Response to USPTO fintech patent protection and accreditation

Andy Yeh Alpha

2023-01-09 10:31:00 Mon ET

Response to USPTO fintech patent protection

As of early-January 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has approved our U.S. utility patent application: Algorithmic system for dynamic conditional asset return prediction and fintech network platform automation.

 

On 4 March 2021, we filed a U.S. patent continuation application (Application Number: #17192059; Publication Number: US20210192628) with a new set of claims in accordance with the April 2017 initial application (Application Number: #15480765; Publication Number: US20180293656).

 

We went through many USPTO office actions, rejections, failures, setbacks, and other technical obstacles. Eventually, our patent efforts came to fruition in time. We paid the USPTO maintenance fees to secure our patent protection and accreditation for 20 years.

 

 

REMARKS/ARGUMENTS

       This Application has been carefully reviewed and analyzed in view of the final Office Action dated 23 June 2022.  Responsive to that Office Action, Claims 1, 13, and 19, have hereby been amended for further clarification and further prosecution, along with the other pending Claims.  Claims 10, 11, and 12, have hereby been cancelled without prejudice or disclaimer.  Upon entry of this Amendment, Claims 1-9 and 13-20 will now be pending in the subject Application.

       In the Office Action, the Examiner rejected Claims 1-20 under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as being directed to an abstract idea of predicting asset prices and returns without significantly more.

 

 

Summary of Claimed Subject Matter

       In the Office Action, the Examiner identified Claim 1 as the claim that represents the claimed invention presented in independent Claims 1, 13, and 19.  Thus, before discussing the merits of the §101 rejection set forth by the Examiner, it is believed beneficial to briefly review certain features of Applicant’s claimed invention, and Claim 1 will now be specifically addressed in the discussion below.

      Independent Claim 1 is directed to an engagement-operated market prediction system that is connected by a network to a multiplicity of external cloud servers (which servers are separate and distinct from the market prediction system).  Claim 1 recites that such engagement-operated market prediction system includes amongst its features an asset prediction subsystem that is coupled to a database established in a server, and this database stores financial records for at least one asset having a variable value.  These financial records include retrieved asset specific financial data, as further recited by Claim 1.  The asset prediction subsystem generates an asset return prediction based on dynamic conditional multifactor premiums (which premiums are extracted from a dynamic conditional model), and that model is generated based on the financial records stored in the database with respect to a particular asset, in the manner further recited by Claim 1.  It is further recited by Claim 1 that an output module (which is coupled to the database and the asset prediction subsystem) searches and retrieves asset specific financial data from at least one of the external cloud servers for transferring such data to the database. The output module, moreover, reduces the financial records for a particular asset into an asset summary for export according to the corresponding asset return prediction generated for that asset, in the manner further recited by Claim 1.

      A social network interaction subsystem is further coupled to the database, the asset prediction subsystem, and the output module, as is now clarified by independent Claim 1.  This social network interaction subsystem maintains a plurality of network-specific interfaces in adaptively-selectable manner, and each such interface is configured for compatible interaction with a corresponding one of a plurality of differing external social networks, as further recited by Claim 1.  Each of the external social networks is “adapted to include at least one user associated therewith,” with each such network “being configured to have an account profile for each user []of” that particular social network, as Claim 1 now clarifies.  It is now clarified by Claim 1 that the social network interaction subsystem is configured in such manner that each user (of a particular external social network) accesses the engagement-operated market prediction system through the corresponding social network to thereby interact with the social network interaction sub-system.  Such interaction is effectuated by an electronic computing device (associated with each user), and each of those devices include a visual display unit and an input device.

      Moreover, the social network interaction subsystem is configured to retrieve “informational data from the user’s social network account profile;” this data includes “demographic attributes of [that particular] user and interests []of” that particular user with respect to assets having variable values, as is now more clearly recited by independent Claim 1.  The input device and visual display unit of a particular user’s electronic computing device, responsive to a determination being made by the social network interaction subsystem that such “user’s social network account profile is incomplete,” is configured by that subsystem to “receive informational data input by the user with respect to [that] user’s demographic attributes and interests with respect to assets having variable values.”  Such subsystem also includes amongst its features a graphics processing unit for “adaptively manipulating data” for display by the visual display unit of a particular user’s electronic computing device, with such unit “adaptively formatting a graphical user interface” of that particular visual display unit through a selected one of the network-specific interfaces; thereby resulting in two-way interaction with the respective user.  Consequently, that social network interaction subsystem is “configured to notify the user” that their “pre-existing account profile is incomplete by said graphics processing unit adaptively formatting the visual display unit” of that user’s electronic computing device, in the manner now recited by Claim 1.

