Tuesday, February 22, 2005

CANTOR'S BOND-TRADING PATENT RULED INVALID: (Bloomberg.com) Cantor Fitzgerald LP's patent for electronic bond trading, the subject of an infringement lawsuit with ICAP Plc, isn't valid, a jury ruled.

The federal court jury in Wilmington, Delaware, made the decision after 15 hours of deliberations following a two-week trial, saying that Cantor failed to provide adequate written description of the technology.

Cantor and its ESpeed Inc. electronic-trading unit sued ICAP units Garban LLC and BrokerTec USA units in 2003, contending they infringed a patent awarded to Cantor that same year. ICAP and Cantor are the biggest players in the $3.9 trillion market for government bonds. Cantor, headed by Howard Lutnick, 43, has been losing business to Britain's ICAP, headed by 49-year-old Michael Spencer, who claims a 61 percent share.

The jury also decided that Garban infringed the patent that was ruled invalid. U.S. District Judge Kent A. Jordan ruled before the trial that BrokerTec didn't infringe the patent, and that Cantor couldn't seek damages in the case.

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