- No Renaissance for fintech share trading computer patent application (Renaissance Technologies v Comptroller General of Patents)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
IP analysis: Applying for a patent, which is a method or system involving a computer programme, invariably results in rejection as excluded matter pursuant to section 1(2)(c) of the Patents Act 1977 (PA 1977) either because it is a method of doing business or a computer programme, ‘as such’. Nevertheless, when millions of pounds or dollars in share or commodity trading or for use of credit cards are at stake, Fintech companies consider it is ‘worth a punt’; as can be seen from cases as long ago as Merrill Lynch’s Application  RPC 561 (trading market in securities) to the more recent Lenovo (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Comptroller General of Patents  EWHC 1706 (Pat) (contactless card payment system). It is therefore unsurprising that Renaissance Technologies sought to protect its simultaneous share trade execution method. Equally unsurprising was its rejection by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) as a method of doing business and a computer programme as such. Written by Paul A Harris, head of Litigation at Dehns.
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