Enyx can continue to sell its software solutions for processing financial market data after the Judicial Court in Paris dismissed an entitlement action brought by competitor Novasparks. The plaintiff could not sufficiently prove that it invented the technology for which Enyx had registered property rights.
13 July 2022 by Konstanze Richter
Enyx, which was founded in 2011 by six former employees of Novasparks, has submitted applications for three patents, EP 28 58 323, EP 28 58 024 and EP 28 58 025. All protect a method and device for decoding market data. The technology is capable of processing a very high amount of data in a very short amount of time.
However, the European Patent Office has currently suspended the patent applications due to an entitlement action in Paris. The technology is patented in the US, with Enyx already marketing its product there.
Novasparks designs and markets software solutions for processing financial market data. It has developed a financial data flow processing solution called feed-handling, with architecture based on the use of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) integrated circuits and Quadruple Data Rate (QDR) memories. Both of these allow the processing of a large amount of market data in a very short time.
Novasparks claims to be the actual originator of the technology. According to the company, it developed the technology before the departure of the employees who later founded Enyx. To prove the claims, the company handed over its feed-handler software to a bailiff in December 2012. Furthermore, Novasparks also requested a seizure operation, involving documents and hard discs, at Enyx’s headquarters in Paris.
A few weeks later, both companies signed a settlement agreement in which Enyx agreed “not to file any patent application relating to a technology that was owned by Novasparks.”
In October 2013, a few months after signing the agreement, Enyx filed the three patent applications. It listed Edward Kodde, co-founder of Enyx and former design engineer at Novasparks, as the inventor.
In 2017, Novasparks filed an entitlement action against Enyx. The action was based on the belief that these inventions corresponded to the technology the company had developed before the departure of its former employees in March 2011. The software company claims ownership of these patent applications and their international extensions.
Among other things, Novasparks demanded that the patent application name it as the owner. In addition, the company demanded damages of €1.5 million from Enyx, as well as the benefits resulting from the direct and indirect exploitation by Enyx of the inventions. Novasparks maintains that it developed its feed-handling solution between 2008 and 2010, and that it chose to keep this technology secret.
Enyx contested the validity and probative nature of the elements reported by Novasparks to prove that it held the patented technology before February 28, 2011. The company requested that the seizure of December 2013 be declared null and void and that the items seized at that time be returned.
The court did not consider it sufficiently proven that Novasparks is the originator of the invention and dismissed the action. JUVE Patent is not yet aware whether the plaintiff will appeal the decision.
The IP team of full-service global law firm Squire Patton Boggs acted for Novasparks. Lead Paris IP partner Catherine Muyl worked in the French office of US law firm Foley Hoag from 2015 to 2020. The firm represents the client in the current dispute in the US.
Enyx has been a client of Aramis’ corporate practice for years, previously retaining the full-service firm in connection with software licensing. However, the current dispute marked the first time the company retained the firm for a patent dispute.
The team, led by Paris partner Benjamin May, also coordinated the proceedings in France and the US, where a Washington team from Baker Hostetler acted for the client. However, the US court found it did not have jurisdiction in the dispute over inventorship. This is because both companies are based in France.
Squire Patton Boggs (Paris): Catherine Muyl (partner); associate: Marion Cavalier
Aramis (Paris): Benjamin May (partner); associates: Louis Jestaz (counsel), Florent Mattern
Plasseraud (Paris): Albert Hassine (partner); associate: Alexandre Decreton (both patent attorneys) (market knowledge)
Tribunal judiciaire, Paris, 3rd Chamber
Nathalie Sabotier (presiding judge), Arthur Courillon-Havy, Linda Boudour