May 1, 2019Legal
Federal Circuit Affirms Patent-Ineligibility of Claims Directed to Displaying Financial Information on a Known Device

Before Moore, Clevenger, and Wallach.  Appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Summary: Claims directed to providing additional trading information on a prior art display, without more, are patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

IBG and Interactive Brokers petitioned for Covered Business Method (CBM) review of a Trading Technologies (TT) patent directed to providing new or different trading information to traders via a trading screen.  The Board held the patent met the statutory definition of a “covered business method” patent and held all claims were patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  TT appealed both issues.

The Federal Circuit agreed that the patent met the definition of a CBM patent because the claims failed to provide a technical solution to a technical problem.  In particular, the Federal Circuit held that providing new or different information to traders on a prior art trading screen “focuses on improving the trader, not the functioning of the computer.” 

The Federal Circuit also affirmed the claims were patent-ineligible under § 101.  Regarding step one of the Alice analysis, the claims were directed to an abstract idea because their “purported advance” was gathering, analyzing, and displaying market information without solving a technological problem.  Regarding step two, the claims failed to amount to “significantly more” than an abstract idea because they merely added conventional information to a prior art trading screen. 

Editor: Paul Stewart
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