Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc. v. Tech. Research Group, Inc., No. 09 C 3895, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 28, 2010) (Castillo, J.).

Judge Castillo construed the claim terms in this patent case involving methods for tracking Rolling Spot Currency contracts. Here are constructions of note:

  • The Court discounted the extrinsic evidence and focused on the intrinsic evidence to construe "principal market marker" as "an entity required to provide the following functions: (1) continuously maintain a two-sided bid/offer market of specified size and spread for its designated product(s); (2) maintain a public order book with respect to these assigned products; and (3) give priority to customer order execution over personal trading. As compensation for the fulfillment of these responsibilities, this entity is to receive priority volume benefits."
  • Because "computer" had a very apparent ordinary meaning, the Court relied upon dictionaries to define "computer" as "a programmable electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data."
  • The preambles of each claim were limiting to the extent they identified a computer and the computer was not identified elsewhere in the claim. Where there was not a computer identified in the body of the claim, the preamble was a necessary aspect of the invention.
  • "Execute" was defined consistent with its ordinary meaning as "to carry out fully and completely."
  • The Court refused to define "receive" or "directly receive." But the Court held that doing so would improperly impart a claim limitation from the specification.
  • "Bid," "offer," "trade," and "order", were all defined based upon their dictionary definitions.
  • To sustain the validity of the claims, the Court defined "rolling spot" as how plaintiff’s Rolling Spot Currency contracts were defined as of the effective filing date.
  • "Currency futures" were construed based upon financial dictionaries as "contracts in the futures markets that are for delivery in a major currency such as U.S. dollars, British pounds, French francs, German marks, Swiss francs, or Japanese yen."