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Trading Technologies v. CQG, et. al.

Representative Claim

‘304Patent:

  1. A method for displaying market information relating to and facilitating trading of a commodity being traded in an electronic exchange having an inside market with a highest bid price and a lowest ask price on a graphical user interface, the method comprising:

dynamically displaying a first indicator in one of a plurality of locations in a bid display region, each location in the bid display region corresponding to a price level along a common static price axis, the first indicator representing quantity associated with at least one order to buy the commodity at the highest bid price currently available in the market;

dynamically displaying a second indicator in one of a plurality of locations in an ask display region, each location in the ask display region corresponding to a price level along the common static price axis, the second indicator representing quantity associated with at least one order to sell the commodity at the lowest ask price currently available in the market;

displaying the bid and ask display regions in relation to fixed price levels positioned along the common static price axis such that when the inside market changes, the price levels along the common static price axis do not move and at least one of the first and second indicators moves in the bid or ask display regions relative to the common static price axis;

displaying an order entry region comprising a plurality of locations for receiving commands to send trade orders, each location corresponding to a price level along the common static price axis; and

in response to a selection of a particular location of the order entry region by a single action of a user input device, setting a plurality of parameters for a trade order relating to the commodity and sending the trade order to the electronic exchange.

Posture:

The CQG companies appealed the decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, holding that the asserted patents recite patent-eligible subject matter in terms of 35 U.S.C. § 101.

Abstract Idea: No

The district court first applied Step 1 of this two-step framework. The court held that, rather than reciting “a mathematical algorithm,” “a fundamental economic or longstanding commercial practice,” or “a challenge in business,” the challenged patents “solve problems of prior graphical user interface devices . . . in the context of computerized trading[] relating to speed, accuracy and usability.” Dist. Ct. op., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22039, [WL] at *4 (citations omitted). The court found that these patents are directed to improvements in existing graphical user interface devices that have no “pre-electronic trading analog,” and recite more than “‘setting, displaying, and selecting’ data or information that is visible on the [graphical user interface] device.” Id.

Something More: Yes

The district court alternatively continued the analysis under Alice Step 2, and determined that the challenged claims recite an “inventive concept.” The court observed that Step 2 “requires something different than pre-AIA §§ 102 and 103.” Dist. Ct. op., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22039, [WL] at *8. The court identified the static price index as an inventive concept that allows traders to more efficiently and accurately place trades using this electronic trading system. The court distinguished this system from the routine or conventional use of computers or the Internet, and concluded that the specific structure and concordant functionality of the graphical user interface are removed from abstract ideas, as compared to conventional computer implementations of known procedures. Thus the court held that the criteria of Alice Step 2 were also met.

The district court’s rulings are in accord with precedent.