GlobalCoal plans to take UK interdealer broker Icap to court over a product-licensing dispute related to its Australian coal derivatives index.Icap is accused of being in breach of its product licence agreement (PLA), after it announced to the market on November 28 that it was broking an index for Australian coal derivatives. According to the PLA, GlobalCoal's products cannot be used in an on-screen trading environment.
The e-trading platform company has given notice to Icap that it intends to approach the High Court in London for an interim injunction against it to enforce the terms of the PLA. GlobalCoal has informed Icap of the breach and asked the broker to remedy the problem, but the broker has allegedly failed to do so.
"We are fiercely protective of our intellectual property rights, and these rights are enshrined in our contract with Icap," GlobalCoal chief executive Eoghan Cunningham said.
But Icap denies any wrongdoing: "We are very confident that we are not in any breach," said Paul Newman, managing director at Icap. "We have a licensing agreement that purports to prevent us from executing trades based on their index on any electronic platform other than theirs. We are confident that we have never done that," he added.
In a statement to members, Cunningham claims GlobalCoal has invested much capital in developing indexes and standardised products. He adds: "GlobalCoal actively promotes the voice broking of our products, and through the PLA, brokers are able to take advantage of this and voice broker GlobalCoal products."
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