       As further recited by independent Claim 1, the social network interaction subsystem formats the asset summary (of a particular asset) and user input from users of the social network received through the network-specific interface corresponding to that asset for storage in the database along with the financial records for such asset.  More specifically, “responsive to at least one of the input provided by the user” on that user’s input device “or the informational data” retrieved by the social network interaction subsystem, “said graphics processing unit adaptively format[s] a display of asset summary of a corresponding asset on the visual display unit of a corresponding user’s electronic computing device.” 

      As is now clarified by independent Claim 1, the social network interaction subsystem also includes amongst its features a virtual market module coupled to the graphics processing unit; this module being “configured to record simulated transactions of at least one asset by [the] users of the engagement-operated market predictions system.”  Such simulated transactions are “included in the financial records for the corresponding asset stored in [the] database.”  These simulated transactions are conducted by each user “via the … visual display unit and input device” of that user’s electronic computing device; the virtual market module being configured to “generate an asset trade history of each user based” on those recorded simulated transactions of each asset.  Subsequently, the users are “rank[ed]” by that virtual market module “according to a simulated financial gain resulting from [those] simulated transactions” to thereby “generate a list of high-ranked users.” 

       The graphics processing unit “selectively and adaptively formats data associated with” certain data indicia “for display on a visual display unit” of a particular user’s electronic computing device, as independent Claim 1 now more clearly recites.  This data indicia includes “asset trade histories of the users on the list of high-ranked users,” “asset trade histories of other users having a similar asset trade history to that of the corresponding user,” and “groups of other users having similar demographic attributes and interests with respect to [certain] assets.”

       The social network interaction subsystem also includes amongst its features, as is now recited by independent Claim 1, an interactivity module coupled to the graphics processing unit and which is “configured to record the users interacting with one another and [those] users interacting with at least one asset” through the corresponding network-specific interface.  Such user interactions include “a provision of a user score of a corresponding asset, status updates by the users about a corresponding asset, private messages between the users about a corresponding asset, comments by the users about a corresponding asset, and likes, dislikes and unlikes by the users about a corresponding asset.”  These user interactions are conducted by the particular user on the social network interaction subsystem via the visual display unit and input device of that user’s electronic computing device.  Moreover, those “user interactions with one another and with the assets [are] included in the financial records for the corresponding asset stored in the database.”

       In the manner now clarified by independent Claim 1, the graphics processing unit of the social network interaction subsystem is “configured to display within each network-specific interface by selectively and adaptively formatting the asset summary in combination with the [aforementioned] records of the user interactions with one another and with the asset for display” on a particular user’s visual display unit.  It is very important to note here that such “visual display unit” actually corresponds to that “of a plurality of users” who “access[] the engagement-operated market prediction system through multiple different external social networks.”

 

 

Discussion of 35 U.S.C. §101 jurisprudence

       On December 16, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) issued its interim guidance on subject matter eligibility.  Then, on July 30, 2015, the USPTO issued an update to that interim guidance; on May 4, 2016, it issued a memorandum on properly formulating a subject matter eligibility rejection; and on November 2, 2016, it issued a memorandum on recent subject matter eligibility decisions.  In December 2016, it provided a new list of eligibility examples to supplement those in the update.  Then, on January 7, 2019, the USPTO issued an update entitled “2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance,” (see Federal Register, Vol. 84, No. 4, at Page 52), and then on October 2019, the USPTO issued another update entitled “October 2019 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility.”  The January 2019 update (hereinafter, January 2019 Update), the October 2019 update (hereinafter, October 2019 Update), and the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (“MPEP), are all instructive to the proper application of 35 U.S.C. §101 to the claims as currently pending in the present Application. 

       MPEP section 2106, describes the USPTO test for subject matter eligibility:

 

 

Discussion of the Examiner’s rejection

       The Examiner, in the subject Office Action, explicitly acknowledged that Claim 1 is directed to a system which falls under one of the statutory categories of inventions as enumerated under Step 1 of the U.S.P.T.O.’s eligibility analysis for 35 U.S.C. §101.  However, in the Office Action, the Examiner then noted that the recited limitations of independent Claim 1 describe the abstract idea of predicting asset prices and returns and thereby correspond to certain methods of organizing human activity; commercial and legal interactions; and fundamental economic principles and practices, under prong 1 of Step 2A of the USPTO eligibility analysis.  The Examiner, in the Office Action, additionally, noted that the judicial exception is not integrated into a practical application of that exception under prong 2 of Step 2A of the USPTO eligibility analysis, and, further, that Claim 1 does not include additional elements that are sufficient to amount to significantly more than the judicial exception under Step 2B of the USPTO eligibility analysis.

      Mindful of the above, the rejections of Claims 1-20 under 35 U.S.C. §101 are traversed and also believed rendered moot, for at least the following reasons.

 

 

The Claim does not recite an Abstract Idea

      Newly-amended independent Claim 1 is directed to both an improved user interface as well as an improved network communication system. 

