Intellectual property law has become a weapon that more and
more firms have in their armoury. As with tax and accounting
laws, most firms will be happy to leave the agonising over
their ethics to others while creating as much advantage for
themselves as possible within the rules provided for them.
The irony of TT choosing Espeed as its first litigation
target has been lost on few in the industry, with the furore
over the Wagner patent still echoing loudly. It is worth
remembering that Espeed has to date received no final court
victories over Wagner - the millions of dollars pledged by
exchanges in licence fees have all been the result of out of
court settlements. These results, while falling short of
initial expectations, nevertheless represent a shrewd,
successful (not to mention ruthless) application of
controversial patent law.
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