PTAB Section 101 Ruling Breaks With CAFC Opinion on Business Method

Authored by Brian S. Mudge

In a recent decision, a divided PTAB panel has ruled that a patent by Trading Technologies is directed to an ineligible abstract idea. While a post-Alice patent ineligible ruling is not itself unusual, the case, IBG v. Trading Technologies,[1] is noteworthy because it involves a member of the same patent family, and indeed nearly identical claim language, as a Trading Technologies patent that the Federal Circuit previously held was not directed to an abstract idea.

Key Takeaway:  Despite nearly identical claim language, the IBG majority panel reached a conclusion as to patent eligibility opposite to that of the Federal Circuit in a prior case involving the same patent family — thus demonstrating how unpredictable the issue can be and raising more questions about making abstract idea determinations.

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