eSpeed licenses futures trading patent to Ice

Technology company eSpeed has licensed its electronic futures trading patent to online energy platform Intercontinental Exchange (Ice). The move will enable Ice to expand its electronic trading platform to cover energy futures and options contracts currently traded in open outcry on the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), the London-based exchange acquired by Ice last year.

Under the terms of the licence, Ice will pay eSpeed a periodic royalty of at least $2 million per year and a running royalty of up to 20 cents per contract traded using the patent. The licence runs until February 2007.

eSpeed's 'Wagner' patent technology is used in automated futures trading systems to enable users to match bids and offers via computer. The new agreement covers the use of the patent in Ice’s markets in energy, certain metals, weather and emissions.

eSpeed, a subsidiary of voice broker Cantor Fitzgerald, is a major partner in TradeSpark, a rival electronic energy trading platform to Ice. Both exchanges have picked up business since the demise of EnronOnline, the electronic trading platform of bankrupt energy major Enron. UBS Warburg has since revived EnronOnline as

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