Euronext-Liffe in legal battle with former employee

Euronext-Liffe, the derivatives arm of the cross-Europe stock exchange, is locked in a legal battle with a former employee over intellectual property rights to an electronic trading system.

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Euronext-Liffe, the derivatives arm of the cross-Europe stock exchange, is locked in a legal battle with a former employee over intellectual property rights to an electronic trading system.

The exchange and its former marketing employee Pavel Pinkava are set to appear at the Appeal court today, following an earlier High Court ruling in the case, the Financial Times reported.

High Court judge , Mr Justice Kitchen, ruled that the electronic trading methods Pinkava devised were not made in the course of his "normal duties", but after he had been specially asked to develop an exchange-tradable credit derivative.

"It was in solving this problem that Dr Pinkava made his inventions. They were, thus, made in the course of his specially assigned duties," the judge said.

No one had anticipated that Pinkava would come up with the "radical invention" that he did, the judge added, giving the former exchange employee leave to appeal.

The appeal hearing is set to test the legal issues and intellectual property rights surrounding creative work done by staff during their employment when it is not related to their formal duties.

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