     More specifically, with respect to the improved user interface, for users interacting with the claimed social network interaction subsystem for accessing the claimed engagement-operated market prediction system, a graphical user interface of that user’s visual display unit (of the user’s electronic computing device) is specifically configured by that subsystem to display only certain sets of very time-sensitive data (depending on what particular stage of interaction the user is at with the claimed market prediction system).  Therefore, different users have displayed on their visual display unit narrowly-tailored data; this data being very unique to each particular user’s stage of interaction with the claimed interaction subsystem. 

      Moreover, with respect to an improved communication system, a specific technological platform is provided, whereby users associated with many different social networks conduct certain real-world financial transactions.  Also, a hardware-and-software driven interface is provided in which users of various different social networks personally interact with one another and are also provided certain financial information.  Thereby, these users can make a more informed and smart decision as to which particular real-world financial transaction are to be made in the future.  Thus, each user makes their own informed decision with regard to a future real-world financial transaction, and this decision may be different for various users.

       It is hereby respectfully submitted that even though certain limitations recited in independent Claim 1 are directed to interactions between people, or fundamental economic principles such as mitigating risk, or even commercial interactions, the Claim as a whole, is not directed to any of these singular concepts; but is rather directed to both an improved user interface as well as an improved network communications system.  The real thrust of the Claim is a server system that is adaptable to communicate with numerous different social networking interfaces, so that users of those interfaces (by accessing this server) not only are provided with certain financial information to make real-world financial transactions (utilizing this very server), but are also able to communicate with one another over this common server to make more informed future real-world financial transactions.  Otherwise, a user of a particular social network interface, may have to use one application programming interface to gather certain financial information, and another application programming interface to make real-world financial transactions, and yet another application programming interface to interact with various users (especially from a different social network).  The user may well be able to interact with users employing the same social networking interface, but the lack of any common communication server allowing for that user to personally interact with users of other social networking interfaces is a real-world technical problem deeply rooted in computer networking technology.  Additionally, what particular narrowly-tailored data must be displayed to users making certain financial transactions; especially when users are using smaller electronic devices (smart phones having reduced screen space) is also a real-world problem rooted in computer technology.

       As was noted in Thales Visionix, Inc. v. United States, 2015-5150 Federal Circuit March 8, 2017, Page 10, “at step 1, it is not enough to merely identify a patent-ineligible concept underlying the Claim; we must determine whether the patent ineligible concept is what the Claim is directed to.”  Similarly, even though the Claim under consideration includes certain limitations that may recite methods of organizing human activity, the subject Claim as a whole, neither recites nor is directed to a method of organizing human activity.  As was further noted in Internet Patents Corp. v. Active Networks, Inc., 790 F.3d 1343, 1346 (Fed.Cir. 2015), under Alice Step 1 “the Claims are considered in their entirety to ascertain whether the character as a whole is directed to excluded subject matter.”  As further noted in the October 2019 Update, “the claim recites a judicial exception when the judicial exception is set forth or described in the claim.”  In the instant case, evaluating Claim 1 as a whole, neither is a method of organizing human activity set forth, nor is a method of organizing human activity described in the Claim.  Therefore, it is hereby respectfully submitted that under prong 1 of Step 2A of the USPTO test, newly-amended independent Claim 1 does not recite an Abstract Idea.

 

 

The Abstract Idea is Integrated into a Practical Application

       Assuming arguendo that under Prong 1 of Step 2A of the USPTO Test, an Abstract Idea has been recited by independent Claim 1, one now turns to Prong 2 of Step 2A to determine whether such Abstract Idea has been integrated into a practical application of that exception.  Under Prong 2 of Step 2A of the USPTO Test, if a practical application is found, the Claim is then directed to that application and not the abstract idea itself, and the Claim is thus directed to eligible subject matter. 

 

Transformation Test:

      One form of practical application is when “an additional element effects a transformation or reduction of a particular article to a different state or thing,” as noted on Page 55 of the January 2019 Update.  It is instructive to note that the graphics processing unit “adaptively format[s] a graphical user interface” of the visual display unit of a particular user’s electronic computing device “to notify the user” that this user’s pre-existing account profile is incomplete, as recited by Claim 1.  In this state, the corresponding electronic computer device’s visual display unit displays to the user that the informational data retrieved by the social network interaction subsystem from the user’s social network account profile (associated with an external social network) has been determined to be inadequate (for the purpose of being able to display asset summary of a particular asset).  Subsequently, that visual display unit along with the corresponding electronic computing device’s input device is configured by the social network interaction subsystem to “receive informational data” that is “input by the user” with respect to the corresponding “user’s demographic attributes and interests with respect to [certain] assets.”

