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Court rules in favour of S&P Dow Jones Indices in ISE index action

A New York federal judge has ruled in favour of S&P Dow Jones Indices (SPDJI) and dismissed an action brought by International Securities Exchange (ISE) that challenged SPDJI’s rights to license its indices for use.

The Court observed that ISE was trying “to litigate again the very issues that they lost in the Illinois courts,” and the Court ruled: “I hold that ISE cannot do so, that full faith and credit is to be given to the final judgment of the Illinois courts, and that ISE’s lawsuit in this court is barred.” 
The ruling rejects a challenge to CBOE’s exclusive license to list options on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average indices, and would apply to other options as to which CBOE holds an exclusive license, like the S&P 100.
“We are gratified that today’s ruling once again rejects ISE’s claims. Since ISE initiated the litigation more than seven years ago, every court at every level – including the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the US Supreme Court and, now, a New York Court – has rejected ISE’s attempt to trade products that are exclusively licensed to CBOE,” says CBOE chief executive officer Edward T Tilly.
“While we lament the need to defend against claims that are clearly without merit, each ruling is a victory for the rights of index providers to license their indexes as they see fit, and each ruling is a victory for product innovation,” Tilly says. “We are proud of the many innovations that have resulted from our index provider partnerships and we will continue to vigorously defend our contractual rights and the rights of index providers to choose their partners.”
“We are pleased that the Court has agreed that the ISE’s latest manoeuvre to circumvent the intellectual property rights of index providers is without merit,” says Alex Matturri, CEO of S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The fruitless legal actions of the ISE over the past seven years, each based on the same claim, has ended in identical results with the courts affirming the long established intellectual property rights of index providers.”

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