What in trading is patentable?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by ChaosNSX, May 24, 2005.

  1. What types of intelectual property in trading is patentable.

    How can you protect a method or conceptual trading approach?
  2. the question should be... if it is patentable... how do you enforce it? if i have your system & use it profitably, how would you know that i am using your system?
  3. yenzen


    u should ask ProfLogic. Apparently, he thinks his oscillators are patentable.

    Senor Zen
  4. slacker


    To patent a trading method you would have to have a method or approach that is not 'prior art' (common practice/public domain). Within 18 months of filing your final patent, the full application is published for everyone to read. You can avoid the patent process and keep your method/approach secret by using a non-disclosure agreement with business partners that defines/protects what you view as 'trade secret'.

    If I had something that was making money, and clearly not 'prior art' I would not consider a patent. A patent may even be a very bad business decision. For example, if you had a great system and filed the final application and then wanted to sell it to a hedge fund; your hedge fund buddies may not be happy that you have filed a patent application as the workings of your system will be known to other traders within 18 months of filing. A new hardware or user interface (ipod/TT DOM view) design can be reverse engineered and benefit from patent protection. A trading method can be kept secret and if it was making money it may be better to keep it that way. (IMHO)

    When SFO magazine began publication they ran an trading indicator article describing 'range bars' and the author said in the article that his range bars were 'patent pending'. By the next issue of the magazine several readers, myself included, had sent in e-mails to the editor saying that range bars were in fact 'prior art' pointing to several similar descriptions. The editors had to acknowledge the new information in the next edition. Kind of embarrassing to say you have something 'patentable' when what you describe can be identified as prior art within 10 minutes using google....

    If you just want to tell people your method is 'patent pending' all you have to do is fill out the 'provisional patent application' forms, pay $100 dollars, and you are done. Provisional patents are not an indication of merit, but are only a notice of intent to file a full application within 12 months.

    For another post on the subject. http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&postid=741059&highlight=patent#post741059

    For a blog with a lot of patent related links and information you can try: http://patentlaw.typepad.com

    Good luck,
  5. The idea of prior art, for reasons you mentioned makes the concept to fuzzy. I have looked into trades secret law and found nothing that would not be able to be worked around. I recieved a few PMs about the irony of making an idea public to protect it, and the possibility of a copyright instead.

    All this is overshadowed though by the points mentioned, and the inabilty to find infractions, and effectivly enforce a patent in the US, let alone anywhere else.

    Such an idea might work with inventions, and abstract concepts, but trading I've concluded is not one of them.

    I guess some thoughts are better left unsaid.

  6. Making a million dollars with it before thinking of next step. :confused:
  7. Wouldn't that be a bit like trying to get a patent on the directions to a secret gold mine? Regardless, I would think that the best protection would be to keep it to yourself.
  8. Choad


    You can certainly trademark patterns and the like.

    If you read one of Tom DeMark's books, it is distracting the way every single one of his indicators is TD Arc, TD Line, TD Sequential, TD Yadda Yadda Yadda...
  9. Surely you must be mistaken. He may have gotten a trademark for the name he assigns to a pattern, but not to the price pattern itself. How can he own the rights to a price pattern?! Actually, I doubt (for his sake) that he even got a trademark for the names. What purpose would it serve? Just because he calls it a "TD Egomaniac Pattern" or whatever, what possible motivation (financial or otherwise) would there be to try to trademark it? Who in their right mind would give a shit? Think it through.
  10. Choad


    Well I don't know who gives a chit, but yep. It's true. Just look in any of his books.

    And this is from Tom DeMark (supposedly) on another board:

    at the advice of my attorneys, i was instructed to trademark all
    indicators i discuss and share. given the nature of this business and
    potential legal risks, they wanted to protect me from any lawsuits which
    may arise from second-third hand use or distribution. they wanted me to
    control the individuals who may commercialize the indicators to protect
    me from any liability. in other words, had an unauthorized, incorrect
    version of the indicators be promoted and misrepresented with outrageous
    results or missing key components, they did not want me to become a
    party to a lawsuit.

    So any of you guyz that are using his patterns will have to stop right now or pay up! :D
    #10     May 25, 2005