Chicago-based Trading Technologies has been awarded a patent for its MD Trader product from the European Patent Office, extending protection of its intellectual property across the continent.
The patent relates to TT's MD Trader product, the market-depth-style order-entry screen incorporated in its X_Trader platform, which has been the subject of a number of patent lawsuits filed by the vendor against other software providers - both brokers and vendors - in its core market.
The vendor has already been awarded patents in the US and UK for the technology. TT's patent now extends to Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, The Hellenic Republic, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
Last week UK hedge fund manager Man Group became the fifth firm to be accused of patent infringement by TT. The vendor has also filed suit against futures commission merchant Refco and has a claim outstanding against bond trading network eSpeed. Chicago brokers Kingstree Trading and Goldenberg Hehmeyer both agreed an out-of-court settlement with TT within days of being sued by the vendor last year.
The suits have also had a knock-on effect on independent software vendors competing in the same space as TT, such as UK-based EasyScreen which partly blamed poor results on the uncertainty caused by TT's litigation.
TT claims to process in excess of 50% futures market share through its X-Trader paltform. In December last year the vendor released an open letter to the futures industry asking for a fee of 2.5 cents per side on all trades conducted over the Big Four futures and options exchanges.