      Thus, if it is determined by the social network interaction subsystem that a particular user’s social network account profile is not incomplete, that user’s visual display unit has its graphical user interface adaptably modified in one specific manner.  On the other hand, when the social network interaction subsystem determines that a user’s social network account profile is indeed incomplete, that user’s visual display unit has its graphical user interface adaptably modified in another specific manner.  The user’s visual display unit is thus limited in what it must display in these two diametrically opposite conditional situations.

      Now, in another state, the graphics processing unit “adaptively format[s] a display of asset summary of a corresponding asset” on that user’s electronic computing device’s visual display unit, as now recited by Claim 1.  As further recited by Claim 1, such display of asset summary of a particular asset is done according “to at least one of the input provided by the user on” that user’s input device “or the informational data” that has been retrieved by the social network interaction subsystem.  If it is not determined by the social network interaction subsystem that the user’s social network account profile is incomplete, it would not have been necessary for the graphics processing unit to adaptively format that user’s visual display unit to notify the user that their pre-existing account profile was incomplete.  Such graphics processing unit could then expediently adaptively format a display of the asset summary of the corresponding asset on the visual display unit. 

      Therefore, as evident from the above limitations of independent Claim 1, multiple transformations of articles to different states have been set forth and described by the limitations now recited by the Claim.  It is worthwhile to note here that such transformations to different states are not random.  But, these transformations occur in the very specific context of determinations being made by the social network interaction subsystem as to the completeness of the particular user’s pre-existing account profile.  The subsequent display of an asset summary of a particular asset for that user is further tied to input provided by that user or the informational data already retrieved by the claimed social network subsystem. 

      It was noted in In Re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943, 88U.S.P.Q.2d 1385 (Fed. Cir. 2008) that “[t]he raw materials of many information-age processes … are electronic signals and electrically manipulated data” and that “[s]o long as the claimed process is limited to a practical application of a fundamental principle to transform specific data, … there is no danger that the scope of the claim would wholly pre-empt all uses of the principle.”  As is now further cited by Claim 1, subsequent to an asset trade history of each user being generated by a virtual market module, and this virtual market module further generating a list of high-ranked users, the graphics processing unit performs another article transformation to a new state.  In this new and subsequent transformation, the graphics processing unit “selectively and adaptively format[s] data associated with” only certain data indicia “for display on a corresponding visual display unit of the user’s electronic computing device.”  This data indicia includes “asset trade histories of the users on the list of high-ranked users,” “asset trade histories of other users having a similar asset trade history of the corresponding user,” and “groups of other users having similar demographic attributes and interests with respect to assets,” as amended Claim 1 now clarifies.

      The above three kinds of data are limited to “asset trade histories of the users on the list of high-ranked users …,” as now recited by Claim 1.  At this stage of the user’s interaction with the engagement-operated market prediction system, only three limited sets of data are displayable on a given user’s visual display unit.  From the previous state of simply displaying asset summary of a particular asset on the user’s visual display unit, this transformation is particularly limited to three forms of data that are substantively different from each other.  By affecting such transformations of electronic signals and electronically manipulating data between different states in a very specific context, Claim 1 is indeed performing multiple transformations into different states.  The various pictorial depictions on each user’s visual display unit represents just not any random data, but specific real-world data such as asset trade histories of certain users (either those who are highly ranked or those whose asset trade histories are similar to that of a particular user) and a particular list of users having certain demographic attributes and asset-related interests similar to the particular user.  These users are real physical people as well as the asset trade histories are related to real-world financial transactions carried out by these users, and thus, it is in fact physical attributes that are being represented by electronically-manipulated data in highly specific and narrowly-tailored context. 

      As another example, in the manner now recited by Claim 1, subsequent to the “interactivity module” particularly “record[ing] the users interacting with one another” and also these “users interacting with at least one asset” in the particular context of “private messages” between these users about a particular asset or “status updates” by such users about a particular asset, etc., those user interactions are “included in the financial records for the corresponding asset” for storage in the database.  It is noteworthy that the above user interactions with one another and with a particular asset are conducted by the user via the visual display unit and input device of that user’s electronic computing device.  Moreover, in a new transformation into another state, the “graphics processing unit … display[s] … by selectively and adaptively formatting the asset summary” (for a particular asset) “in combination with records of [both] the user interactions with one another and with the asset for display on” the particular visual display unit.  Therefore, at this particular stage of interaction, the visual display unit of a user’s electronic computing device is narrowly-tailored with respect to its graphical user interface to particularly display only a particular asset summary along with combination of the records of the user interactions with one another and with the asset.

