Reuters and Bloomberg ready to settle patent dispute - FT

Reuters and Bloomberg ready to settle patent dispute - FT

Reuters is close to settling a lawsuit filed against rival Bloomberg in 2003 that alleges patent infringement of its electronic matching systems, according to a Financial Times report.

The suit filed by Reuters in a federal court in New York claims that Bloomberg violated three patents used for trading in foreign exchange and equity markets.

The legal action followed Bloomberg's move into foreign currency trading with the launch of its inter-bank foreign exchange trading system PowerMatch FX in 2002. At the time Reuters said the Bloomberg system infringed its patents in a "wilful and wanton" way.

According to the FT report, which cites a person familiar with the case, Reuters has sought to depict the technology covered by the patents as its own intellectual property and is seeking licensing fees for the system from Bloomberg.

A US judge has now suspended the case for 30 days to give the two vendors time to reach a settlement. The FT says the two sides had been set to enter the "discovery phase" ahead of a trial, which could lead to the escalation of legal costs.

According to the report, the companies are expected to conclude a settlement within two weeks, although terms of the deal were not known.

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