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Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. IBG LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

April 18, 2019

TRADING TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC., Appellant
v.
IBG LLC, INTERACTIVE BROKERS, LLC, Appellees UNITED STATES, Intervenor TRADING TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC., Appellant
v.
IBG LLC, INTERACTIVE BROKERS LLC, Appellees UNITED STATES, Intervenor TRADING TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC., Appellant
v.
IBG LLC, INTERACTIVE BROKERS LLC, Appellees UNITED STATES, Intervenor

          Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Nos. CBM2015-00179, CBM2016-00051, CBM2016-00032.

          Michael David Gannon, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Chicago, IL, argued for appellant. Also represented by Leif R. Sigmond, Jr., Jennifer Kurcz; Alaina J. Lakawicz, Philadelphia, PA; Cole Bradley Richter, McDonnell, Boehnen, Hulbert & Berghoff, LLP, Chicago, IL; Steven Borsand, Jay Quentin Knobloch, Trading Technologies International, Inc., Chicago, IL.

          Byron Leroy Pickard, Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox, PLLC, Washington, DC, argued for appellees. Also represented by Robert Evan Sokohl, Richard M. Bemben, Jon Wright; Michael T. Rosato, Wilson, Son-sini, Goodrich & Rosati, PC, Seattle, WA.

          Katherine Twomey Allen, Appellate Staff, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC, argued for intervenor. Also represented by Mark R. Freeman, Scott R. McIntosh, Joseph H. Hunt; Thomas W. Krause, Joseph Matal, Farheena Yasmeen Rasheed, Office of the Solicitor, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA.

          Before Moore, Mayer, and Linn, Circuit Judges.

          MOORE, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Trading Technologies International, Inc., ("TT") is the owner of U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 533, 056, 7, 212, 999, and 7, 904, 374. Each patent relates generally to a graphical user interface ("GUI") for electronic trading. The '056 and '999 patents, which share a specification, disclose "a user interface for an electronic trading system that allows a remote trader to view trends in the orders for an item, and provides the trading information in an easy to see and interpret graphical format." '999 patent at 1:3-6. The '374 patent, which is from a different patent family, discloses "a display and trading method to ensure fast and accurate execution of trades by displaying market depth on a vertical or horizontal plane, which fluctuates logically up or down, left or right across the plane as the market prices fluctu-ate[]." '374 patent at 3:54-58.

         IBG LLC and Interactive Brokers LLC (collectively, "Petitioners") petitioned for review of claims 1-15 of the '056 patent, claims 1-35 of the '999 patent, and claims 1- 36 of the '374 patent pursuant to the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents ("CBM review"). Leahy-Smith Am. Invents Act, Pub. L. No. 112-29, § 18(a) 125 Stat. 284, 329-31 (2011) ("AIA"). In each case, 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 the claims are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Board additionally held that the claims of the '056 patent would have been obvious.

         TT appeals from each decision. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(4)(A). For the following reasons, we affirm.

         Discussion

         I. CBM Eligibility

         Pursuant to § 18(a)(1)(E) of the AIA, the Board may only institute CBM review for a patent that is a CBM patent. A CBM patent is "a patent that claims a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service, except that the term does not include patents for technological inventions." Id. § 18(d)(1) (emphasis added). Pursuant to its authority under § 18(d)(2), the Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") promulgated 37 C.F.R. § 42.301(b), which requires the Board to consider the following on a case-by-case basis in determining whether a patent is for a technological invention: "whether the claimed subject matter as a whole recites a technological feature that is novel and unobvious over the prior art" and whether it "solves a technical problem using a technical solution." We review the Board's reasoning "under the arbitrary and capricious standard and its factual determinations under the substantial evidence standard." SightSound Techs., LLC v. Apple Inc., 809 F.3d 1307, 1315 (Fed. Cir. 2015).

         The only issue of CBM eligibility that TT contests is whether its patents are for technological inventions.

         A. The '999 and '056 Patents

         The Board relied on claim 1 of the '999 patent and claim 1 of the '056 patent to determine that those patents are directed to a covered business method. Claim 1 of the '999 patent recites:

1. A computer based method for facilitating the placement of an order for an item and for displaying transactional information to a user regarding the buying and selling of items in a system where orders comprise a bid type or an offer type, and an order is generated for a quantity of the item at a specific value, the method comprising:
displaying a plurality of bid indicators, each corresponding to at least one bid for a quantity of the item, each bid indicator at a location along a first scaled axis of prices corresponding to a price associated with the at least one bid;
displaying a plurality of offer indicators, each corresponding to at least one offer for a quantity of the item, each offer indicator at a location along the first scaled axis of prices corresponding to a price associated with the at least one offer;
receiving market information representing a new order to buy a quantity of the item for a specified price, and in response to the received market information, generating a bid indicator that corresponds to the quantity of the item bid for and placing the bid indicator along the first scaled axis of prices corresponding to the specified price of the bid;
receiving market information representing a new order to sell a quantity of the item for a specified price, and in response to the received market information, generating an offer indicator that corresponds to the Quantity of the item for which the offer is made and placing the offer indicator along the first scaled axis of prices corresponding to the specified price of the offer;
displaying an order icon associated with an order by the user for a particular quantity of the item;
selecting the order icon and moving the order icon with a pointer of a user input device to a location associated with a price along the first scaled axis of prices; and
sending an order associated with the order icon to an electronic trading exchange, wherein the order is of a bid type or an offer type and the order has a plurality of order parameters comprising the particular quantity of the item and the price ...

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