The Case: A Trade Secrets and Patent Infringement Suit Spurs Countersuit Alleging Antitrust Violations

The defendant, a major national stock trading venue, sued a global financial exchange operator alleging that former employees misappropriated trade secrets in their transition to employment at the plaintiff’s corporation. The defendant claims that prior to departure from the firm, former employees forwarded technical documents that contained proprietary trade secret information which was then used to form trading platforms operating in the plaintiff’s ecosystem.

The Ask: A Testifying Expert That Understands the Development and Operations of Financial Trading Platforms

The defendant approached WIT to provide an expert who possessed extensive, hands-on experience with trading platforms and specific knowledge related to floor trading. Additionally, they sought someone who has been previously involved with the development of software for electronic markets both old and new, and understood the patents associated with financial exchanges.

Why WIT Was Best Suited to Meet the Expert Need:

In anticipation of an influx of disputes regarding financial trading platforms, WIT has actively recruited and retained world-class academics, industry executives, and subject-matter experts to support clients involved in future fintech litigation. For this case, WIT was able to recommend a professional with more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry as a Chief Technology Officer at multiple major financial firms. Further, this expert has been responsible for financial technology design and development throughout most of his career and specializes in patents and trade secrets litigation. In addition, we were able to recommend a second expert with nearly 40 years of experience in the financial industry with a focus on financial trading, mathematics, and software development. This expert also has firsthand experience working with Congress, the SEC, and the DOJ on a variety of disputes regarding the United States financial system and trading platforms.

The Legal Landscape: Trading Platform Prosecution and Crypto Litigation on the Rise

This decade has already shaped up to be one of the most tumultuous yet for financial trading platforms, and with regulators pushing for more extensive guidelines for fintech firms, it may also end up being one of the industry’s most transformative periods. After the pandemic rocked the economy, cryptocurrency purveyors plummeted in value, and virtual assets became volatile, regulators have moved fast to prosecute exchanges and executives potentially engaging in fraud and deceptive trading practices.

Intellectual property infringement in the trading platform space has seen a spike in recent years, with major players like Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, Ameritrade, and more finding themselves involved in high-profile battles to protect the valuable IP that drives their trading systems. Further, crypto platform Coinbase has also been sued for patent infringement after Veristaseum Capital claimed that the exchange’s trading services, specifically their methods for processing digital currency transactions, directly infringed on Veritaseum’s proprietary services.

While the cryptocurrency and digital asset space is not wholly governed by the United States securities laws as they stand today, regulatory bodies are pushing for that to change. Since the start of last year, the SEC has brought more than 130 crypto lawsuits and settlements to the courts against major companies like Ripple and Bittrex as they attempt to get a handle on crypto regulation. They also moved to prosecute some of the industry’s largest financial exchanges, suing the world’s largest crypto trading platforms (Coinbase and Binance), leading experts to believe that this is just the beginning of the agency’s journey in regulating crypto’s wild west.

Consumers are also fighting back against fraudulent exchanges; 23 class action suits were brought against crypto exchanges or trading platforms in 2022, which is twice as many cases filed in any previous year. And with the total value destroyed in the current crypto crash passing $2 trillion, it would be remiss to assume that this influx of crypto litigation will slow anytime soon.

How Experts Can Assist in Financial Trading Platform Cases and Crypto Litigation

As the fintech industry becomes more volatile, engaging with experienced testifying experts will help those in the industry prepare for potential litigation risk as the space evolves. By collaborating with experts now, industry players can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to regulatory action and guidance related to digital asset trading practices. Further, industry professionals can offer insights into the software and hardware that power these platforms and help patent holders protect their industry-specific IP.

AT WIT, we understand that the future of trading platforms and crypto litigation is poised to be complex. In order to provide those in the space with the best possible insights for their case, we affiliate with industry insiders who are uniquely positioned to assist counsel and their clients in active crypto lawsuits and trading platform conflicts. These leading experts understand the industry and have years of experience in assessing and avoiding the potential liabilities that might arise as the legal landscape in the trading platform space continues to evolve. Our diverse teams of experts feature top academics, industry veterans, and technical subject matter experts in virtual assets, trading platforms, and industry standards and policies.

For more information about how WIT’s trading platform experts can help inform your crypto litigation strategy and to learn more about our expert teams in other areas of focus within financial technology, contact us to discuss your expert witness needs. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up-to-date on our latest insights.

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