International Securities Exchange Holdings filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in New York, seeking a declaratory judgment to allow it to list options based on the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index. ISE claims it does not need licenses from Dow Jones and S&P parent McGraw-Hill to list the options, as Dow Jones and McGraw-Hill have claimed.
"ISE wished to list DJX and SPX options for trading. However, ISE was informed by Dow that (Dow and McGraw-Hill) would not grant a license," according to the complaint. "Dow has asserted in public statements that it is 'committed to defending its intellectual property rights with respect to use of its indexes in the creation of financial instruments,' by which it clearly means that it will sue" ISE.
A judge for the case has not yet been assigned, according to court documents.
David Guarino, S&P spokesman, said, "ISE's legal position lacks merit and is based on assertions that run counter to 25 years of well-established legal and marketplace precedent recognizing the rights of index providers."
Dow Jones spokesman Howard Hoffman was not immediately available for comment.