      As is plainly evident from the limitations now set forth and described by Claim 1, each user has displayed on their visual display unit not only mere asset summary of a particular asset; but, what is now displayed is essentially in an annotated fashion, real-world user interactions with other users, as well as user interactions with that particular asset.  Therefore, from simply displaying asset summary of a particular asset to then displaying asset trade histories of particular users as well as certain groups of other users to then displaying asset summary in combination with real-world user interactions with one another and with the asset, Claim 1 both recites and describes multiple transformations of electrically-manipulated data from one state to another.  These electronic signals are manipulated in a limited fashion with respect to visual depiction of specific data representing real-world indicia such as messages between users, comments by a user, financial records of an asset, information about particular users, financial transactions conducted by users, etc.  Such electrically-manipulated data is displayed on a particular user’s visual display unit (which would be different than that of other users on that social network as well as on different social networks).

 

Machine Test:

       Another form of practical application is when “an additional element implements a judicial exception with, or uses a judicial exception in conjunction with, a particular machine … that is integral to the Claim,” as noted on page 55 of the January 2019 Update.  It is noted in MPEP §2106.05 with respect to the U.S. P.T.O. Machine Test that “the particularity or generality of all the elements of the machine or apparatus, that is, the degree to which the machine in the Claim can be specifically identified (not any and all machines).”  As is evident from Claim 1, the social network interaction subsystem particularly utilizes a very specific combination of a graphics processing unit, a virtual market module, and an interactivity module.  The graphics processing unit of the claimed subsystem is implemented with respect to the graphical user interface of a user’s virtual display unit to either display to the user that their pre-existing account profile is incomplete or asset summary associated with a particular asset.  In a combination between the graphics processing unit and the virtual market module, again the graphics processing unit particularly displays a limited set of data with respect to asset trade histories of particular users or groups of other users having similar asset-related interests or demographic attributes.  Now, when the graphics processing unit is combined with the interactivity module, the graphics processing unit is even further limited with respect to data to be displayed on a particular user’s visual display unit; the asset summary of a particular asset in combination with records of user interactions with one another and with that asset.

      The limitations thus set forth and described in independent Claim 1 are tied to this particular claimed social network interaction subsystem (which is a part of the claimed engagement-operated market prediction system), and it includes a very particular combination of a graphics processing unit, a virtual market module, and an interactively module  Each of those having their own narrowly-tailored functionality with respect to what must be displayed on the user’s visual display unit.  As was noted in Cyber Source We Retail Decisions, 654 F.3d 1366, 1370, 99 USPQ 2d 1690, 1694 (Fed. Cir. 2011), “integral use of a machine to achieve performance of a method may integrate the recited judicial exception into a practical application …, in contrast to when the machine is merely an object on which the method operates.”  In the subject Claim, the particular limitations of the social network interaction subsystem along with its graphics processing unit, virtual market module, and interactivity module, plainly indicate that these limitations cannot be carried out on any generic processor, but only by the narrowly-tailored social network interaction subsystem recited and defined by amended Claim 1. 

      As also noted in §2106.05 of the MPEP, “whether its involvement is extra-solution activity or a field-of-use, that is, the extent to which (or how) the machine or apparatus imposes meaningful limits on the Claim,” is a further consideration in the USPTO’s machine test.  Here, in Claim 1, the limitations associated with the claimed social network interaction subsystem very clearly delineate its relationship including that of its graphics processing unit, its virtual market module, and its interactivity module, with that of the visual display units of those users who are accessing the engagement-operated market prediction system with respect to what has to be displayed and when on those visual display units.  This is not merely extra-solution activity or use that contributes only nominally or insignificantly to execution of a particular method, but in fact, the very heart of the social media interaction subsystem’s functioning and what particular data at what particular time context and by what particular module within this subsystem (which is making a particular determination) must be displayed by the user’s virtual display unit.

Improvement to a computer’s functioning

       Another form of practical application is when “an additional element reflects an improvement in the functioning of a computer, or an improvement to other technology or technical field,” as noted on Page 55 of the January 2019 Update.  In this regard, it is noted in §2106.05(8)(I) of the MPEP that “in computer-related technologies, the Examiner should determine whether the Claim purports to improve computer capabilities or, instead, invokes computers merely as a tool.”  It is further noted on Page 55 of the January 2019 Update that “revised step 2A does not evaluate whether an additional element is well-understood, routine, conventional activity,” and therefore “Examiners are reminded that a Claim that includes conventional elements may still integrate an exception into a practical application, thereby satisfying the subject matter eligibility requirement of § 101.”

