More than a year after Trading Technologies (TT) launched
its patent-based campaign, the word patent makes many in the futures industry cringe. Yet the issue continues to conjure up a slew of arguments, debates and solutions across the globe as the industry grapples with how to deal with them. FO Weekâ€?s Jim Kharouf and Annalie Grainger explored the situation.
Patents in the futures industry generally evoke two names: E-Speed for its Wagner patent and TT for its MD Trader patents. TT has become a lightning rod in the industry for its aggressive pursuit of those firms it believes has infringed on its patents. While TT declined to comment for this story, TT officials have argued the traditional points that patents are simply a tool needed to protect an invention.
Critics have slammed the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), questioning its ability to comprehend what is truly an innovative idea in the futures industry or understand what impact a patent may have on the industry. This has led some firms to counter sue TT, challenging the validity of its patents and calling the ISV's tactics anti-competitive. TT has forged settlements with numerous firms. Taken together, this has left many in the industry scratching their heads.
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