are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. With respect to CBM eligibility, TT contests whether its patents are for technological inventions, but the Board found that the claims do not recite a technological feature that is novel and unobvious over the prior art and do not solve a technical problem with a technical solution. The CAFC agrees that patents are not for a technological invention and thus are eligible for CBM review.  With respect to § 101, the Board determined that the claims are directed to the abstract idea of graphing (or displaying) bids and offers to assist a trader to make an order and the CAFC agrees, noting that placing an order based on displayed market information is a fundamental economic practice and the fact that the claims add a degree of particularity as to how an order is placed in this case does not impact the analysis. The Board further held, and the CAFC agrees, that the claims do not contain an inventive concept that transforms the claim into a patent eligible application of the abstract idea, determining that: 1) receiving market in-formation is simply routine data gathering, and displaying information as indicators along a scaled price axis is well-understood, routine, conventional activity that does not add something significantly more to the abstract idea; and 2) that selecting and moving an icon is well-understood, routine, conventional activity.  TT also argues the decisions should all be vacated because CBM review is unconstitutional, based on a right to a jury under the Seventh Amendment, separation of powers under Article III, the Due Process Clause, and the Taking Clause. However, the CAFC finds that these were conclusory assertions with no analysis to the underlying challenge and declines to address the constitutional challenges. Accordingly, the CAFC affirms.

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