       As is evident from the Claim limitations, the visual display unit of each user’s electronic computing device has its display limited by the graphics processing unit of the social network interaction subsystem depending on what stage of interaction is taking place between the user and the overall engagement-operated market prediction system.  It is noted in Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics, Inc., 880 F.3d 1356, 1362-63, 125 USPQ 2d 1436, 1440-41 (Fed. Cir. 2018) that “the asserted claims in this case are directed to an improved user interface for computing devices,” and “although the generic idea of summarizing information certainly existed prior to the invention, these Claims are directed to a particular manner of summarizing and presenting information in electronic devices,” and “this Claim limitation restrains a type of data that can be displayed in the summary window.”  Analogous to the Core Wireless case, the subject Claim with respect to the graphics processing unit selectively and adaptively formats the type of data to be displayed by the graphical user interface of the user’s visual display unit, and the type of data to be displayed on such visual display unit is thus restrained by the social media interaction subsystem’s graphics processing unit.  Moreover, an improved user interface results from the graphical processing unit’s selective and adaptive formatting of the graphical user interface of a user’s visual display unit, because at each step of interaction between that user and the broader engagement-operated market prediction system, only that particular data most relevant and pertinent to the user at that stage of interaction is in fact displayed. 

      For example, initially, when the engagement-operated market prediction system is only aware of the user’s demographic attributes and interests with respect to assets having variable values, only asset summary of that asset is displayed on the user’s visual display unit.  Subsequently, upon the user making simulated transactions via the claimed subsystem’s virtual market module, that user’s graphical user interface of the visual display unit is now adaptively formatted by the graphics processing unit to display narrowly-tailored pertinent informational data such as asset trade histories of other users having similar asset trade histories of the particular user as well as groups of other users having similar demographical attributes and interests with respect to assets relative to the particular user.  Now, in subsequent interactions between the user and the market prediction system, when the user is now interacting with other users not only of that social network, but also of external social networks, as well as with the asset through each network-specific interface of the claimed subsystem, a particular asset summary is not displayed alone on the user’s visual display unit. But, that asset summary is annotated with records of the user interactions with one another and with the asset, thereby providing the user with narrowly-tailored data for the user to make more smart predictions for future transactions to be made with a particular concerned asset.

      It is an incontrovertible fact that in conventional display units of electronic computing devices, especially those pertaining to mobile devices including smart phones, etc., the visual display units keep getting smaller and smaller over time in light of a more compact device.  In light of such compact visual display units, it becomes imperative as to what data is displayed to a user, especially, in the context of financial transactions being made with respect to assets having variable values.  Now, what particular data to be displayed at what particular time context becomes extremely important, given the limited size of the device’s visual display unit, thereby making the substance of what is displayed as well as its particular time frame and ease with which it is displayed of prime importance in the overall context of financial transactions.  Thus, when the graphics processing unit is adaptively formatting a particular user’s visual display unit to display the asset trade histories of the list of high-ranked users, the asset trade histories of other users having similar asset trade histories to that of a particular user, as well as groups of other users having similar demographic attributes and interests of the particular user, the user does not have to themselves browse through the wider internet to gather this data.   

      Similarly, when the asset summary of a particular asset is displayed along with annotated data displaying records of the user interactions with one another and with the asset, again, the user does not have to browse the wide expanse of the internet to gather this particular information at that time.  The user interactions include a wide swath of data such as likes, dislikes, and unlikes by the user about a corresponding asset, private messages between the users about a corresponding asset, and comments by the users about a corresponding asset, as is clarified by amended Claim 1.  The lengthy time frame for a particular user to browse through the entire expanse of the web to find minutiae such as private messages between that user and other users about a corresponding asset and likes, dislikes, and unlikes by that user and even other users about a corresponding asset, etc. is unpalatable.   Such data is readily available to the user in light of the graphics processing unit selectively and adaptively formatting the asset summary in combination with records of such user interactions for display on that user’s visual display unit. 

      In the Core Wireless case, in finding that “the Claims are directed to an improvement in the functioning of computers, particularly those with small screens” the Court noted numerous facts such as “improving the efficiency of using the electronic device by bringing together a limited list of comment functions and commonly accessed store data,” “displaying selected data or functions of interest in the summary window allowing the user to see the most relevant data or functions without actually opening the application up,” and “the speed of a user’s navigation through various views and windows being improved.”  Similarly, the subject Claim recites these improvements by allowing the user of a particular visual display unit being given access to a limited list of commonly-accessed stored data as well as allowing that user to see the most relevant data or functions; thereby indicating that the subject Claim is directed to an improvement in the functioning of computers. 

       Therefore, the subject Claim as a whole integrates the recited Judicial Exception into a practical application of the exception, and thus does not recite an abstract idea and is directed to patent-eligible subject matter.

 

 

       The Claim recites elements that amount to significantly more

       Assuming arguendo that under Prong 2 of Step 2A of the USPTO Test, the Abstract Idea has not been integrated into a practical application of that exception, and thereby the Claim is directed to the Abstract Idea, one now turns to Step 2B of the USPTO Test to determine whether the Claim recites an inventive concept.  Under Step 2B of the USPTO Test, even if the claim is directed to an Abstract Idea, if the claim recites different elements that amount to significantly more than the abstract idea, the claim qualifies as eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101.  It is hereby respectfully submitted that even if the pending Claims are directed to an Abstract Idea, they recite an inventive concept under Step 2B of the USPTO Test.

