19 January 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Trading tech patents upheld under Alice

Trading Technologies International’s electronic trading patents have been upheld under the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v CLS Bank.

In the 18 January decision, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a $16 million jury verdict that Trading Technologies won against CQG, affirming that the patents do cover eligible subject matter.

The patents cover a “method and system for reducing the time it takes for a trader to place a trade when electronically trading on an exchange, thus increasing the likelihood that the trader will have orders filled at desirable prices and quantities”.

On appeal, CQG’s sole argument was that the claims were directed to patent-ineligible subject matter.

The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that they were directed towards an inventive concept.

Upholding this decision, the Federal Circuit confirmed: “Abstraction is avoided or overcome when a proposed new application or computer-implemented function is not simply the generalised use of a computer as a tool to conduct a known or obvious process, but instead is an improvement to the capability of the system as a whole.”

“It is not disputed that the Trading Technologies International System improves the accuracy of trader transactions, utilising a software implemented programmatic met.”

“The claimed subject matter is ‘directed to a specific improvement to the way computers operate’ ... The claimed graphic user interface method imparts a specific functionality to a trading system.”

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