I know some algorithms are patentable, but not sure what are the resctrictions and limitation for this.

My question is specific for a trading indicator, something like MACD, or RSI etc, is possible to patent those things?

For example:

  1. Calculate the average of the last N1 and N2 (customizable) prices
  2. Plot those averages together in the same chart
  3. Show a BUY signal when they cross

Is something like that patentable? and if yes, it makes sense to patent it or anybody can change a very small part to null the patent, for example "add 0.01% to every average calculated in step 1"

  • You might try patents.stackexchange.com for further patent questions. Sep 5, 2020 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


This would have clearly been patentable subject matter in the U.S. a few years ago. Now the Supreme Court has made it very hard to get claims like this. They are quick to reduce any such claim to its "gist" (an improper way to analyze a claim) and say "it is buy low and sell high".

A skilled patent practitioner still has a chance of getting something like this granted but the enforceablity in court might be iffy. Speaking of enforceablity, I do not see how you would be able to detect that someone was infringing even if they were not trying to work around the wording of your claims.

In terms of ranges and someone getting around a claim by a minute amount, there is a whole body of literature on claiming ranges in may fields that your patent attorney will be familiar with.

  • What I'm trying to protect is anybody else offering the same indicator created by me (no matter if it's free or is selling it). Not to protect from someone using the indicator for himself. Do you think this level of protection is possible somehow?
    – Enrique
    Sep 8, 2020 at 14:01

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