       As noted in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 573 US 208, 217, 110 USPQ 2d 1976, 1981 at 27/18 (2014), “an inventive concept is furnished by an element or combination of elements that is recited in the Claim in addition to (beyond) the Judicial Exception, and is sufficient to show that the Claim as a whole amounts to significantly more than the Judicial Exception itself.”  The MPEP at §2106.05 notes that “evaluating additional elements to determine whether they amount to an inventive concept requires considering them both individually and in combination to ensure that they amount to significantly more than the Judicial Exception itself.”  MPEP §2106.05 also recites that “consideration of the elements in combination is particularly important, because even if an additional element does not amount to significantly more on its own, it can still amount to significantly more when considered in combination with the other elements of the Claim.”

 

Improvement to a computer’s functioning

      As noted in MPEP §2106.05, one of the relevant considerations for evaluating whether additional elements amount to an inventive concept is “improvements to the functioning of a computer.”

       As is now more clearly recited by newly-amended independent Claim 1, even though the “plurality of users [are] accessing the engagement-operated market prediction system through multiple different external social networks,” the social network interaction subsystem’s “graphics processing unit [is] configured to display within each network-specific interface by selectively and adaptively formatting” data associated with certain information “for display on a corresponding visual display unit” of a particular user’s electronic computing device.  Now, this data includes asset trade histories of the users on the list of high-ranked users, asset trade histories of other users having a similar asset trade history to that of a particular user, groups of other users having similar demographic attributes and certain asset-related interests, and a particular asset’s asset summary in combination with records of user interactions with one another and with that particular asset (such user interactions including comments by the users about a corresponding asset, etc.).

      At the initial stage of interaction between a user and the engagement-operated market prediction system (at which stage the social network interaction subsystem has either the informational data including demographic attributes of the user and interests of that user with respect to assets or the corresponding input is provided by the user on that user’s input device), the graphics processing unit adaptively formats a display of asset summary (by configuring the graphical user interface of that user’s visual display unit).  It is important to note that the users access this engagement-operated market prediction system through different external social networks.  Not only is the social network interaction subsystem “maintaining a plurality of network-specific interfaces in adaptively selected manner,” but each such interface is “configured for compatible with a corresponding one of a plurality of differing external social networks,” as is recited by Claim 1. 

      It is undeniable that in today’s technology-driven era, people use multiple different social networks for specific purposes.  For example, a user has a Facebook account for conducting personal interactions with friends, whereas that same user has a LinkedIn account for maintaining professional relationships with the larger professional community.  The same user may have a WhatsApp account to maintain constant connection with immediate family members and extremely close relatives, and then an Instagram account to maintain connections with people interested in particular hobbies such as photography.  But, it is not necessary that a user maintain an account with so many different social media networks, and in some instances, a user may restrict themselves to maybe one or two different social network accounts. 

      Therefore, for users who are not known to each other personally, and do not maintain a common social network account profile, it is highly unlikely that such users will come into contact with each other on a common platform for maintaining interaction with one another (specifically with regards to financial assets like stocks or bonds having variable values).  Also, if the user accesses a particular website dedicated to investing or dealing with assets having variable values, that website conventionally may only allow the user to make financial transactions or at most use that website’s resources to gather certain limited data (useful to the user in making decisions about a particular asset).  However, such website may not allow that user to interact with other users also interested in investing in that asset, or even constantly receive updated information from other resources about that asset, thereby obviating real-time asset-related intelligence to that particular user. 

      There, thus, exists a need to improve the conventional technology in the financial technology sector.  This improvement would allow for a common networking platform, whereby access to this platform provides the user not only updated real-time informational data about assets from a multiplicity of resources spread throughout the web, but also allows the user to gather more real-time informational data from other unknown users spread throughout the globe.  These other unknown users would otherwise remain unconnected to the particular user.  Therefore, via such a common networking platform as recited by independent Claim 1 in the form of the social network interaction subsystem, these different users associated with multiple different external social networks (simply by accessing the engagement-operated market prediction system through interaction with the social network interactive subsystem) can conduct multiple types of interactions with one another including “private messages between” one another, with one user also having access to another user’s “likes, dislikes, and unlikes about a corresponding asset.”  This real-time financial intelligence is available to a particular user simply by accessing the social network interaction subsystem and in turn the engagement-operated market prediction system.  Such wealth of information is provided to the user not only with respect to those users on the same social network as that user, but also from users throughout the entire spectrum of differing external social networks. 

