ICE licenses Wagner Patent from eSpeed

ICE licenses Wagner Patent from eSpeed

IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) has signed a five-year, non-exclusive licensing agreement with eSpeed for use of its Wagner Patent, which covers computerised matching of bids and offers of futures contracts on an electronic platform.

The licensing agreement with eSpeed follows last year's purchase by ICE of the London-based International Petroleum Exchange (IPE). The license of the Wagner Patent will provide legal certainty to traders, clearing banks and brokers using the ICE platform for trading IPE futures contracts from within the United States. These include energy, certain metals, weather, sulphur and nitrogen pollution allowances and financial products such as cash settled energy futures.

Under terms of the agreement, which runs through to 7 February, 2007, ICE will pay eSpeed both a periodic royalty and a running royalty. These royalties include at least $2 million per year, periodic royalty, as well as at least ten cents per contract per side (the number of contracts participants submit to the electronic futures exchange for trading) or at least twenty cents per contract traded per round trip (the number of contracts contained in matched trades on such exchange), whichever is higher.

In accordance with eSpeed's agreement with the ETS Group, the former owner of the Wagner Patent, eSpeed, will pay ETS a small percentage of this revenue.

Jeffrey Sprecher, IntercontinentalExchange founder and CEO, comments: "We are grateful to eSpeed's CEO Howard Lutnick, and general counsel Stephen Merkel, for their willingness to work with us in putting together an agreement that serves the long-term interests of eSpeed's shareholders as well as the approximately 10,000 registered users of ICE who are now assured of digital access to the benchmark futures contracts of the IPE when they become available on ICE's platform."

eSpeed anticipates that the contract with ICE will be the first of many such agreements with companies interested in developing and trading futures-related products, based on the method of electronic trading described by the Wagner Patent.

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