Defence against IP theft in financial services

The last few years have seen several high profile criminal and civil cases over the theft of intellectual property from financial institutions. Legal battles, however, are extremely complex and expensive, so firms need to ensure they have adequate defences and controls in place to protect them from the growing threat of IP theft


In February 2011, Samarth Agrawal, Société Générale's former quant and trader in the bank's high-frequency trading group in New York, was sentenced to 36 months in prison. He was found guilty of theft of trade secrets and interstate transportation of stolen property after he stole the proprietary computer code used in Société Générale's high-frequency trading system.

The case against Agrawal illustrates the dangers to financial institutions of intellectual property theft. A particular area of

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