      Conventionally, any social network user would not have access to information, updates, comments, or message-access, with respect to those users not on the same social network as that user.  Having a single common communications network platform, where all that information is collated and annotated with asset-related financial records (which records are updated by the asset prediction subsystem recited in independent Claim 1), is a substantial improvement in the functioning of network communication systems in the area of financial technology. 

      In July 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provided a set of example claims with analyses (hereinafter 2015 examples).  Claim 2 of Example 21 is highly relevant.  The Claim recites filtering and transmitting stock quotes from a server to a remote device, and additionally recites activation of a “stock viewer application to cause the stock quote alert to display on the remote subscriber computer and enable connection via the URL to the data source over the internet.”  The analysis determined that Claim 2 was found to address “the internet-centric challenge of alerting a subscriber with time sensitive information” (namely, to purchase or sell stock when the price is most favorable), and therefore was eligible under Step 2B. 

      In the present Claim, with respect to a particular user who has access to the engagement-operated market prediction system through accessing the social network interaction subsystem via that user’s particular social network, a common network communications platform is provided for the user.  This common platform allows for access to highly up-to-date relevant real-time asset financial record information (via the asset prediction subsystem) as well as a wealth of data related to other users with respect to those users’ interactions with one another (with respect to the particular asset) as well as interactions with that particular asset itself.  If the user would not have had access to a common platform such as the claimed social network interaction subsystem, the user would have had to themselves use other means to gather this information resulting in an inordinate time delay.  Thus, in the context of financial transactions and investments related to assets having variable values, given the time-sensitive nature of these transactions, the social network interaction subsystem recited by Claim 1 provides a common platform for users of multiple different external social networks to be provided with that single platform to conduct financial transactions, as well as be provided with narrowly-tailored informational data about that asset (annotated with data about user interactions).

      It is noted in Cosmo Key Solutions GmbH and Co. KG v. Dual Security LC, #2020-2043 (Fed. Cir. October 4, 2021) that providing a technical improvement over conventional authentication methods constitutes a non-abstract computer-functionality improvement.  Thus, not only by improving the graphical user interface of visual display units of real-world users, but also by improving the server/network communication platform (by allowing multiple users of different external social networks to access that platform in the context of financial transactions of assets having changing values), the limitations recited by Claim 1 provide a technical improvement over conventional visual and authentication methods to thereby constitute a non-abstract computer-functionality improvement. 

 

  Claims Limitations are not routine, conventional activity

       As noted in MPEP §2106.05, another relevant consideration for evaluating whether additional elements amount to an inventive concept is “adding a specific limitation other than what is well-understood routine, conventional activity in the field, or adding unconventional steps that confine the Claim to a particular useful application.”  As now recited by independent Claim 1, the social network interaction subsystem includes the graphics processing unit, the virtual market module, and the interactivity module, and these function in conjunction with one another to adaptively format the graphical user interface of the user’s display unit to display narrowly-tailored data at specific time instances.  It is hereby respectfully submitted that the virtual market module’s coupling to the graphics processing unit followed by coupling between the interactivity module and such graphics processing unit to restrict the data for display on a particular user’s visual display unit is not well-understood routine, conventional activity.  The coupling between the virtual market module and the graphics processing unit adaptively formatting data related to asset trade histories of certain users and groups of users with certain demographic attributes and asset-related interests to be adaptively displayed on a particular user’s visual display unit.  The coupling between the interactivity module and the graphics processing unit adaptively formats for display a particular asset’s asset summary annotated with rich data regarding user interactions with one another and with that particular asset for further adaptive display on the user’s visual display unit. 

      Therefore, a non-conventional manner of coupling the virtual market module and the interactivity module to the graphics processing unit of the social network interaction subsystem is recited by and described by amended independent Claim 1.  Consequently, an improved user interface results for each user’s visual display unit as well as a common networking platform is provided for users of different social networks to not only receive informational data, but also exchange informational data with one another on a common platform.  It is important to note here that the users accomplish the above by not opening a new social media account profile, but their already-existing social media account profile with the particular social network is enough for that user to gain access to the engagement-operated market prediction system through the social network interaction subsystem.  In fact, in today’s world, where users want to reduce the number of social networks that they are associated with, given the extant difficulties in maintaining different social network profiles, independent Claim 1’s features allow for such user to simply use their pre-existing social network account profile to access the social network interaction subsystem. 

      Therefore, even assuming that the Claims are directed to an abstract idea, they also recite additional elements and provide an inventive concept common in the Claims and therefore ineligible.

       For any and all of the foregoing reasons, it is hereby respectfully submitted that the invention, as disclosed and claimed, is patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and that the Claims recited in the Listing of Claims are allowable.  Applicant, therefore respectfully requests the Examiner to withdraw the outstanding 35 U.S.C. § 101 rejection set forth in the final Office Action.

      It is now believed that the subject Patent Application has been placed fully in condition for allowance, and such action is respectfully requested.

 


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