Thursday, December 16, 2004

TRADING TECHNOLOGIES DRAWS A LINE IN THE SAND: One of the most notorious holding companies in the Chicago area, Trading Technologies International Inc., recently demanded about $130 million a year from the four top exchanges in exchange for the company dropping its patent lawsuits.

The exchanges involved include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. In a widely circulated "open letter to the futures industry" dated Tuesday, Trading Technologies argued that its software has encouraged the spread of futures trading, so the company should get 5 cents per contract dealt.

In return, the company would improve its products and agree to end all patent infringement suits against brokerages it believes have modified its software without paying for its continued use. The company in recent months settled suits against two trading firms -- Goldenberg, Hehmeyer & Co. and Kingstree Trading LLC -- that admitted patent infringement.

The goal of the letter was to get those firms to lobby the Merc, Board of Trade, Frankfurt-based Eurex and London-based Euronext.liffe, to agree to the payments as indemnity from the patent suits.

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